Olfactory loss may be a first sign of idiopathic Parkinson's disease

Mov Disord. 2007 Apr 30;22(6):839-42. doi: 10.1002/mds.21413.


Recent studies support the idea of olfactory dysfunction as a very early sign of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD). Aim of the present study was to clinically follow-up patients with idiopathic hyposmia to find out the percentage of patients developing IPD after 4 years time. At baseline, olfactory tests had been combined with transcranial sonography of the substantia nigra and (123)I-FP-CIT SPECT imaging. At the present neurological examination, 7% of the individuals with idiopathic hyposmia had developed clinical IPD. Altogether, 13% presented with abnormalities of the motor system. Our data suggest that a combination of olfactory testing and other tests may constitute a screening tool for the risk to develop IPD.

MeSH terms

  • Agnosia / etiology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease / classification
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis*
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Smell / physiology*
  • Taste*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon


  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic