, Volume 253, Issue 9, pp 1165-1169
Date: 11 Apr 2006

Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 olfactory impairment shows a pattern similar to other major neurodegenerative diseases

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Olfactory function is affected in different neurodegenerative diseases. Recently, it has been found that some hereditary ataxias are also associated with significant olfactory impairment. However, the initial findings did not examine the nature of the olfactory impairment associated with these ataxias. In the present article the effect of spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) on olfactory function was studied in 53 SCA2 patients and 53 healthy control subjects from Holguín, Cuba. Several tests were applied to evaluate olfactory threshold, description, identification and discrimination. The results show significant impairment in SCA2 patients on all olfactory measurements, and the pattern of olfactory deficits found suggests that they have much in common with those reported for other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.