A recent study has found that menthol can improve cognitive abilities in mice with Alzheimer’s disease. The study discovered that the chemical compound can help stop some of the damage done to the brain that is usually linked with the disease. Researchers have observed that menthol can reduce the interleukin-1-beta (IL-1β) protein, which regulates the body’s inflammatory response. This response can offer natural protection, but it can cause harm when it is not controlled properly.
The Potential of Smells as Therapies for Alzheimer’s Disease
Researchers believe that the study results exhibit the potential for specific smells to be used as therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. By discovering which odors cause which brain and immune system responses, they can be used to improve health. The team behind the study has focussed on the olfactory system’s role in the immune and central nervous systems and confirmed that menthol is an immunostimulatory odor in animal models.
The Relationship Between Smells and Our Immune and Nervous Systems
Scientists have already established a connection between smells and our immune and nervous systems. Certain smells can trigger specific responses in the brain that affect memory and emotion. Diseases related to the central nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and schizophrenia, often come with a loss of smell. The new research adds some promising data, but human testing is needed to confirm these results.
In conclusion, the study shows that the course of menthol for a six-month-long period was enough to stop the cognitive abilities and memory capabilities of mice with Alzheimer’s from deteriorating. The study also showed that menthol pushed the IL-1β protein back to safe levels in the brain. These findings suggest that odors and immune modulators may play an important role in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s and other diseases related to the central nervous system.