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Aguesia, It's Worse Than It Sounds

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By grinjeri1
Words 487
Pages 2
Name: -------------------
Recitation Day/Time: Thursday 4:00-4:50
Due Date: February 13, 2014
Title: Ageusia, It Is Worse Than It Sounds Statistically ageusia is an extremely rare sensory disorder, which is typically caused after a surgery or fatal accident instead of natural causes. Ageusia is the loss of taste function in the tongue. The chemoreceptors are inhibited on the human’s taste buds and the ability to decipher between something sweet, sour, or bitter is impossible. Although, the person diagnosed with ageusia does still has the ability to detect the texture of the food. Typically patients who have ageusia also have an impairment of smell, since taste is derived through our sense of smell. Researchers at the University of Southern California are trying to discern the minimum level of brain stimulation that a patent can detect by directly applying chemicals to the diagnosed patients tongue. Their research will hopefully provide a cure or temporary protocol on restoring to taste to humans taste buds.
The biological reasons why someone has this disorder ranges from damaged tissue of nerves that support the area of the tongue. Also, some patient causes have been after otologic surgery and damage to the lingual and glossopharyngeal nerve, which both pertain directly to the taste buds. In humans, the chemoreceptors that detect taste are called gustatory receptor cells. About 50 receptor cells, plus basal and supporting cells, make up one taste bud. According to Deguchi (1998) “Once a stimulus activates the gustatory impulse, receptor cells synapse with neurons and pass on electrical impulses to the gustatory area of the cerebral cortex. The brain interprets the sensations as taste” (p. 598). People diagnosed with ageusia have the inability for their receptor cells to recognize the electrical impulses from the gustatory area.
Having a disorder such as ageusia can be unbearable on the mind to know I will never experience different flavors or enjoy eating again. Every item from different cuisines would all taste bland and the only difference I would feel is the texture of each food. Also, some health concern would come into effect if I consume something that is past its expiration date or the detection of molds or any harmful substances. Some scholarly articles have discussed the possibility of patients with this disease becoming anorexic due to lack of motivation to eat. Additionally, many patients will become malnourished and have a serious problem with vitamin deficiency.
In conclusion, I personally do not see any positive effects of having any sensory disorders. Ageusia may be considered moderate compared to blindness, but not having taste would certainly damper anyone’s day. Studies have also shown the chemoreceptors in our taste buds have a positive correlation to the perception of ones mood after consuming a meal.

Deguchi, K., Furuta, S., Imakiire, T., & Ohyama, M. (1996). Case of aguesia from a variety of causes. The Journal of Laryngology & Otology, Volume(110), 598-601.…...

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