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Neurological Sciences

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 147–155 | Cite as

Modern psychophysical tests to assess olfactory function

  • A. Eibenstein
  • A. B. Fioretti
  • C. Lena
  • N. Rosati
  • G. Amabile
  • M. Fusetti
ORIGINAL

Abstract

The sense of smell significantly contributes to quality of life. In recent years much progress has been made in understanding the biochemistry, physiology and pathology of the human olfactory system. Olfactory disorders may arise not only from upper airway phlogosis but also from neurodegenerative disease. Hyposmia may precede motor signs in Parkinson’s disease and cognitive deficit in Alzheimer’s disease. These findings suggest the complementary role of olfactory tests in the diagnosis and management of neurodegenerative diseases. In this report we present a review of modern olfactory tests and their clinical applications. Although rarely employed in routine clinical practice, the olfactory test evaluates the ability of odour identification and is a useful diagnostic tool for olfaction evaluation. Olfactory screening tests are also available. In this work we strongly recommend the importance of an ENT evaluation before the test administration and dissuade from a self–administration of an olfactory test.

Key words

Neurodegenerative disorders Smell Olfactory test Hyposmia 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Eibenstein
    • 1
  • A. B. Fioretti
    • 1
  • C. Lena
    • 1
  • N. Rosati
    • 1
  • G. Amabile
    • 2
  • M. Fusetti
    • 1
  1. 1.Surgical Sciences Department, ENTUniversity of L’AquilaL’AquilaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Neurology and ENTUniversity of Rome “La Sapienza”RomeItaly

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