Background/Aims: Numerous authors have described olfactory dysfunction in multiple sclerosis (MS) in recent years. The aim of this study was to specify the aspects of olfactory perception that are most affected and to identify any correlations with clinical, anatomical and functional data. Methods: 50 patients with remitting or secondary progressive MS were included. Personal data were collected (medical history, characteristics of their disease, depression and disability scores and number of lesions on cerebral imaging). An olfactory test (Sniffin Sticks®) was used to evaluate subjects’ olfactory function. Results: The odor detection threshold is the most sensitive marker, with 40% of patients presenting hyposmia. The ability to identify odors is affected later on, and is inversely correlated with the level of disability. Conclusion: Our results confirm that several aspects of olfactory function are altered in MS, particularly those aspects requiring greater cognitive involvement, such as discrimination and identification of odors.

Assouad R, De Seze J, Vermersch P: Les troubles sensoriels dans la sclérose en plaques (en dehors de la neuropathie optique). Rev Neurol 2001;175:1579–1582.
Benatru I, Terraux P, Cherasse A, Couvreur G, Giroud M, Moreau T: Les troubles du goût au cours des poussées de sclérose en plaques. Rev Neurol 2003;159:287–292.
Demarquay G, Ryvlin P, Royet JP: Olfaction et pathologies neurologiques: revue de la littérature. Rev Neurol 2007;163:155–167.
Norès JM, Biacabe B, Bonfils P: Troubles olfactifs et pathologie générale. Analyse et revue de la littérature. Rev Méd Interne 2000;1:95–104.
Hawkes CH, Shephard BC, Kobal G: Assessment of olfaction in multiple sclerosis: evidence of dysfunction by olfactory evoked response and identification tests. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1997;63:145–151.
Zivadinov R, Zorzon M, MontiBragadin M, Pagliaro G, Cazzato G: Olfactory loss in multiple sclerosis. J Neurol Sci 1999;168:127–130.
Doty RL, Cheng Li, Mannon L, Yousem DM: Olfactory dysfunction in multiple sclerosis: relation to longitudinal changes in plaque numbers in central olfactory structures. Neurology 1999;53:880–882.
Zorzon M, Ukmar M, Bragadin LM, Zanier F, Antonello RM, Cazzato G, Zivadinov R: Olfactory dysfunction and extent of white matter abnormalities in multiple sclerosis: a clinical and MR studies. Mult Scler 2000;6:386–390.
Lutterotti A, Vedovello M, Reindl M, Ehling R, DiPauli F, Kuenz B, Gneiss C, Deisenhammer F, Berger T: Olfactory threshold is impaired in early, active multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler 2011;17:964–969.
Gopinath B, Anstey JL, Sue CM, Kifley A, Mitchell P: Olfactory impairment in older adults is associated with depressive symptoms and poorer quality of life scores. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 2011;19:830–834.
Hummel T, Sekinger B, Wolf SR, Pauli E, Kobal G: Sniffin Sticks®: olfactory performance assessed by the combined of odor identification, odor discrimination and olfactory threshold. Chem Sens 1997;22:39–52.
Polman CH, Reingold SC, Banwell B, Clanet M, Cohen JA, Filippi M, Fujihara K, Havrdova E, Hutchinson M, Kappos L, Lublin FD, Montalban X, O’Connor P, Sandberg-Wollheim M, Thompson AJ, Waubant E, Weinshenker B, Wolinsky JS: Diagnostic criteria for multiple sclerosis: 2010 revisions to the McDonald criteria. Ann Neurol 2011;69:292–302.
Vennemann MM, Hummel T, Berger K: The association between smoking and smell and taste impairment in the general population. J Neurol 2008;255:1121–1126.
Seilman S, Huettenbrinck KB, Hummel T: Local and systemic administration of corticosteroids in the treatment of olfactory loss. Am J Rhinol 2004;18:9–34.
Kurtzke JK: Rating neurological impairment in multiple sclerosis: an Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). Neurology 1983;33:1444–1452.
Steer RA, Ball R, Ranieri WF, Beck AT: Dimensions of the Beck Depression Inventory-II in clinically depressed outpatients. J Clin Psychol 1999;55:117–128.
Cottraux J: Evaluation Clinique et psychométrique des états dépressifs. Collection Scientifique Survector, 1985.
Hummel T, Kobal G, Gudziol H, Mackay-Sim A: Normative data for the Sniffin Sticks® including tests of odor identification, odor discrimination, and olfactory thresholds: an upgrade based on a group of more than 3000 subjects. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2007;264:237–243.
Levy L, Henkin R, Hutter A, Chin S, Schellinger D: Functional MRI of human olfaction. J Comput Assist Tomogr 1997;21;849–856.
Lombion S, Comte A, Tatu L, Brand G, Moulin T, Millot JL: Patterns of cerebral activation during olfactory and trigeminal stimulations. Hum Brain Mapp 2009;30:821–828.
Lombion-Pouthier S, Vandel P, Nezelof S, Haffen E, Millot JL: Odor perception in patients with mood disorders. J Affect Disord 2006;90:187–191.
Negoias S, Croy I, Gerber J, Puschmann S, Joraschky P, Hummel T: Reduced olfactory bulb volume and olfactory sensitivity in patients with acute major depression. Neuroscience 2010;169:415–421.
Pollatos O, Albrecht J, Kopietz R, Linn J, Schoepf V, Kleemann AM, Schreder T, Schandry R, Wiesmann M: Reduced olfactory sensitivity in subjects with depressive symptoms. J Affect Disord 2007;102:101–108.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.