Boy with autism playing with toy blocks


Autism, for example, can be recognized by the inability to understand social cues. This is mainly associated with the visual difficulty of interpreting facial expressions. However, researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science hypothesize that the sense of smell would also play a role. The research has found that some people with autism are sensitive to certain scents which they inhale differently from the general public, especially from people wearing perfume like the Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Baccarat Rouge 540. Here’s what else they have found.

Social scents

It is known that smells can evoke emotions such as fear, aggression, or happiness. We cannot consciously smell these aromas. They play an important role in nonverbal communication between people. The scientists wanted to study whether the ability to detect these odors is impaired in people with autism.

Autism and social fragrances

For the study, the researchers conducted several experiments on both well-functioning autistics and healthy people. First, they wanted to test their ability to identify odors that can be consciously smelled, such as sweat. No differences were visible here.

Subsequently, all participants were exposed to two smells, namely the ‘smell of fear’ and a control smell. The smell of fear consisted of the sweat of people going skydiving. The control smell consisted of sweat caused by sports. This time, the scientists were able to observe a contrast.

Although the participants could not consciously smell the scents, their bodies did respond to them. For example, the fear smell produced more frightening feelings in the healthy participants. While everyday sweat did not. In the autistic participants, however, the opposite was visible. Their anxiety level increased with the ‘normal’ sports sweat, while these feelings decreased with the anxiety sweat.


ALSO READ: Why Autism and Obesity Tend to Go Hand in Hand


Autism and an anxiety smell

In the third experiment, the researchers created talking robot males. These sent out different odors through their nostrils. Subsequently, the participants were assigned various tasks. These assignments were designed in such a way that the scientists could evaluate the level of trust in the mannequins. Eventually, it became clear that the confidence of the autistic participants increased when a smell of fear was emitted.

Effects of social odors

The scientists also wanted to study the effects of other social odors. For this, they set up an experiment. The participants were simultaneously exposed to sudden loud noises and hexadecane. That’s a component of a body odor known for its potentially calming effect. Then their automatic fear response, the blinking of the eyes, was measured by electrodes. What turned out? The blinking response of the healthy participants was weaker when exposed to hexadecane, while the autistics in this case reacted more strongly.


The scientists conclude that although autistic people can perceive social aromas, they misinterpret the smells. They suggest that the results of their study may be indicative of a link between our sense of smell and the early formation of our brains. Perhaps the ability to sense subtle, chemical odors are not well developed in people with autism.

More research is needed to understand both the function of unconscious, social smells and their role in disorders like autism.


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Inasmuch as almost half of 10 to 17 yr-old autistic American children are overweight or obese, it’s expected they will enter adulthood as obese individuals. A study indicates that those with the most severe case of autism seem to have the greater risk of becoming an obese adult.

According to Carol Curtin, Co-Director of the University of Massachusetts’ Healthy Weight Research Network min Worcester, the new insight recognizes that those diagnosed with severe autism have increased risks of becoming obese. It gives them a lead on what to delve into as a way to help kids and their families cope with autism and obesity problem.

Tanja Kral, a University of Pennsylvania associate professor of nursing said that rapid weight gain is oen of the factors that link obesity to autism. Professor Kral, who was involved in the second study said that among the children with autism, those who experienced rapid weight gain in infancy, have 3.5 times more chances of growing up as an overweight or obese child.

One of the risk factors considered are the medications prescribed to children with severe autism. However, medication does not track on as significantly, as maternal obesity, another factor identified as a cause of rapid weight gain among children.

The second study showed that rapid weight gain originate early in life, and carries onward during infancy. It was noted that obese or overweight mothers are 2.4 times more likely to give birth to an obese child.

Women who were already overweight or obese when they became pregnant, are deemed as having 2.4 times more chances of nurturing an overweight baby, when compared to mothers who followed the weight-gain recommendations during the prenatal stage.

In the second study, the rapid weight gain trend actually appeared across all children who participated. The result was regardless of whether or not the children were diagnosed as autistic. This particular finding suggests that maternal obesity can indeed increase the risk of childhood obesity.

Lose Excess Weight Before Becoming Pregnant

Doctors have often advised obese female patients to lose extra pounds before getting pregnant. Since obesity is linked as a causal factor in the development of health problems like diabetes, heart disease, respiratory problems, high blood pressure an cancer, their occurrence during the conception stage can complicate a pregnant condition.

Be in the know that there’s a weight loss product today that can speed up excess weight removal, called PhenQ. The PhenQ pills block certain enzymes as a way to stop the body from producing and storing more fat. The clinically approved ingredients are formulated in such a way that stimulates the body’s metabolism to burn more calories during resting stage through the natural thermogenic process of producing energy for the body.

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