Prevalence of impaired odor identification in Parkinson disease with imaging evidence of nigrostriatal denervation
Previous data on the prevalence of olfactory dysfunction in Parkinson's disease (PD) range from 45% to 90%. The present multicenter study aimed to provide data on the prevalence of smell loss in a large sample of PD patients from three independent populations. Olfactory sensitivity was tested in 400 patients from Australia, Germany, and The Netherlands by means of a psychophysical olfactory test, the "Sniffin' Sticks", which is comprised of 3 subtests of olfactory function. Out of the total number of patients 45.0% presented as functionally anosmic, 51.7% were hyposmic, whereas only 3.3% were normosmic. This indicates that 96.7% of PD patients present with significant olfactory loss when compared to young normosmic subjects. This figure falls to 74.5%, however, when adjusted to age-related norms. Thus, olfactory dysfunction should be considered as a reliable marker of the disease.