The COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions worldwide, causing many symptoms that can persist long after recovery. One of the most common and persistent symptoms is olfactory dysfunction, including the partial loss of smell known as hyposmia. This condition can significantly impact the quality of life, making it difficult to enjoy food and detect potential dangers, such as gas leaks and smoke.
Olfactory training can effectively treat post-viral olfactory dysfunction. However, there is still much to learn about promoting recovery from smell disorders after post-COVID-19. It has been suggested that neuroinflammatory events within the olfactory bulb and the central nervous system may be responsible for smell disorders after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Therefore, targeting neuroinflammation is one potential strategy for promoting recovery from post-COVID-19 chronic olfactory dysfunction.
Clinical TrialPalmitoylethanolamide and luteolin (PEA-LUT) are candidate anti-inflammatory/neuroprotective agents that may effectively improve post-COVID-19 smell disorders. In a recent multicenter double-blinded randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial, researchers investigated the recovery of olfactory function in patients treated with PEA-LUT oral supplements plus olfactory training versus olfactory training plus placebo.
The study included 185 patients with prior COVID-19 and persistent smell impairment >6 months after follow-up SARS-CoV-2 negative testing without previous history of olfactory dysfunction or other sinonasal disorders. Participants were randomized to daily oral supplementation with ultra-micronized PEA-LUT 770 mg plus smell training (intervention group) or smell training with placebo (control). Sniffin' Sticks assessments were used to test the patients at baseline and 90 days.