Q. Most of our readers have taken an interest in smell training as a therapy to help them improve their sense of smell after smell loss. As a cell biologist, what message do you have for our readers about smell training and its role in helping those with smell dysfunction?
A. I think that the most important message is that smell training is not a far-fetched notion. It is based on years of learning how the olfactory and nervous systems work, and
specifically, how nerve cells — and especially olfactory nerve cells — are generated or
maintained. Our understanding of smell training is also based on our understanding of how the brain makes new connections and reinforces existing connections.  We know that using a neural pathway reinforces and strengthens that pathway. And so, not only is smell training helping the olfactory receptor cells, but it also is helping to create pathways in the brain that will be better able to receive, interpret and remember the information that it is getting.