Kids with disorder inhale foul odors as much as pleasing scents
Rozenkrantz et al/Current Biology 2015 (graph), Ofer Perl (image)
A 10-minute test could help doctors sniff out autism, a new study contends.
Whether smelling roses or sour milk, children with autism inhale about the same amount of air, researchers report July 2 in Current Biology. In contrast, kids without the disorder breathe in pleasant scents more deeply than stinky ones.
The findings hint that a whiff-and-sniff test could one day offer a quick and easy way to determine whether a child has autism. But the study was small, and other researchers are not convinced.
“It’s a good idea,” says Neil Martin, a psychologist at Regent’s University London who studies the sense of smell. But “you can’t draw any conclusions from this study yet.”