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J Neurol Sci. 2012 Dec 15;323(1-2):16-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2012.08.028. Epub 2012 Sep 23.

Evaluation of olfactory dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases.

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IRCCS Centro Neurolesi "Bonino-Pulejo", Messina, Italy.


It is known that the olfactory dysfunction is involved in various neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington's disease and motor neuron disease. In particular, the ability to identify and discriminate the odors, as well as the odor threshold, can be altered in these disorders. These changes often occur as early manifestation of the pathology and they are not always diagnosed on time. The aim of this review is to summarize the major neurological diseases which are preceded or accompanied by olfactory dysfunction. In addition, new instrumental approaches, such as psychophysical testing, olfactory event-related potentials (OERPs) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measurements, supported by olfactometer for the stimuli delivery, and their combination in evaluation of olfactory function will be discussed. In particular, OERPs and fMRI might to be good candidates to become useful additional tools in clinical protocols for early diagnosis of neurological diseases.

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