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Coronavirus

When COVID-19 Robs Your Sense Of Smell, Train The Brain To Get It Back

No specific treatment or medication exists to treat anosmia. And yet, a patient's brain can be trained to accelerate the recovery of the lost sense of smell.

In some cases,  anosmia can last for several months
In some cases, anosmia can last for several months
Anne Sophie Goninet

One of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, along with the even more common fever, dry cough and tiredness, is what is called anosmia: the sudden loss of the sense of smell. In some cases, this symptom can last for several months. And the longer it endures, the more of a psychological challenge it becomes. That is why doctors are recommending "olfactory training" to help patients recover their sense of smell more rapidly.

A frequent symptom: Studies suggest that the loss of the sense of smell is a pathognomonic symptom, meaning it is characteristic of a particular disease, in this case, coronavirus. "No other virus known until now has had this effect on the olfactory activity," Hirac Gurden, research director in neuroscience at the French National Center for Scientific Research, told the French daily Les Echos. "If someone catches the flu, anosmia can persist in rare cases in the long term, but never appear overnight."

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade: Will It Spark Anti-Abortion Momentum Around The World?

Pro-life activists celebrated the end of the U.S. right to abortion, hoping it will trigger a new debate on a topic that in some places had largely been settled: in favor a woman’s right to choose. But it could also boomerang.

Thousands of people demonstrate against abortion in Madrid

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou and Shaun Lavelle

The Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling establishing a constitutional right to abortion put the United States at the forefront of abortion rights in the world.

Other countries would follow suit in the succeeding years, with France legalizing abortion in 1975, Italy in 1978, and Ireland finally joining most of the rest of Europe with a landslide 2018 referendum victory for women’s right to choose. Elsewhere, parts of Asia and Africa have made incremental steps toward legalizing abortion, while a growing number of Latin American countries have joined what has now been a decades-long worldwide shift toward more access to abortion rights.

But now, 49 years later, with last Friday’s landmark overturning of Roe v. Wade, will the U.S. once again prove to be ahead of the curve? Will American cultural and political influence carry across borders on the abortion issue, reversing the momentum of recent years?

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