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Schizophr Bull. 2014 Jan;40(1):50-9. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbt049. Epub 2013 May 2.

Meta-analysis of olfactory function in schizophrenia, first-degree family members, and youths at-risk for psychosis.

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*To whom correspondence should be addressed; 10 Gates, HUP, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, US; tel: (215) 615-3608, fax: (215) 662-7903, e-mail: moberg@upenn.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous research has provided compelling support for olfactory dysfunction in schizophrenia patients, their first-degree relatives, and youth at-risk for psychosis. A previous meta-analysis revealed large effect sizes across olfactory tasks but was limited to 2 olfactory tasks and did not examine moderator variables. Thus, the current meta-analysis was undertaken to incorporate additional studies, risk cohorts, olfactory test domains, and moderator variable analyses.

METHOD:

A meta-analysis was conducted on 67 publications examining olfactory function in schizophrenia patients and 15 publications examining olfactory functioning in youth at-risk for psychosis, first-degree relatives of schizophrenia patients, and individuals with schizotypy.

RESULTS:

Results revealed medium-to-large olfactory deficits in schizophrenia patients though significant heterogeneity was evident. Several variables moderated overall study effects. At-risk youths similarly demonstrated medium-to-large effect sizes, whereas first-degree relatives and individuals with schizotypy showed small effects.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings suggest robust olfactory deficits in schizophrenia and at-risk youths. In schizophrenia, several variables had significant impact on these deficits and warrant consideration in prospective studies. Our findings also indicate that olfactory measures may be a useful marker of schizophrenia risk status.

KEYWORDS:

olfaction; psychosis; schizophrenia prodrome; schizotypy; smell

PMID:
23641047
PMCID:
PMC3885295
DOI:
10.1093/schbul/sbt049
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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