Vitamin A nasal drops are being tried as a potential treatment for people who have lost their sense of smell after suffering from COVID.
In the 12-week “Apollo trial”, experts from the University of East Anglia (UEA) will explore how nasal drops can help repair tissues in the nose damaged by the virus.
The university said research from Germany has shown potential benefits of the vitamin.
Volunteers participating in the test will be asked to smell rotten eggs and smells like roses. A brain scan will then be done to check whether the treatment has repaired the damaged nerves.
“We will be looking for changes in the shape of the olfactory bulb – the area above the nose where the smell nerves fuse together and connect to the brain,” said lead researcher Professor Carl Philpott from Norwich Medical School at UEA. We will also look at activity in areas of the brain associated with smell recognition.”
Results are expected about 12 weeks after the trial begins in December.
Loss of smell or an altered sense of smell is a common symptom of COVID-19, although many other viruses, such as the flu, can also cause it.
While most people understand naturally within a couple of weeks, many have been left with constant disruption.
Prof Philpott said the UEA team hopes the study “could one day help improve the lives of millions of people around the world who suffer from a lack of smell by turning back their fifth sense”.
Vitamin A — found naturally in many dairy foods — is already known to help the immune system and enhance eyesight.
But those who use dietary supplements should do so with caution: Too much can be harmful.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /