Journal of Neurology

, Volume 257, Issue 2, pp 238–246 | Cite as

Taste in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease

  • Silke SteinbachEmail author
  • Walter Hundt
  • Andreas Vaitl
  • Petra Heinrich
  • Stefan Förster
  • Katharina Bürger
  • Thomas Zahnert
Original Communication


In this prospective study we investigated the quantitative and qualitative taste function of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). 29 healthy, elderly subjects, 29 MCI and 30 AD patients were tested using a validated taste test, the “taste strips”. Additionally, odor identification, odor discrimination, odor threshold, the mini-mental state examination (MMSE) and Apo E epsilon 4 status were examined. Regarding taste, there was a significant reduction of total taste scores and also the score for individual tastes on either side of the tongue between controls and MCI/AD patients. There was no significant difference in the taste scores between MCI and AD patients. A taste test may be a useful procedure for differentiating between healthy subjects and patients with MCI/AD in a clinical context. For diagnosing MCI versus AD, further tests such as smell test, MMSE, Apo E epsilon 4 status, FDG-PET and MRI appear to be useful.


Mild cognitive impairment Alzheimer’s disease Taste 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silke Steinbach
    • 1
    Email author
  • Walter Hundt
    • 2
  • Andreas Vaitl
    • 3
  • Petra Heinrich
    • 4
  • Stefan Förster
    • 3
  • Katharina Bürger
    • 5
  • Thomas Zahnert
    • 1
  1. 1.Smell and Taste Clinic, Department of OtorhinolaryngologyTechnical UniversityDresdenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Clinical RadiologyLudwig-Maximilians-UniversityMunichGermany
  3. 3.Department of Nuclear MedicineLudwig-Maximilians-UniversityMunichGermany
  4. 4.Department of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, Institut für medizinische Statistik und Epidemiologie, Klinikum rechts der IsarTechnische Universitaet MuenchenMunichGermany
  5. 5.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyLudwig-Maximilians-UniversityMunichGermany

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