The participants were divided into two groups: The Active Therapy group received an electronic aroma diffuser and cartridges containing seven different types of essential oils.
The second group, which served as a control group, also received a diffuser and essential oils. However, unlike the oils received by the active treatment group, the seven oils of the control group contained only a small concentration of the different aromas.
Participants in both groups were instructed to set their aroma diffusers to be active for two hours each night before going to bed to sleep. They were instructed to use a new type of scent for each of the seven days of the week.
226% increased cognitive ability
The experiment lasted for six months and when the researchers then compared the two groups, they were met with a somewhat surprising result.
In the active treatment group participants, cognitive ability increased by at least 226 percent more compared to the control group with respect to the private group. Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT). There is an accepted test used to assess things like verbal learning and memory, as well as several factors that can help determine the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition, participants in the active treatment group reported significantly better sleep.
The researchers themselves believe their experiments can validate a simple, non-invasive method, which uses the long-known connection between the sense of smell and memory.
It begins at the age of 60
When you pass your 60th birthday, things can start to go downhill for both your sense of smell and cognitive abilities.
In any case, previous research has also shown that people with a moderate degree of dementia, who are exposed to up to 40 different scents twice a day, seem to have enhanced memory and language skills, a lower degree of depression and a better sense of smell. .
“However, it is not realistic to imagine that elderly people with cognitive impairment could open and smell all of these eighty-eight different fragrances every day. It would be an insurmountable task even for someone without dementia,” explains one of the researchers behind the research. The new study is by Michael Lyon, a professor of neurobiology and behavior at the University of California, Irvine.
Therefore, the researchers reduced the number of odor variants to seven, so that participants were only exposed to one scent at a time instead of several different ones.
“By making it impossible for them to experience smells in their sleep, they are free to use their time during the day for this,” explains project leader Cynthia Wu, from the university’s Department of Neurobiology and Behavior. California, Irvine.
The researchers’ plan is to put together a similar study of people who have already been diagnosed with cognitive impairment.
The team behind the experiment themselves write that one limitation of their study is that it was only conducted on a small group of participants.
Therefore, they also hope that their findings will lead to larger clinical trials, in which the effect of fragrances on memory loss in the elderly will be tested more systematically.
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