Sense of smell, physiological ageing and neurodegenerative diseases: I. Anatomy and clinical examination

A. Fusari, J.A. Molina [REV NEUROL 2009;49:321-326] PMID: 19728279 DOI: OPEN ACCESS
Volumen 49 | Number 06 | Nº of views of the article 5.386 | Nº of PDF downloads 1.507 | Article publication date 15/09/2009
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ABSTRACT Artículo en español English version
INTRODUCTION Different studies on normal and pathological ageing have shown structural and functional impairment by means of psychophysical measures, electrophysiological studies and brain imaging studies. Lower sensory perception from peripheral olfactory structures, together with alterations in the medulla oblongata and cortex, are the most frequent causes of olfactory impairment in ageing.

AIM To outline the most important tests that can be applied in clinical evaluation. DEVELOPMENT. The article begins by reviewing concepts involved in olfactory anatomy and physiology and then goes on to describe the different methods of examination and their applicability to medical diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS Incorporating olfactory tests into clinical practice makes it possible to study the presence of sensory and cognitive impairment in greater depth, especially in ageing and in neurodegenerative diseases; this will allow a possible diagnosis to be expanded and completed.
KeywordsAgeingDetection thresholdsMemoryNeurodegenerationOlfactory discriminationOlfactory identificationOlfactory testsPerceptionSense of smell CategoriesNeurogeriatría
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