A study conducted by the US National Institute of Health shows that 6.5% of the contestants experienced phantom odors. They also found that in some age groups twice as many women as men answered in the positive to smelling odors like burnt wood when there is nothing around. Some risk factors for the onset of phantom odors include head injury, dry mouth, poor overall health, and low socio-economic status. The causes might be attributed either to an overactive odor sensing activity or when the part of the brain that understands odor signals, misfires.
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