Loss of sense of smell ..a coincidence?

I just finished reading an article in which Dr Justin Rhodes PhD, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Illinois states that a person can continue to make new brain cells throughout their lifetime and that exercise may help stimulate the production of new brain cells.This process is called Neurogenisis

The kicker though, and what struck me as an unlikely coincidence, is that Neurogenisis takes place in the Olfactory bulb and the Hipocampus of the brain.

The Olfactory bulb, is among other things the center for processing the sense of smell!

Loss of sense of smell is often the first symptom of the onset of Parkinsons!

It still couldn't hurt to exercise...besides the other benefits, the studies claim that in lab rats both young and aged, the ones on the exercise regimen had twice as many brain cells as their sedentary relatives.

18 Replies

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  • My sense of smell seems to have gotten better since I was diagnosed. I go to the gym three times a week.

  • Keep up the good work...or as we used to say in the day, "Keep On Truckin"

  • i havnt lost my sense of smell completely i get a hint perfume & bacon frying but i cant smell crap at all lucky me when all the" boys" are trying to out fart each other they will grow up one day

  • My husband was a very active and physical man before he was diagnosied. He always was even as a child!! I don't beleive exercise helps to keep it at bay at all. Yes it may create more brain cells but that doesn't seem to help keep PD at bay either.

  • Imbanni, you must have misunderstood. I did not imply that exercise

    keeps PD at bay., but who couldn't use more brain cells? My point was that it is very interesting that one of the first places that Parkinsons rears its ugly head, is in the very place that new cells are formed...no wonder this disease is progressive...its like breaking all the chicken eggs and then killing the hen that lays them!

  • Ohhhhh thank you for setting me straight!! I did misunderstand!!

    That is very strange how it starts affecting that area that can make new brain cells!!

    Your example was perfect too!!

  • I agree Kat...I think the relationship has merit to explore. I thought I read that that there is some research going on in this area. Isn't there some trial that's investigating, injecting stem cells in the olfactory and hipocampus!?

  • Everything anatomically it seems, on the underside of the brain anterior to the brainstem (e.g.. hypothalamus, deep frontal cortex) relies heavily on dopamine for normal function including the olfactory bulbs, nerves and brain regions. I believe that it is the loss in DA and not a loss in olfactory cells that causes the malfunction. Thus adding new olfactory cells won't help. Also PD presents so variably from person to person that some see this pretty early (most actually and testing 'nasal acuity' has been proposed as a screening), but others experience it late or not at all. Still exercise is the single most Parkie-beneficial activity.

  • Dopadoc..I understand your point, it is not about the loss of Olfactory cells themselves,but about the area in the brain that is attacked by the loss of DA...and I'm sure that also varies from person to person...i was just wondering out loud....there is so much we don't know, and so many different studies and pieces of information that could be related if researchers would just work on the whole puzzle together.

    It does seem like scientists with research grants are all working on sections of a Jigsaw puzzle...each studying their own little corner of it...without considering how things connect ...Somebody needs to look at the cover of the puzzle box and direct everyone in assembling all those pieces!

  • I agree100%. But nobody seems to want to share information.

  • I lost my sense of smell about ten years before my diagnosis and seven years before I had my first bout of tremoring.

  • Looking back over the years I think my loss of sense of smell occurred or began about 10 years prior to dx also. Don't really have a tremor though, just a bit of a jiggle with the left foot if under stress.

  • Hi I have had nasal problems for most of m y life and lost most of my sense of smell and taste 25 years ago

    But i stilll enjoy my food and drink

    Lol,Jill :-)

  • Me,too, Jill, I never had the sensitive sense of smell my mom had (and still has at 92). Now I can't smell alcohol on someone's breath or some fumes, but do enjoy some perfumes and florals. And food!

  • I also lost my sense of smell years before my DX. Makes me afraid of a fire.

  • I also lost my sense of smell several years before I was diagnosed. I can smell some things but very faint compaired to most.

  • I went from slight loss of smell 2 years ago to almost complete loss of smell (and thus taste too). Eating is not fun anymore i's just nourishment with no flavor; guess I could have worse things than this...

  • Has anyone experienced "fantom smells". I sometimes smell a foul odor that doesn't seem to have a source. Sometimes it's the same odor & other times it changes. I've talked to neurologist that feels it could be a form of hallucinations.

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