New Delhi: Medical College of Georgia researchers have discovered that age dramatically delays the time it takes to recover the sense of taste following a significant nerve injury. In the study, Dr. Lynnette McCluskey, neuroscientist in the MCG Schools of Graduate Studies and Medicine, found that when old rats received nerve injuries similar to ones that can occur in ear or dental surgery, their taste buds took essentially twice as long to recover function as their younger counterparts. In younger rats, injury to the chorda tympani nerve, which innervates the front of the tongue, typically prompts an infusion of immune cells called neutrophils to the injury site as well as surrounding tissue.
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