Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Holly James WesterveltEmail author
  • Nicole C. R. McLaughlin
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1878




Anosmia is defined as a lack of the sense of smell or an inability to detect odors of any kind. In the strictest sense, “anosmia” refers to a total lack of olfactory ability, though the term is often used more loosely to refer also to partial or diminished sense of smell. There are multiple additional terms describing olfactory abilities. Normosmia is the intact ability to perceive odors. Hyposmia is a more precise term to describe decreased ability to perceive smells, whereas hyperosmia is the increased ability to perceive odors. Dysosmia (a.k.a. parosmia) refers to distortions in the sense of smell, including cacosmia (distortion of a smell as particularly unpleasant) and phantosmia (an olfactory hallucination, or the sensation of a smell in the absence of a stimulus).


Olfactory dysfunction is present in at least 1% of individuals under the age of 65, with some estimates suggesting total anosmia in as much as 5% of the population. Rates of...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Holly James Westervelt
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nicole C. R. McLaughlin
    • 2
  1. 1.Memory and Cognitive Assessment Program, Department of PsychiatryRhode Island HospitalProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Butler Hospital Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA