Navigation Links
For some who have lost their sense of smell, a once popular asthma drug could help
Date:4/7/2008

SAN DIEGO, CA -- Despite the fact that millions of Americans are believed to have lost their sense of smell (hyposmia), no effective method exists to treat many of these people. That is due in part to the fact that the causes of smell loss are varied and complex, ranging from chronic allergies, viral infection, head injury, or no apparent reason at all. Some seven percent of Americans have lost their sense of smell and with it their ability to enjoy the fragrance of flowers, foods and beverages. For individuals whose smell loss relates the biochemistry of two common proteins, there is some good news. A team of researchers has found that a drug used long ago to help asthmatics can benefit some with smell loss.

The Study

The results are contained in a study entitled Effective Treatment of Smell Loss With Theophylline. It was conducted by Robert I. Henkin, Irina Velicu and Loren Schmidt all of the Taste and Smell Clinic, Center for Molecular Nutritional Sensory Disorders, Washington, DC. Dr. Henkin will present his team's findings at the 121st annual meeting of the American Physiological Society (APS; www.the-APS.org/press), part of the Experimental Biology 2008 scientific conference.

A total of 369 individuals were enrolled in the study. Of the total, 314 had smell loss and 55 did not; 169 were female and 145 were male. The participants were 53 years of age - 1 year. Smell loss was measured using standard testing procedures to determine the type, degree and character of smell loss. These included objective smell function (psychophysical) and subjective (quantitative evaluation of smell loss) methods. Blood measures and smell function were evaluated regularly throughout the study.

The researchers had previously discovered that decreased levels of two proteins V cyclic AMP (cAMP) and cyclic GMP (cGMP) -- in nasal mucus inhibited growth and development of olfactory receptor cells and thus caused smell loss. For this reason, patients consumed 200, 400 or 600 mg of theophylline (correlated to blood levels) for a period of 2-6 months.

The drug theophylline is a generalized phosphodiesterase inhibitor. Physicians have determined that the drug is a generalized inhibitor which means it causes certain chemicals like cAMP and cGMP to increase. Thus, the higher the levels of cAMP the greater the ability to smell. This is true to a lesser extent for cGMP. It had been used widely in the l940s and 1950s for the treatment of asthma and has been shown to restore the biochemical problems associated with smell loss in recent years. It has not, however, been approved by the FDA for this purpose.

Results

At the end of the study the researchers found that:

  • Psychophysical measurements showed that smell function had increased for more than 70 percent of the participants.

  • Subjective measurements showed an increase in smelling ability for 47 percent of the participants.

  • No correlation in theophylline blood levels changes were evident between those whose smell loss improved and those whose smell level did not improve.

  • There were no significant differences in improvement based on gender or age.

  • When patients improved and stayed on the drug they continued to improve. Conversely, if they improved their ability to smell then stopped the drug they lost the gains they had made in their ability to smell.

Conclusion

According to Dr. Henkin, "It is well known that millions of Americans have smell loss. It is less well known that many of these patients have lower than normal levels of cAMP and cGMP and that theophylline is useful to them since it increases the proteins in the mucus levels of their nasal passages." He continued, "These findings do not relate to all patients with smell loss but to the many who have this biochemical abnormality. Ina similar vein, treatment of patients with high cholesterol with cholesterol lowering agents is useful in treatment of heart disease, but there are many causes of heart disease besides elevated cholesterol."

A screening test for those with biochemistry-based smell loss is at: www.tasteandsmell.com.


'/>"/>

Contact: Donna Krupa
DKrupa@the-aps.org
619-525-6202
American Physiological Society
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. ESF EURYI award winner aims to stop cancer cells reading their own DNA
2. Elephantnose fish see with their chin
3. Flies can turn off their immune response
4. UCR plant cell biologist to study how plant stem cells maintain and change their identity
5. Species still have more viable offspring if they can choose their best mate
6. Spatial patterns in tropical forests can help to understand their high biodiversity
7. Clever plants chat over their own network
8. Saltwater crocodiles can find their way home
9. Doctors learn to control their own brains pain responses to better treat patients
10. Sea cucumbers fast track organ regrowth by healing their wounds
11. Scientists uncover how hormones achieve their effects
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to ... The ... a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade to reach ... analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017   Neurotechnology , ... recognition technologies, today announced the release of the ... which provides improved facial recognition using up to ... a single computer. The new version uses deep ... accuracy, and it utilizes a Graphing Processing Unit ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... , March 20, 2017 At this year,s ... -based biometrics manufacturer DERMALOG. The Chancellor came to the DERMALOG stand ... is this year,s CeBIT partner country. At the largest German biometrics ... in use: fingerprint, face and iris recognition as well as DERMALOGĀ“s multi-biometrics ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/21/2017)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2017 ... ... support tool that helps avoid the lengthy trial and error process by finding ... patients. It can also strengthen the doctor-patient relationship through a personalized approach ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... ... May 19, 2017 , ... ... Program. Academic researchers with technologies ripe for commercialization, and who are affiliated ... Delaware, are encouraged to submit proposals. QED, now in its tenth round, is ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 18, 2017 , ... ... Tapas Cooking Challenge is a two-hour team-building package designed for groups of 10-30 ... Chef Jodi Abel, which include items, such as Blackened Shrimp with Edamame Salad, ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 17, 2017 , ... NDA Partners ... executive and former CEO of Eurofins Advantar Laboratories and President of Pharmaceutical Development Business ... to his position at Eurofins and Cardinal Health, he was former Chief Operating Officer ...
Breaking Biology Technology: