Olfactory bulb and tract and temporal lobe volumes. Normative data across decades

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1998 Nov 30;855:546-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1998.tb10624.x.


The sense of smell shows a diminution with age as measured by the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT). To ascertain whether the volumes of the olfactory bulbs and tracts (OBTs) and the temporal lobes (TL) declined in parallel to smell function, we examined 36 individuals from ages 22 to 78 who did not complain of any loss of the sense of smell using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. The OBT volumes showed an initial increase to the 4th decade of life and then a decrease with increasing age, while the trend in TL volume was not as dramatic. There was no correlation between OBT or TL volumes with unilateral or total UPSIT scores. The normative data by decades can be used to assess the OBTs of cohorts of patients with neurodegenerative disorders that affect olfaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Olfactory Bulb / diagnostic imaging
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology*
  • Olfactory Pathways / diagnostic imaging
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology
  • Radiography
  • Temporal Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology*