“The sense of smell is highly underestimated” In a recently published article in the Swedish newspaper Svenska dagbladet, Dr. Jonas Olofsson; olfactory scientist and professor in psychology at Stockholm University, was interviewed on his latest research on the link between the loss of smell and early dementia. According to Dr. Olofsson, our sense of smell is highly underestimated. Not many people knows that the sense of smell affects your sexual drive, well-being, relationships, and memories. After the pandemic, testimonials of covid-19 patients showed that their loss of smell had affected them negatively. Not being able to smell your skin, your children or a summer rain was just too much for many people. Some have stated that they feel disconnected from the world and that it felt like watching their life on a screen. An impaired sense of smell is often the first sign of Dementia According to the article, it is normal that our sense of smell decreases with age. Years of sickness, a dryer nasal mucosa and fewer branches on the nerve fibers in the brain as well as concussions could contribute to the loss of smell. The pandemic has shown us that the coronavirus is also a contributing factor to the loss of smell but where the symptoms are often temporary. However, Dr. Jonas have found that for some people, the sense of smell decreases even more than normal when coming of age. He wanted to investigate if this abnormal loss of smell could be an early sign of dementia and if this could be measured. It could. ” Some individuals that experience a gradual impaired sense of smell, have a higher risk of developing dementia. Therefore, smell-tests should always be included in dementia investigations.” says Dr. Jonas. Alzheimer’s – the memory and the sense of smell are highly connected He continues; “The first indication that someone is developing Alzheimer is often that their sense of smell is impaired.” Unlike some covid patients, those with a developing Alzheimer does not get a complete loss of smell. It’s the more detailed smell that is affected, for example different types of red wine, says Jonas. Dr. Jonas has been working with different methods of smell training during the last 10 years. This has also meant training the memory of the patients with Alzheimer’s, since the sense of smell and memory are highly connected. Read the whole article here.