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Nihon Jibiinkoka Gakkai Kaiho. 1995 Feb;98(2):267-80.

[Healing process of taste receptor disturbance].

[Article in Japanese]

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Nihon University School of Medicine, Tokyo.


Patients with taste receptor disturbance were treated with zinc dosage, and their healing process was traced through the filter-paper-disc method and electrogustometry. The number of cases studied was 119,45 with idiopathic taste disturbance, 38 with drug-induced taste disturbance and 36 with zinc-deficient taste disturbance. 1) Three patterns of taste recovery were observed on the tongue surface. Out of a total of 119 cases, 54 cases (45.4%) were found to be improving on the anterior as well as posterior parts of the tongue simultaneously (simultaneous improvement type). Fifty-three cases (44.5%) showed recovery in the posterior part of the tongue (area of the glossopharyngeal nerve) earlier than in other parts of the tongue (posterior improvement type). Only 12 cases (10.1%) showed recovery in the anterior part of the tongue (area of the chorda tympani nerve) earlier than in other parts of the tongue (anterior improvement type), a significantly smaller number of cases compared with the other two types. In particular, very few cases of zinc deficient taste disturbance belonged to the anterior improvement type. Zinc dosage treatment proved to be more rapidly effective for the simultaneous improvement type. 2) With respect to differences in the recovery process of the four primary tastes, a tendency for the sweet and bitter taste qualities to recover earlier than the others was observed in the simultaneous improvement type. However, no phenomenon was observed that could support the existence of the so-called "tongue map", such as the bitter and sour taste recover first among the posterior improvement type or the sweet taste improving first among the anterior improvement type. 3) The results of this study revealed that the treatment of taste receptor disturbances starts with the posterior part of the tongue, which abounds in taste buds. 4) The study also demonstrated that electrogustometry is not suitable for tracing the process of taste receptor disturbance. 5) When tracing the effectiveness of treatment of taste receptor disturbance through the filter paper-disc method, it is sufficient to measure only the posterior part of the tongue (area of the glossopharyngeal nerve) until signs of healing appear.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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