Essay on The True Relationship Between Taste and Smell

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It has been alleged that the perception of flavor and aroma are “derived from the senses of chemical irritation, taste and smell” (Rawson, 2003). Collectively, these senses constitute what has been termed chemosensation, even though these sensory systems are supposedly very different in their physiology and anatomy. Nevertheless, they do have the ability to “regenerate, and their noted susceptibility to aging and age associated diseases” (Rawson, 2003). In the article Is age related olfactory loss uniform across odorants? It has been reported that nearly one third of all older persons report displeasure with their sense of smell and taste, and the actual occurrence of sensory loss amongst the elderly is maintained to be
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Loss within the sensory system can be attributed to changes in structural anatomy such as loss of olfactory receptor cells or taste buds, changes or variance in the levels of particular receptor proteins or ion channels, or environmental changes surrounding the receptor cell such as changes in the composition of mucus in the nasal passages or reduction in salivation. An example of loss within sensory system provided by researcher Nancy Rawson in her (2003) article “Age Related Changes in Perception of Flavor and Aroma”. This paper proves the use of dentures as they have the ability to contribute to changes in taste perception because of the physical barrier to some of the membranes where receptors reside, reduced salivation and the exposure of the receptors to compounds that the dental adhesive tends to release. Chronic diseases are also posited as impactful on sensory functionality, particularly cancer and diabetes, or even therapeutic interventions such as radiation, surgery and certain medications. In many instances, what causes chemosensory loss is undetermined and is often untreatable until the cause is determined and more is known regarding the age related factors that lead to such phenomenon. Researchers have also posited that deficits in sensory perception may be indicative of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease
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