Fragrance Therapy for Elderly: Improve Memory and Cognitive Abilities with Scented Bedrooms

2023-08-03 07:10:48

Elderly who smelled the scent for 2 hours in the bedroom for 6 months significantly improved cognitive abilities

Enter 2023.08.03 16:10 Modify 2023.08.03 08:54 Hit 9 Enter 2023.08.03 16:10 Modify 2023.08.03 08:54 Hit 9

A study has found that frequent smells of flowers and air fresheners improve memory in older people. [사진=게티이미지뱅크]The smell of the sea and the savory smell of freshly fathered eggs bring back faint old memories. A study has found that various scents, such as the smell of flowers and perfume, greatly improve memory in the elderly.

According to a study conducted by the University of California, Irvine (UCI), scent therapy (aromatherapy) has been shown to more than double the memory of the elderly.

The research team divided 43 men and women between the ages of 60 and 85 without memory impairment into two groups and investigated the effect of scent on cognitive abilities such as memory for 6 months.

One group (experimental group) was instructed to spray air freshener into their bedroom for two hours each night. These participants were given air freshener and seven cartridges (containers with air freshener). Each cartridge contained a different natural oil. Each night, before going to bed, the participants placed a different cartridge into a diffuser, and the diffuser worked for two hours while they slept.

The other group (control group) was given only a small amount of natural oil. The UCI Center for Learning and Memory Neurobiology conducted this research project.

As a result, it was found that those who smelled the fragrance for 2 hours every night for 6 months improved cognitive abilities such as memory by 226% compared to those who did not. It is a word list test commonly used to evaluate memory.

In particular, medical imaging scans in the experimental group showed that the integrity of a specific brain pathway, the left uncinate fasciculus, was improved. This brain pathway connects the medial temporal lobe and the prefrontal cortex involved in decision-making. As we age, our function tends to weaken.

Also, the experimental group slept much better than the control group. Previous research has shown that when dementia patients smell up to 40 different smells twice a day for a certain period of time, their memory and language abilities improve, depression is alleviated, and their sense of smell improves.

The research team said, “After the age of 60, the sense of smell and cognitive abilities begin to decline. So, we reduced the number of scents to seven and had participants smell only one scent each time,” he explained.

The results of this study (Overnight olfactory enrichment using an odorant diffuser improves memory and modifies the uncinate fasciculus in older adults) were published in the international journal Frontiers in Neuroscience.

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