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.”
Neuroanatomist Johannes Frasnelli of the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières in Canada says that the study’s authors “have a really sexy story to sell.” But