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Psychiatry Res. 2019 Apr;274:20-26. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2019.02.026. Epub 2019 Feb 11.

Autistic traits impact on olfactory processing in adolescent girls with Anorexia Nervosa restricting type.

Author information

1
Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Pisa, Italy.
2
IRCCS Fondazione Stella Maris, Pisa, Italy; Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy. Electronic address: sara.calderoni@fsm.unipi.it.
3
IRCCS Fondazione Stella Maris, Pisa, Italy.
4
IRCCS Fondazione Stella Maris, Pisa, Italy; Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Abstract

The correct functioning of the chemosensory pathway is pivotal for the attitude towards feeding. In some neuropsychiatric disorders, abnormalities of the sensory processing dramatically affect feeding behavior; however, evidences for an olfactory involvement in Anorexia Nervosa (AN) are still controversial. We administered a complete olfactory testing battery, the Sniffin' Sticks Extended Test, to a cohort of 19 girls with Restrictive Anorexia Nervosa (AN-R) and 19 healthy controls. A battery of questionnaires aiming to evaluate eating attitude, psychopathologic disorders and autistic traits was also administered. No difference was found between the two groups in any of the olfactory tasks. Despite the lack of correlation between olfaction and disease severity, however, olfactory performances were related to autistic traits in anorectic girls (r = -0.489, p = 0.039). Girls with AN-R do not appear to have an impaired olfactory function with respect to controls. However, a possible correlation between olfactory ability and autistic traits was discovered. In light of such findings, the role of possible relations between social functioning-related features and olfactory processing in AN-R is discussed.

KEYWORDS:

Autism Spectrum Disorder; Eating disorder; Olfaction; Olfaction disorders; Psychophysics

PMID:
30776708
DOI:
10.1016/j.psychres.2019.02.026
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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