Training your nose could improve your brain health

Members of our AbScent community are smell training to support their recovery from a smell disorder, however their brain’s grey matter could be impacted positively too.

Recent studies have shown that grey matter (GM) changes due to various training and learning experiences, and researchers wanted to investigate the effect of psychological characteristics and attitudes toward training and learning on these changes. Keita Watanabe, Keisuke Kokubun, and Yoshinori Yamakawa conducted a study on this topic, and the results are fascinating.

Researchers recruited 90 participants and divided them into three groups: an olfactory training group that underwent 40 sessions of odour classification tasks, a group that learned about neuroplasticity and brain healthcare through a TED Talk and daily messages, and a control group. The study also assessed psychological characteristics, such as curiosity and personal growth initiatives.

The olfactory training group reported a sense of achievement and interest in the training, and their GM change was significantly correlated with these factors. Meanwhile, the group that learned about neuroplasticity and brain health care showed a smaller decline in GM compared to the control group.

Interestingly, the Curiosity and Exploration scores were significantly correlated with GM changes in both groups, suggesting that having a curious and explorative mindset could lead to greater changes in grey matter.

In all, this study suggests that training or learning with a sense of accomplishment, interest, and curiosity could lead to greater grey matter changes and improve brain health. So why not try training your nose with some new scents today? If you’re new to smell training start with our Original Smell Training Kit; alternatively you can move onto our Trees Collection or Sarah Collection.

April 11, 2023

Posted in Smell training.