Have you ever smelled fresh food? Or a bouquet of flowers? Or cow manure? When you go out to eat with your parents and they order a bottle of wine, do they swish the wine around and smell it? This smelling —believe it or not— could lead to a lower risk in developing Alzheimers.
Why? Read on and find out.
Something to know before I continue, Dementia is a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities.
What is Alzheimers exactly?
Alzheimers accounts for a majority of Dementia cases. Alzheimers affects the brain in such a way that your memory, thinking, and behavior are inhibited in a serious way. Scientists believe Alzheimer’s disease prevents parts of a cell’s factory from running well but, more research is needed because there are still holes that need to be filled before we move forward and try to cure Alzheimers. Essentially, as the damage spreads around the brain, the cells lose their ability to do what they were made to do and die. This is what causes parts of the brain to deteriorate because irreversible changes have been made in the cells.
Now back to how smelling can reduce risk of getting Alzheimers:
What started as a study investigating why wine experts can smell and taste some things that others can’t, turned into a potential breakthrough for Alzheimer’s disease. The director of wine at the Mandalay Resort, Harley Carbery, has been more exposed to using his sense of smell than the usual person. Seeing as Carbery’s profession is wine, he has constantly been relying on his taste and his smell. He has developed an incredible talent (that he gets paid for) and claims that he can detect almost any ingredient in a glass of wine.
Alzheimers usually sets in parts of the brain that we do not use as much. Dr. Sarah Banks, who works for the Cleveland Clinic Center for Brain Health, did brain scans on 13 “wine experts” and 13 “non-experts” as they smelled various scents of wines and fruits. She found that individual’s who were “wine experts” could detect scents that the “non-experts” could not. After conducting this study, Dr. Banks discovered parts of the “wine experts” brains were bigger, including areas susceptible to Alzheimer’s. “The fact that the parts of the brain that are bigger are those parts that are most vulnerable to diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s bodes pretty well for the wine experts,” said Dr. Banks, “It suggests that they might have some degree of protection.”
Using our sense of smell, with wine specifically, could be a major component in the future research for Alzheimers. It may also give us information about how to help prevent other diseases!
In conclusion, try not to rely on your vision as much. Use your other senses and maybe in the future we will find more breakthrough research we thought we would never discover. This potential breakthrough could let our grand kids or their grand kids remember us as we actually are and not what some disease has made us.
“Wine Experts Possible Key In Alzheimer’s Research Breakthrough.” CBS Miami. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Sept. 2016.