Taste and Smell Disorders

  • Robert I. Henkin
Part of the Readings from the Encyclopedia of Neuroscience book series (REN)


Taste and smell dysfunction reflect a panoply of symptoms affecting many people with varying intensity and diversity. Following a recent U.S. survey of smell, it was estimated that 16 million people exhibit some form of taste or smell dysfunction. Approximately 70% of patients exhibit four major diagnostic categories of disease; 25% have postinfluenza-like hyposmia and hypogeusia (PIHH), an illness which usually follows a severe coryza; 20% have an idiopathic cause (10% of these patients have some form of malignancy, commonly occult); 15% have had a head injury; and 12% have allergic rhinitis most commonly altering smell function.


Allergic Rhinitis Olfactory Epithelium Taste Function Major Diagnostic Category Salivary Gland Dysfunction 
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Further reading

  1. Schechter PJ, Henkin RI (1974): Abnormalities of taste and smell following head trauma. J. Neurol Neurosurg Psychiat 37:802–810CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Henkin RI (1984): Zinc in taste function: a critical review. Biol Tr El Res 6:263–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Mattes-Kulig DA, Henkin RI (1985): Energy and nutrient consumption of patients with dysgeusia. J Am Diet Assoc 85:822–826Google Scholar
  4. Law JS, Henkin RI (1986): Low parotid saliva calmodulin in patients with taste and smell dysfunction. Biochem Med Met Biol 36:118–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Henkin RI (1975): Effects of ACTH, adrenocorticosteroids and thyroid hormone on sensory function. In: Anatomical Neuroendocrinology, Stumpf WE, Grant LD, eds. Basel: Karger AGGoogle Scholar
  6. Henkin RI (1976): Taste in man. In: Scientific Foundations of Otolaryngology, Harrison D, Hinchcliffe R, eds. London: Wm. Heine-mann Medical BooksGoogle Scholar
  7. Henkin RI (1982): Olfaction in human disease. In: Looseleaf Series of Otolaryngology, English GM, ed. New York: Harper and RowGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston, Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert I. Henkin

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