Anosmia--or loss of the sense of smell--is one of the world's most overlooked killers. Without being able to smell, anosmics find themselves unlikely to smell gas leaks, smoke, or even spoiled food. People who become anosmic later in life are also likely to see a large decrease in appetite (leading some extreme dieters to seek procedures to remove their sense of smell, only later to regret this irreversible action) and even decrease in libido. Furthermore, anosmics may be more likely to pick unsuitable partners as smell has been shown to be linked to choosing people with genetic code that is compatible with our own.
However, this once life threatening condition may be a thing of the past with the release of RLP's Olfactory Implant.
Much like the Cochlear and Corneal Implants that came before it, the RLP Olfactory Implant involves a bundle of sensors that are surgically implanted into the nose. Humans currently have about 350 smell receptors, while the first implant we release will have 116 (in comparison, early cochlear implants had far less resolution). These receptors will be connected to nerves and neurons that fire into the limbic region of the brain--that is known to be connected to smell.
Like cochlear implant patients, olfactory implant patients will find their sense of smell improving with time as neurons learn to connect the new data they are being given with certain smells. This process will begin immediately upon "turn on" of the new device, but may take years to complete.
An external processor worn near the collarbone will provide the potential for softare upgrades in the future.
The first Olfactory Implants will be tested in human patients beginning in the spring of 2012. In order to sign up for a trial and find out if you are eligible, please contact [email address] or call [1-800-NUMBER].