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Type 2 Diabetes and Smelling Problems May Be Associated, Researchers Suggest

Did you know type 2 diabetes and olfactory disorders may be associated? A new study, which was conducted by researchers from the Karolinska Institutet, suggests the link between the two conditions.

In a study involving rats with type 2 diabetes, researchers discovered some variations in certain nerve cells that are vital to the rodents’ ability to identify scents. With these findings, the researchers hoped it will be used to explain why people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes encounter loss of their sense of smell. Moreover, the researchers are looking forward to a new research field to open, focusing on the development of preventive treatments for neurodegenerative diseases affecting type 2 diabetics.

It is a medically accepted view that people with type 2 diabetes are likely to struggle with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Among the early signs of having a neurodegenerative condition is the impaired sense of smell.

The inability to identify scents is found in type 2 diabetics. This suggests the link between olfactory disorders and neurodegenerative disease. These findings are published in the journal Oncotarget.

Co-study author Grazyna Lietzau has this to say about the association between the two disorders: “Neurodegenerative diseases are highly present within the type 2 diabetic population.”

The researchers hoped that this discovery could propel further studies to prevent the onset other cognitive impairment.

“We believe that these findings could be important for the potential development of preventive pharmacological therapies against for example Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in these patients,” Lietzau added.

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