Olfactory Disorder Pattern In Patients With Neurological Diseases Excluding Psychiatric And Traumatic Aetiologies

Acta Otorrinolaringol Esp (Engl Ed). 2018 Nov-Dec;69(6):318-324. doi: 10.1016/j.otorri.2017.10.002. Epub 2018 Mar 23.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Introduction: The most common cause of olfactory ENT disorders are colds and flu, chronic sinusitis, allergies and traumatic brain injury. Rarer aetiologies include certain neurological, psychiatric and metabolic injuries.

Target: The aim of this paper was to check the sort of olfactory disorders found in people who have suffered a brain injury, excluding: cranial traumas, psychiatric diseases, epilepsy, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, and synaesthesia.

Material and methods: A descriptive study based on 61 patients with diagnoses of various neurological injuries, which were tested by BAST-24 olfactometer. The results were compared with those of a control group (n= 120).

Results: The results show major impairment in these patients' olfactory sense. The neurological injury patients were able to detect from 60-77% of the odours, while the control group were able to detect between 98-100%. The neurological patients were able, at best, to identify, 11-32% of the odours correctly, while the control group were able to correctly detect between 59 -75%. The differences between odour detection and correct identification were statistically significant (p<.05).

Conclusions: We concluded: a) Neurological injury, not caused by traumatic brain injury, psychiatric disorders or ENT diseases, ranged from 68-89% of the olfactory failures. b) We must bear in mind that these sorts of injuries can cause olfactory disorders. c) ENT and Neurologists should collaborate in the treatment of these disorders.

Keywords: Anosmia; BAST-24; Barcelona Smell Test; Enfermedad neurológica; Hiposmia; Hyposmia; Neurological diseases; Olfactometry; Olfactory loss of smell; Olfatometría; Pérdida del olfato.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nervous System Diseases / complications*
  • Odorants
  • Olfaction Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Olfaction Disorders / etiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Distribution
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Young Adult