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Sensory- and memory-mediated olfactory dysfunction in Huntington's disease

  • Steven Nordin (a1) (a2), Jane S. Paulsen (a3) (a4) and Claire Murphy (a1) (a2)

Neuropathology in Huntington's disease (HD) known to project to areas that process olfactory information raises the questions of which olfactory function, if any, is most affected in HD, and how to explain such dysfunction in terms of olfactory sensitivity and cognition. These questions were studied by comparing HD patients and controls (matched for age, gender, and education) on absolute detection, intensity discrimination, quality discrimination, short-term recognition memory, and lexical- and picture-based identification for odor. Taste or vision were used as comparison modalities. The results suggest that whereas odor-recognition memory is not affected in patients with HD, these patients have impaired olfactory functioning with respect to absolute detection, intensity discrimination, quality discrimination, and identification. The three latter impairments were significantly explained by poor detection sensitivity. Odor identification was the function most affected. (JINS, 1995, I, 281–290.)

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Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
  • ISSN: 1355-6177
  • EISSN: 1469-7661
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