Go ahead and take a deep whiff of the next glass of wine you see (and the next one, and the next one). Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas found in a preliminary study that master sommeliers — people who arguably rely on their sense of smell more than anyone else — are less likely to get Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s than people who don’t soak in delicious smells for a living.
The study, which was published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, compared brain scans of 13 sommeliers and 13 people with much less interesting jobs. The researchers noticed key differences in certain areas of the sommeliers’ brains.
For one, as to be expected, sections of the sommeliers’ brains that deal with the olfactory (smell) network were thicker. Additionally, parts of the brain that deal with memory were thicker. Which makes sense if you think about it, since sommeliers are expected to remember not only how a wine tastes, but the region, history and year of that wine as well. (abbriged)
Smell, and be well!