Study Says Sense Of Smell Changes With Age

According to research from the Center for NeuroScience at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, our ability to distinguish between specific odors deteriorates as we age. Professor Diego Restrepo, Ph.D., the study’s lead researcher, said, when presented with two different odors, the olfactory sensory neurons of younger participants were able to respond to one or the other, while older participants responded to both. The inability to distinguish between smells poses a risk to seniors as it could make it more difficult to detect spoiled food or leaking gas. The researchers tested 440 people split into two groups, one under the age of 45 and those over the age of 60. Though they expected to find fewer neurons in older subjects, researchers found older participants had just as many olfactory sensory neurons but, those over the age of 60, could not distinguish between two odors, suggesting that changes to the nose and brain contribute to a loss of smell as we age. More here.

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