David W. Kern

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Recent neuroimaging studies have converged to show that odorant-induced responses to prolonged stimulation in primary olfactory cortex (POC) are characterized by a rapidly habituating time course. Different statistical approaches have effectively modeled this time course. One approach explicitly modeled rapid habituation using an exponentially decaying(More)
BACKGROUND Age-related olfactory loss (presbyosmia) substantially decreases quality of life, presages neurodegenerative disease, impairs nutrition, and predicts mortality. We sought to determine how race is associated with olfactory loss in older American adults in order to inform both health care and policy. METHODS The National Social Life, Health and(More)
BACKGROUND Age-related olfactory loss (presbyosmia) is a prevalent sensory impairment with a large public health impact. In cross-sectional analyses, we found striking health disparities in olfactory function among older U.S. adults. Here, we report a 5-year follow-up to determine the magnitude of within-person olfactory decline. METHODS The National(More)
Prediction of mortality has focused on disease and frailty, although antecedent biomarkers may herald broad physiological decline. Olfaction, an ancestral chemical system, is a strong candidate biomarker because it is linked to diverse physiological processes. We sought to determine if olfactory dysfunction is a harbinger of 5-year mortality in the National(More)
Population-based field research on human olfaction has been limited by a lack of feasible assessment tools. Previous olfactory survey research has measured only odor identification, with no research being done on odor detection (i.e., a person's sensitivity to detect a particular odor). Laboratory studies suggest that deficits in both aspects of olfactory(More)
Odorant pens are used by medical practitioners and researchers to assess olfactory dysfunction. Despite their routine use, there are currently no data on the gas-phase odorant concentrations released from the pen tips or whether these concentrations scale linearly with the aqueous-phase concentrations inside the pens. The commercially available Sniffin'(More)
OBJECTIVES To determine whether there may be a common mechanism resulting in global sensory impairment of the five classical senses (vision, smell, hearing, touch, and taste) in older adults. DESIGN Representative, population-based study. SETTING National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project. PARTICIPANTS Community-dwelling U.S. adults aged 57 to(More)
Current methods of olfactory sensitivity testing are logistically challenging and therefore infeasible for use in in-home surveys and other field settings. We developed a fast, easy and reliable method of assessing olfactory thresholds, and used it in the first study of olfactory sensitivity in a nationally representative sample of U.S. home-dwelling older(More)
OBJECTIVE To investigate the sense of smell, including sensitivity and odor identification, and characterize the U.S. national prevalence of olfactory dysfunction in older adults, thereby facilitating further investigation of the substantial risks for older adults associated with this basic sensory ability. METHOD The sense of smell was evaluated using(More)
OBJECTIVES The olfactory nerve is anatomically susceptible to injury from pollution in inspired air, but there are no large-scale epidemiologic studies investigating this relationship. METHODS Cross-sectional study using data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a representative sample of home-dwelling US adults age 57-85 years.(More)