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Jack Sisson's TBI Blog

A hug is duct tape for the soul.

June 12, 2005
Anosmia and TBI

Anosmia is the inability to smell. The leading cause of permanent
Anosmia occurs from head injury secondary to an auto accident.
Other causes of Anosmia can be temporary or corrected. Prognosis
for TBI cases due to an auto accident is varied. According to the
Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia,
the ability to smell is seldom regained after the first year
due the severing of nerves in the brain. Yet many TBI survivors
overcome such odds and frequently regain abilities despite what
research indicates.

So much is lost when the sense of smell is gone. Odors can sway
emotions and arouse memories. The sense of smell connects us with
our most basic internal needs, including hunger, emotion, sex and
certain forms of memory. It warns us of dangers, such as
smoke-filled areas or spoiled food. Many TBI survivors with Anosmia
plan their airplane flights and hotel stays with extra caution,
since they are not able to smell smoke. And because TBI survivors
cannot detect gas leaks, they are advised to use electric appliances.

Smell also imparts information between people. Each person has
their own unique smell, and within weeks infants prefer the smell
of their mother. Adults additionally prefer the scent of their
loved ones. Further information between people occurs in the release
of Pheromones. Pheromones are chemicals released by the body
signaling reproductive behaviors, identifying individuals and
indicate aggression or submission.

At present the following treatments for Anosmia are offered:
Zinc and Lutein supplements
Cortisone based nasal spray

For more in depth etiology, diagnosis, treatment, and resources
visit the following sites:

TBI Film Reviews
TBI Book Reviews
Traumatic Brain Injury Law Blog
Brain Blog
Brain Blogger
SoapBlox/Chicago: Protecting Our Troops
Head Injury Survival Journal
Losing the Physical Self

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