Hollenbeck Palms

New study examines connection between aroma and cognitive capacity

New study examines connection between aroma and cognitive capacity

They often say you should stop and smell the roses, but what if the route to a more enriched life and a sharper mind lies within the very scents you inhale during slumber?

A recent study has uncovered a captivating finding in the relationship between aroma and cognitive capacity. That is, the subtle fragrances that waft through the air as you sleep can potentially hold the key to enhancing your memory.

This revelation opens a new avenue for potentially bolstering cognitive function and fending off the shadows of dementia, all while you peacefully rest.


The sleep study

Exposure to aromas while sleeping can significantly boost cognitive capacity in older adults, according to neuroscientists at the University of California. The study measured results in adults aged 60 to 85 without memory impairment. They used a diffuser and different natural oils. Those in the enriched group received full-strength cartridges, while the control group received smaller amounts.

When individuals were exposed to pleasant nocturnal smells for just two hours per night, their capacity to keep memories greatly improved. Over a span of six months, participants who took in fragrances experienced a cognitive performance increase by a remarkable 226 percent compared to a control group.

Can the discovery of the well-known link between smell and memory transform into a simple, non-invasive technique for enhancing memory and potentially preventing dementia?


Smells of longevity

The long-held understanding that loss of the sense of smell can be an indicator of various neurological and psychiatric conditions, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, was the precursor to the study. Scientists sought to harness this knowledge to develop a practical tool for combating dementia. As noted by the authors of the study, the sense of smell and cognition tend to decline notably after the age of 60, making it challenging to perform odor-based interventions daily.

The olfactory sense is directly linked to the brain’s memory circuits, making aromas powerful triggers for recollections. Unlike visual or auditory impairments that can be addressed with aids, there have been no interventions for smell loss.

With this baseline, researchers hope to continue to explore the technique’s effects on individuals with diagnosed cognitive decline. Perhaps their findings will stimulate further investigations into olfactory therapies for memory impairment and other cognitive complications.


The Hensel Memory Enhancement Center

Our Hensel Memory Enhancement Center’s dedicated support team aims to deliver the greatest possible care to individuals facing moderate to severe dementia symptoms.

As conditions progress, the need for specialized care often arises beyond the home settings. This transition can be challenging for caregivers, yet it is a decision taken with the well-being of both the loved one and caregiver in mind. Our center stands out for its affectionate and immersive approach to dementia care.

Our team is guided by renowned dementia care expert Laura Wayman, known as the Dementia Whisperer, ensuring effective and compassionate communication and care with all residents. Her influence extends throughout the Hollenbeck Palms community, where we strive to foster dementia awareness among all staff members.

Our cherished residents become integral members of the closely-knit Hollenbeck Palms community. Our approach to nurturing care is built upon a deep understanding of each individual, valuing their distinct attributes and strengths in the present moment. This profound insight guides us as we craft tailored activity and care plans, aligned to the unique requirements and special needs of each person entrusted to our compassionate care.

Embracing the essence of individuality, every resident at the Hensel Memory Enhancement Center undergoes a thoughtful assessment, paving the way for a tailored care journey. With our unique care and cognitive needs at the forefront, a personalized plan is crafted and embraced. We weave together physical wellness, mental vitality and art activities through engagement that caters to unique interests.

Our Los Angeles dementia facility features private and shared suites, spacious communal areas and a tranquil enclosed garden, where residents can enjoy moments with the roses as they embark on a path toward enhanced cognitive, physical, spiritual and psychological well-being.

If you would like to explore the Hensel Memory Enhancement Center further, please schedule a visit. You can contact us at [email protected] or call us at (323) 307-4505.