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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2004 Jan-Feb;38(1-2):81-3.

Paradoxical association between smoking and olfactory identification in psychosis versus controls.

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Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, The Park Centre for Mental Health, Wacol, Queensland, 4076, Australia.



Deficits in olfactory identification have been demonstrated in patients with schizophrenia. This study examined the interaction between smoking and olfactory identification in patients with psychotic disorders versus well controls.


Olfactory identification was assessed in three groups of subjects using the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT). Sixteen patients with affective psychoses, 22 patients with nonaffective psychoses, and 21 well controls were tested.


There was a significant interaction between diagnostic classification (patient or control) and smoking. Patients who were smokers scored higher on the UPSIT than non-smokers, while controls who were smokers scored lower than non-smokers.


Smoking may have a 'normalising' effect on olfactory identification in some patients with psychosis. Further studies are needed to examine the relationship between psychosis, olfactory identification and the effects of nicotine.

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