CALIFORNIA - Research scientists neuroscientist at the University of California, has opened a new hope for those who lose the ability to smell (anosmia), whether caused by aging, trauma, or viral infection.
Sfgate proclaimed on Monday (26.12.2011), research published in the journal Neuron, found that genetic trigger that is responsible to renew the olfactory sensors in the nose.
The study, led by John Ngai, professor of neurobiology University of California, revealed p63 gene, which served to tell olfactory stem cells to self-renew or transform itself into another cell type. According to Ngai, in normal conditions, the results of both types of command is in the balance.
But without the presence of p63, cells only turn into another adult cell type, which, according to Ngai will lead to loss of ability to distinguish odors.
"The loss of ability to distinguish odors is a major problem for public health," said Ngai.
"This is a lot happens but rarely reported, is not well understood and are not pursued aggressively. This is an underappreciated problem," he added.
Although the new findings of this study is that the seeds for new treatments, Ngai expect further work could lead to treatments for neurological degeneration diseases, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
"Knowing how to coax nerve cells to grow back, can improve the quality of life," said Ngai.