A new study says that people born without a sense of smell experience higher social insecurity. Consequently, they are at an increased risk for depression.
Led by Ilona Croy of the University of Dresden Medical School in Germany, the researchers of the study investigated 32 individuals born without a sense of smell, known as isolated congenital anosmia.
They found that the non-smellers did not have significant deviations from the norm in terms of many daily smell-related functions, such as food preferences and eating behaviours, but they did have increased social insecurity, increased risk for depression, as well as increased risk for household accidents.
The mechanism behind these correlations is not yet known, but the results suggested that olfaction plays a role in these behaviours, according to the researchers.
The study was published Mar. 21 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.