I lost the ability to smell a particular smell due to an exposure to solvents years ago. It has never fully come back. I had always assumed that simply meant I had permanently destroyed my ORNs for that smell. However, I have recently read that ORNs are replaced every 60 days.

Is it possible to lose all ORNs for a smell and have them never come back? I'd love to know whether my long term loss of smell is due to something cognative, or whether it is a complete lack of inputs from the nose.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm confused by what you mean when you say "something cognitive". Do you mean central nervous function? $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Mar 30 '16 at 11:27
  • $\begingroup$ @anongoodnurse I am referring to something dealing with the processing of the information, rather than the part which generates the information from the stimulus in the first place. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Mar 30 '16 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ I would suggest that you remove all personal references and simply focus on the question on "whether ORs regenerate" $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Mar 31 '16 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG Is that a preferred way to do things on this stack exchange? On some of the SE's I frequent, the personal reference content can be useful for trying to work through any mistaken terminology that might come up in the objective part of the question. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Mar 31 '16 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ @CortAmmon Yes; when you explain the context of a terminology that you might have encountered but personal experiences such as this one do not provide any context. It is not necessary for others to know about the incident in order to answer your question on olfactory receptors. Whatever your sensory perceptions are, after the said incident could be simply idiosyncratic and are therefore considered as an anecdotal evidence. Your personal reference just makes the reader think that you are just asking about what happened with you, which I believe is not really the case. Hence the suggestion. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Mar 31 '16 at 20:13

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