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The greatest and most dramatic improvement in the critical areas of your brain are created by increasing the number of things you smell. This is known as olfactory stimulation. It directly affects your hippocampus, the most crucial center of your memory system.

This system is so sensitive that even a chronically stuffed nose can cause deterioration of the hippocampus. The hippocampus dramatically decreases in size when there is little stimulation of the olfactory system. This is how important the daily quantity of the things you smell is. And compared to years past, we now have far fewer odors in our homes, schools and places of work, so less olfactory stimulation.

You can also see a clear deterioration of your brain even when there are other nasal anatomical blockages that prevent normal olfactory stimulation. Dramatically, when you clear any of these nasal blockages with surgery and hence improve your ability to smell, your brain literally grows. Your hippocampus has once again become normalized.

Why smell is so important to memory

little girl in pigtails smelling a sunflower. Smell helps remember memories

Smell has a direct line to the memory center in the brain

The reason that the olfactory system is the most critical one for memory is that it’s the only sensory system that has direct access to the memory part of your brain. That means it has the most direct pathway to your hippocampus. (In neuroscience, we refer to this as only one synaptic stop.) All the other senses (hearing, sight, touch and taste) have longer pathways and must go through other structures of the brain before getting to the hippocampus. Therefore, they’re not nearly as critical nor as powerful for memory.

This phenomenon is not restricted to stuffed noses or anatomical blockages. The olfactory system is the only sensory system where the first neurons to take in information about the world are completely exposed to that world. That means that any kind of pollutants or toxins such as from air pollution, chemicals in household and industrial products can kill off those neurons, and substantially decrease olfactory stimulation to the memory centers of your brain. (Many people don’t even know they’ve lost their sense of smell from these over time.)

Many diseases also cause a loss of olfaction, and subsequently, a loss of memory.

As You Age, Your Memory Declines

Importantly, as you get older and older, your olfactory system’s receptors in your nose continue to deteriorate with a clear fall off in function after the age of 60. Given the importance of olfactory stimulation in maintaining your memory system, it’s not surprising that this is the time in your life when your memory starts to deteriorate. Indeed, as you age further, both your olfactory system and your memory abilities continue to fall and fail over time. It’s not hard to see this in friends, family and in your community, perhaps even in yourself.

The only thing that we know of that can reverse this decline in both your olfactory system and your memory system is olfactory enrichment. This has been clinically shown to improve your ability to smell, the amount of stimulation to your nose and improve your memory.

Olfactory enrichment consists of a daily exposure to multiple odors, as many as 80.

Olfactory enrichment clinical trials show promise

Even more dramatic is the fact that olfactory enrichment can reverse the memory problems from all dementias like Alzheimer’s Disease. This is something that researchers have been trying to do for many, many years without any success. There have now been more than 550 failed clinical trials for various drugs. None have ever been shown to improve memory, including the most recently approved ones.

Moreover, olfactory enrichment achieves this improvement without any brain inflammation, brain bleeds or brain shrinkage that are the common side effects found from other drugs used to combat dementia.

Introducing the Memory Air Device: Amidst these challenges, we’ve created a groundbreaking solution – the Memory Air device. This innovative device taps into the remarkable connection between smell and memory. By releasing carefully formulated scents during sleep, it triggers specific neural pathways associated with memory enhancement. Learn more at