Put the smell back in the breath – Scientific newsNovember 17, 1973
PPC Graziadei and JF Metcalf of Florida State University have produced…increasingly detailed evidence of olfactory nerve regeneration in mammals…. Could olfactory nerves be regenerated in people with difficulty smelling, thereby restoring or improving their sense of smell? “Regeneration phenomena are applicable to all vertebrates and most likely to humans,” explains Graziadei.
The scientists’ intuition was correct: human cells that detect olfactory information and send it to the brain can reconstitute themselves, although we don’t know exactly how. Experimental therapies for helping people who have lost their sense of smell due to COVID-19 could help researchers understand it (SN: 09/24/22, p. 14). Olfactory training, which involves regularly and deeply smelling various smells, could rewire cell connections to the brain or stimulate the growth of new cells. Treating damaged cells with steroids and blood plasma could facilitate healing. More invasive treatments such as nasal mucosa grafts aim to stimulate stem cell regeneration.