The Azerbaijan State News Agency

SOCIETY

'Scent therapy' helps unlock memories in people with depression, trial finds

'Scent therapy' helps unlock memories in people with depression, trial finds

Baku, February 19, AZERTAC

Scent therapy could be a useful tool for helping people with depression tap into their autobiographical memories, a small trial hints, according to Live Science.

People with depression may struggle to recall specific memories about their lives — for instance, a dinner party with friends or a visit to their favorite coffee shop. Now, a small trial suggests that "scent therapy" could help people with depression unlock those difficult-to-access autobiographical memories (AMs).

The trial, described Tuesday (Feb. 13) in the journal JAMA Network Open, included 32 adults with major depressive disorder and used familiar scents — such as coffee grounds, oranges and Vicks VapoRub — as prompts for the participants to recall specific memories. So, for example, if presented with coffee, a person might think of meeting up with their sibling for lattes on a specific spring afternoon, as opposed to just generally thinking of the local cafe they often visit.

Previous studies had tried similar memory tests but instead used words and pictures as cues for the participants. So, in the new trial, the scientists switched between scents and words as cues, to see if one type of trigger might be more effective at jogging people's autobiographical memories. They found that the participants recalled more specific memories when cued by smell.

"It was surprising to me that nobody thought to look at memory recall in depressed individuals using scent cues before," senior study author Kymberly Young, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, said in a statement. Scents are known to trigger strong, often emotional, memories in a unique way that other stimuli don't necessarily do.

"The olfactory system is the only sensory system that has a direct, superhighway access to the memory centers of the brain and the emotional centers of the brain," Michael Leon, a professor emeritus of neurobiology and behavior at the University of California, Irvine, who wasn’t involved with the new study, told NBC News. "All the other senses have to take the side streets to get there."

So, in theory, harnessing smell might be a good strategy for rewiring those emotional centers in depression and unlocking the memories they help to recall. "If we improve memory, we can improve problem solving, emotion regulation and other functional problems that depressed individuals often experience," Young said.

"In the verbal cue condition, 52% of memories were specific, while in the odor cue condition, 68% of memories were specific," the study authors wrote in the paper. "Additionally, we found that these AMs are rated more arousing and vivid upon recall," compared with the memories cued by words, they noted.

The team plans to run future trials with the addition of brain scans, to see how the amygdala, a key emotion-processing hub in the brain, responds to the treatment.

"We hope this initial study spurs larger studies in more diverse samples that include healthy control participants" — meaning people without depression — "to further investigate and explain these associations," they concluded.

 

 

Share news on social media

Follow us on social network

Cabinet of Ministers convenes to address implementation of order on electric vehicle promotion

Azerbaijan names 18 boxers for European Championships in Belgrade

Potential priorities and plans of Azerbaijan`s CICA chairmanship in 2024-2026 discussed

® Kapital Bank OJSC's bonds placed at Baku Stock Exchange

AZAL and DFS Aviation Services agree to modernize Lachin Airport

Action plan related to designation of city of Shusha as 'Youth Capital of Organization of Islamic Cooperation' to be prepared - ORDER

International Renewable Energy Agency’s 14th Assembly continues with panel sessions

New Caledonian delegation visits NAM Youth Organization’s headquarters VIDEO

Over 90 pct of Sudanese school-age children deprived of formal education due to conflict: UNICEF

Chair of New Caledonian Congress Committee visits St. Mary's Catholic Church in Baku VIDEO

Submissions open for 2nd Silk Road Global News Awards

‘New Caledonian people highly appreciate Azerbaijan’s support’

Former No. 1 pick Blake Griffin retires after 14 seasons

‘Revenues from Azerbaijan’s transport sector increased by 15 per cent’

Around 40 new epidemics recorded each year in West African sub-region

Azerbaijani pool player claims European championship title

UK lawmakers vote to approve plans to ban smoking for those born after 2009

UAE ready to support Azerbaijan during its presidency of COP29

Hikmet Hajiyev: The withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from Azerbaijani territory ahead of schedule has been decided by the leaders of both countries

Donald Trump falls $75mn behind Joe Biden in money race as donor base shrinks

71 killed, 67 injured in rain-related accidents in Pakistan

Azerbaijani ambassador presents his credentials to President of Portugal

Energy Minister: Azerbaijan will play an important role in regional integration in field of renewable energy

Most massive stellar black hole in the Milky Way discovered 'extremely close' to Earth

UNEC included in same group as world universities in international ranking

® “Her Action in Art” festival: celebrating women's contributions in art

Azerbaijan, International Renewable Energy Agency discuss prospects for cooperation

President Ilham Aliyev received Secretary General of Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia VIDEO

14th Assembly of International Renewable Energy Agency gets underway in Abu Dhabi

From Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, President of the Republic of the Philippines

Honda to launch next-generation EVs in China by 2027

Researchers in Australia identify 3 new species of extinct kangaroos

Foreign Ministry: France’s accusation against Azerbaijan of unilateral actions are completely unfounded

Azerbaijan, EU discuss current state and prospects for developing relations

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry: Quadrocopter attempting to carry out reconnaissance flights in direction of Tovuz district neutralized VIDEO

Antibiotics aren't effective for most lower tract respiratory infections

Japan probes Google antitrust allegation concerning ad services

Azerbaijani oil price exceeds 93 dollars

Global oil prices drop

People's Artist of Azerbaijan Chingiz Sadykhov’s 95th anniversary marked in Northern California

Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain both reach Champions League semifinals with comebacks

Trump trial gets underway in New York with jury selection in historic case

Release of the Press Service of the President

Tree-planting campaign held in Baku

Renovated courtyards handed over to residents with participation of Leyla Aliyeva

Baku presents official poster of ISSF World Cup

World Bank welcomes “ASAN service" concept

Azerbaijan name 7 gymnasts to compete in FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup - AG Trophy in Baku

US NSA Jake Sullivan postpones India visit amid Middle East crisis

Coral reefs hit by fourth global bleaching event

Azerbaijan, ACWA Power discuss cooperation on onshore and offshore wind energy projects

Azerbaijan exports crude oil and oil products worth about $3.5 billion in Q1 2024

Abu Dhabi playing host to 14th Assembly of International Renewable Energy Agency

Memorandum of Understanding on establishing Türkiye-Azerbaijan University approved - ORDER

bp begins oil production from major new platform offshore Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan exports 67.600 tons of petroleum coke in Q1 2024

Mexico City records record-high temperature of 34.2C

Copenhagen fire: Spire collapses as historic stock exchange engulfed by flames

World's fastest camera captures footage at 156 trillion frames per second

Tesla lays off ‘more than 10 percent’ of its workforce, loses top executives

® First quarter 2024 financial results revealed by Kapital Bank

President Ilham Aliyev laid foundation stone for Shirvan irrigation canal in Hajigabul district
The head of state addressed the event VIDEO

Azerbaijan will also become a reliable green hydrogen supplier for EU, says Energy Minister

UEFA Champions League quarterfinal 2nd leg to kick off with 2 matches

Azerbaijani gymnasts to flight for glory at Czech Aerobic Open 2024

Türkiye’s 1st indigenous Earth observation satellite completes 1st year in space

Azerbaijan, Türkiye exchange mutual experience in military information field

Military ammunition found in Azerbaijan’s Jabrayil district

President Ilham Aliyev: We are doing everything in a planned manner in order to obtain maximum efficiency from every inch of land VIDEO

President: We now have full possession of our water resources

President Ilham Aliyev: Caspian Sea water desalination project is underway

President of Azerbaijan: We are implementing large-scale work in Karabakh and Eastern Zangezur that is unmatched on a global scale VIDEO

President: Many infrastructure projects have been solved in Azerbaijan

Major infrastructure projects facing the government in the coming years disclosed

President: Efficient utilization of water resources is our primary task

Azerbaijani President: The Shirvan canal will be our largest project in terms of water volume and coverage of farmland

President: After the Shirvan irrigation canal has been put into operation, Lake Hajigabul will also be filled

President Ilham Aliyev: Among infrastructure projects implemented in Azerbaijan in recent years, Shirvan irrigation canal holds special importance

Australia: 15-year-old arrested over Sydney church stabbing

South Caucasus is a region of growing importance, says Kazakh expert

Baku hosting Azerbaijan Insurtech Summit for first time

Combined Arms Army conducts technical inspection of auto vehicles

UN’s Indigenous Issues Permanent Forum opens session focused on youth voices

Baku Book Center hosts presentation of methodological manual “Azerbaijani language proficiency level requirements”

Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication transferred all information systems to "Government Cloud"

Azerbaijan, Serbia explore current state and prospects of strategic partnership

China's GDP expands 5.3 pct year on year in Q1

Oil prices go up in global markets

Azerbaijani oil price declines in global markets

Azerbaijani FM meets with President of Uzbekistan

Geneva hosts International Day of Nowruz

Canton Fair opens in China with surge in overseas purchasers

Turkish foreign minister, UN chief discuss recent regional developments

ANAMA highlights Azerbaijan's mine action efforts in liberated territories

Nadal confirms comeback at Barcelona Open, to face Cobolli

Seventeen in hospital after football fans’ minibus crashes in West Yorkshire

® Baku Steel Company CJSC represents Azerbaijan in Dusseldorf

® Kapital Bank introduces exciting “50 gün 50 hədiyyə” (“50 days 50 gifts”) lottery

Bulgaria to host European, Balkan Cups in whitewater rafting in April

Academician Zarifa Aliyeva commemorated in Ukraine