Personal Health

Why the sense of smell decreases with age

The olfactory functions decrease with age. Scientists at the Helmholtz centre in Munich have found out through research on stem cells now, why this is so.

The researchers tracked the formation and development of the olfactory cells in mice and discovered that certain split between levels of the cells in old mice rare. In addition, asymmetric cell rose, and the stem cells were more frequent in the resting phase. Prof. Jovica Ninkovic explains: "This means that in the age of fewer nerve cells in the olfactory cells to differentiate, since they are more likely to stay in the stem cell pool and less active. This brings production to a Standstill."

The Team has the development of nerve cells for the sense of smell is responsible, in mice with the "Confetti-Technik" made visible. They were cells that were descended from each other, each in different colors: "We have used the so-called Confetti Reporter to the origin track: In mice we’ve brought in brains of individual stem cells and all of their clones to leuchten&quot in a certain color;, stem cell researcher Dr. Filippo Calzolari says. In the next step, the researchers compared the clones in young and older mice to determine the contribution of individual stem cells and their intermediate products for the formation of olfactory cells.

Nerve cells are usually formed only to the young age of the child. However, there are some exceptions: One of them are special nerve cells that are important for the sense of smell: they develop at a later age through various stages in between.