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Find more clinical trials

Sensory Enrichment for Older Adults

Start: March 8, 2019
End: June 2021
Enrollment: 200

What Is This Study About?

Multi-odorant enrichment has been shown to increase neurogenesis and improve memory in mice. This study will explore whether a scent stimulation can improve cognitive skills and quality of life in older adults. Participants will be randomly assigned to exposure to either a low or high concentration of essential oils, delivered by a nebulizer, nightly for two hours. They will rotate through seven different scents, one per night, for six months. Researchers will assess cognition and mood. Half of participants will have an MRI scan at the beginning and end of the study to examine changes in the brain.

Do I Qualify To Participate in This Study?

Minimum Age: 60 Years

Maximum Age: 85 Years

Must have:

  • Normal cognition
  • Speak, read, and understand English fluently
  • Seeing and hearing ability adequate for neuropsychological and computerized testing
  • Good general health with no disease(s) expected to interfere with the study
  • Ability to smell scents
  • Willingness to refrain from using scented candles, scented oils, or air fresheners while participating in the study
  • Able to participate in a fMRI scan

Must NOT have:

  • Known fragrance sensitivities
  • Asthma, allergies, or a fragrance sensitivity that produces symptoms similar to those of an allergy, including runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, or skin rash
  • Neurological disease such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, brain cyst, tumor, or aneurysm
  • Major health conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, uncontrolled hypertension, nutritional deficiency, or thyroid disease
  • Significant psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Cognitive impairment when tested at baseline (defined as a score on any neuropsychological test of 1.5 standard deviations or more outside the age norm)
  • Alcohol or substance abuse or dependence within the past 2 years
  • Smoke cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, marijuana, or any other substance that could produce an interfering odor for the study
  • If interested in fMRI, contraindications to MRI such as pacemaker, aneurysm clips, artificial heart valves, ear implants, metal fragments or foreign objects in the eyes, skin or body

If I Qualify, Who Do I Contact?

Contact study personnel listed either under the general study contact or the location nearest you.


Need Help?

Contact NIA’s Alzheimer’s and related Dementias Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center at 800-438-4380 or email ADEAR.

Where Is This Study Located?

Who Sponsors This Study?

Lead: University of California, Irvine

Collaborator Sponsor

  • Procter and Gamble

Source: ID: NCT03914989

An official website of the U.S. government, managed by the National Institutes on Aging at the National Institutes of Health