Specific Smell Dysfunctions in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis


The present study assessed odour threshold, discrimination and identifi cation in relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients. We administered the Sniffi n’ Sticks Extended Test (Burghart Messtechnik GmbH, Wedel, Germany) to 50 RRMS female patients and to 50 matched control subjects. Also, the number and the volume of MRI-visible demyelinating plaques within the inferior frontal and temporal lobes (IFTL complex), were quantifi ed in a patient subgroup. The results indicated that up to 34% of the RRMS sample exhibited hyposmia, but none of the MS patients could be considered functionally anosmic. Odour identifi cation and general olfactory performance signifi cantly decreased with respect to the patients’ age. No signifi cant correlations between olfactory scores and the number and the volume of plaques within the IFTL complex were found. These fi ndings suggest that some specifi c forms of olfactory dysfunction do exist in MS patients and that the correlation between olfactory dysfunctions and structural brain damage might not be as strict as previously suggested.

Journal of Neurology and Neurophysiology, 1, 101*
Valentina Parma
Valentina Parma
Research Assistant Professor in Psychology