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J Clin Neurosci. 2002 Sep;9(5):521-4.

Olfactory function in Parkinsonian syndromes.

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Department of Neurology, University of Dresden Medical School, 01307 Dresden, Germany.


The study aimed to compare olfactory function in idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD) and nonidiopathic Parkinson's syndrome (PS). At their first visit 50 PS patients (age 38-80 years) received testing for odor threshold, olfactory discrimination and identification. All patients underwent extensive neurological diagnostics including PET scans. Patients were followed up for 6-12 months. Most of IPD patients were functionally anosmic (n=19), the remaining IPD patients had severe/moderate hyposmia (n=18). PS patients diagnosed with multiple system atrophy had less severe olfactory deficits (7 hyposmia, 1 normosmia). With the exception of 1 hyposmic patient, other PS patients had no olfactory deficits (progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, psychogenic PS, essential tremor). This study added to previous findings: (1) there was no major difference betwesen olfactory function in IPD subtypes; (2) all olfactory tests differentiated IPD from nonIPD. These data suggest that olfactory probes improve the diagnostic armamentarium in IPD.

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