Dr. Armand Hausmann – Ihr Psychiater in Innsbruck
Alcohol’s Detrimental Effects on the Sense of Smell

Vortrag Univ.-Prof. Dr. Armand Hausmann: Alcohol’s Detrimental Effects on the Sense of Smell

Publikationen (Erstautor oder Mitautor) von Univ.-Prof. Dr. Armand Hausmann

Researchers know that alcohol abuse can lead to Korsakoff’s syndrome, a severe mental disorder characterized by memory loss and disorientation. Several studies have also shown that Korsakoff’s syndrome is associated with olfactory deficits, specifically, dysfunctions in odor identification, discrimination, memory, sensitivity, and intensity. Less is known, however, about olfactory functioning in nonamnesic and nondemented alcoholics. Researchers examined two groups that were matched for age, gender and smoking status: 30 alcohol-dependent patients (16 males, 14 females) and 30 healthy controls (16 males, 14 females). Olfactory performance was assessed unirhinally (one nostril at a time) using the “Sniffin’ Sticks,” pen-like odor-dispensing devices. Results were divided into three catego ries – odor threshold, discrimination and identification – and also added together for a composite (TDI) score. The findings indicate that olfactory dysfunction is common among nonamnesic and nondemented alcoholics. The alcohol-dependent patients showed significantly reduced olfactory sensitivity (a higher threshold), discrimination and identification when compared to the controls. These deficits were not related to age, gender, or duration of abstinence from alcohol; nor were they attributable to smoking or general cognitive abili ties. Researchers also found that lower composite scores were associated with longer periods of regular alcohol intake, as well as higher values of gamma-glutamyl-transferase (GGT), an enzyme that indicates liver injury. Reduced Olfactory Sensitivity, Discrimination and Identification in Patients with Alcohol Dependence.

Autoren: C.I. Rupp, M. Kurz, G. Kemmler, D. Mair, A. Hausmann, H. Hinterhuber, W.W. Fleischhacker

Download: Alcohol’s Detrimental Effects on the Sense of Smell