Coronavirus: a new study to make Covid patients recover their senses of smell

Published by Laurent P. · Published on 3 November 2020 at 14h43
Giving the sense of smell back to coronavirus patients that lost it… This is the ambition of Nancy-Brabois hospital, as they launched a brand-new study to implement a new olfactive reeducation protocol.

Getting the sense of smell back after being infected with coronavirus is not always an easy task… Reeducation can be long, and there are not 36 solutions to smell what is around us again: you have to practice and train. But sometimes, training is not enough, and this is why the Nancy-Brabois University hospital has announced they will launch a new study on a new olfactive reeducation protocol.

How does it work? According to doctor Duc Trung Nguyen, ENT specialist at the hospital, the idea of this reeducation protocol is to add four scents: lavender, strawberry, cut grass and spruce, to the four basic scents (clove, eucalyptus, rose and lemon). Smells already used by German and Belgian doctors.

With four new scents, it accelerates reeducation and see if it is more effective tooDr. Nguyen says, explaining “olfactive reeducation is still little practiced in France”. The goal of this reeducation? “Renewing the olfactive cells” that have been “brutally” damaged by the infection, Dr. Nguyen goes on.

A symptom yet found in “two thirds of the people infected by covid in Europe, but only 4.8% in China” he says. But there is still one question without an answer: “perhaps the question did not arise in China. Perhaps the virus is not entirely the same. Perhaps it is genetical between a Caucasian and an Asian”, the searcher explains.

The study will include 80 patients likely to soon use a new kit developed by the Saint-Malo laboratory including small tubes holding strong concentration of smells. These scents will be “breathed in” for 10 seconds, twice a day, with 30 second-lap between each tube, to teach one’s brain again smells and differentiate each one of them. Halfway-through, an examination is also scheduled during which patients will have to say if they can smell something or not. A second exercise, still included in the study will consist in identifying smells smelt during the test. All in all, 16 categories will be available including four smells per tube.

A study that will end with an auscultation of the nasal cavity to determine if this loss of smell is related to coronavirus or not, by placing a camera “to look for a likely polyp or allergic rhinitis”, as said by Le Point. However, this is a long process to fully recover your olfactive skills.

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