Changes in the sense of smell can be linked to symptoms of depression. A study conducted by the Dresden University of Technology (Germany) sheds light on the complex relationship between depression and the sense of smell.
Can smell problems lead to depression? It may not have been fully proven, but his research Dresden University of Technology He highlighted a possible link between disorders in this important sense and the emergence of a terrible disease.
It’s not even the first time that such a potential link has been focused on: it has been in the past Opinion How older adults who lost their sense of smell were more likely to develop depressive symptoms in the future. Some previous evidence has also indicated how this correlation could be, with depressed patients displaying an altered sense of smell.
Given that depression is among the most common mental illnesses, a multifaceted approach to its treatment would be beneficial – Agnieszka Sabiniewicz, who led the research, explains to PsyPost – At the same time, people with a poor sense of smell often report a deterioration in their sense of smell. Smell they have from the smell.mood and many research has shown a The relationship between smell and depression. However, the nature of this association still needs to be explored
To reach their conclusions, the Dresden researchers devised a “reverse” study, that is, to check whether the improvement in olfactory function can coincide with an improvement in depressive symptoms, in the absence of olfactory training. The study focused primarily on Indigestion patientsImpaired olfactory function.
The research was conducted on 171 participants between the ages of 14 and 87 who visited a smell and taste clinic because of a Weak sense of smell. According to olfactory tests, most of the participants (157) reached the olfactory threshold, while a small minority (14) actually had a normal sense of smell.
Then, each participant’s sense of smell was tested twice about 11 months later, and they were tested Depression symptoms assessment. Olfactory function was specifically assessed by the olfactory threshold, discrimination and odor determination tests, and the three test scores were summarized as a measure of overall olfactory function. Instead, the severity of depressive symptoms was measured using general depression scale.
From comparing the data, it turns out how Improvements in depression were associated with similar improvements in smell identification and general olfactory functionespecially among patients with dyspepsia, who showed improvements in odor identification five times stronger than the entire volunteer sample.
“Our study is the first to show that smell can be directly related to mood – continues the researcher – in other words, people who had an improvement in smell showed a decrease in the severity of depression. This one Fantastic find This allows us to broaden the perspective of the relationship between olfaction and depression.”
Some research suggests that the relationship may be driven by shared connections within the brain. In fact, information about smell passes through many areas of the brain (including the amygdala, hippocampus, and anterior cingulate cortex), which also play a role in emotional functions such asprocessing feelings.
However, the study cannot be considered definitive: among the limitations mentioned by the authors themselves – a possible poor representation of the sample appears: in fact, all study participants visited a treatment center in search of help. Their sense of smell was damaged and therefore may have exhibited a greater number of depressive symptoms than People who have problems with their sense of smell and do not seek advice.
It should be borne in mind that for people who seek clinical advice, an altered sense of smell usually causes emotional distress. A sense of smell that does not feel the need for treatment
The work was published on Scientific ReportsIt will in any case be an incentive for more information.
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