Since a great sense of smell enriches enjoyment of foods and many natural settings a declining sense of smell with age is just another reason to favor the development of rejuvenation therapies.
AURORA, Colo. -- Scientists studying how the sense of smell changes as people age, found that olfactory sensory neurons in those 60 and over showed an unexpected response to odor that made it more difficult to distinguish specific smells, putting them at greater risk from dangerous chemicals and poor nutrition.
"We found clear changes in olfactory sensory neuron responses to odors for those 60 and up," said Professor Diego Restrepo, Ph.D., director of the Center for NeuroScience at the University of Colorado School of Medicine who led the researchers. "When we presented two different odors to the olfactory sensory neurons of younger people they responded to one or the other. The sensory neurons from the elderly responded to both. This would make it harder for the elderly to differentiate between them."
Its like becoming color blind. Old people can't distinguish between as many different scents. I can heart Mick Jagger singing "What a drag it is getting old".
Losing sensitivity to scents is a health hazard. Growing old is dangerous. So lets just not grow old.
According to the study published in the latest issue of Neurobiology of Aging, those losing their sense of smell are at a higher risk of malnutrition since taste and smell are closely related, they may also be unable to detect spoiled food, leaking gas or toxic vapors.
Do taste buds age too? Do old people also get less taste signaling from their tongues?
Imagine someone 70 years old getting some cell therapies combined with perhaps a gene therapy to kill senescent cells on the tongue and nasal passages. They could potentially regain scent and smell sensitivity that they had decades earlier. Throw in similar therapies for their eyes and eyes and their sensory experience could be greatly enhanced.