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(JHS-0922) Developing an improved test for detecting impaired sense of smell

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 Return to List of Protocols for Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior- Olfactory (Smell) Studies
General olfactory threshold and olfactory resolution test: A diagnostic accuracy study

Principal Investigator:
Julien W. Hsieh MD


Contact Information:
Recruitment Specialist
1230 York Avenue
New York, NY 10065
Telephone: 1800RUCARES
Enrollment Status:

Brief Summary of Protocol:
It is important to have an effective test because an impaired sense of smell can lead to negative consequences on quality of life. One problem of measuring whether somebody has a reduced sense of smell is that healthy people are frequently insensitive to single molecules. Healthy people cannot detect single molecules because of differences in genetic background, which is not related to health issues. Despite this, the most commonly used diagnostic smell tests utilizes single molecules. Another problem is that these tests are based on odors that are familiar to a single population of reference. Familiarity to odors varies largely between cultures and countries. Therefore, people that culturally differ from this population of reference would score poorly on these tests despite their normal sense of smell. Despite this, the most widely used smell test largely depends on familiarity with odors. We addressed these two problems by developing universal smell tests based on unfamiliar smells and mixtures of odorants. They are named “olfactory resolution test” and “general olfactory threshold test”. In a previous study, we demonstrated that these tests were reliable. The goal of this protocol is to show that our test can accurately detect people who have lost some or all their sense of smell.

Detailed Description of Protocol:

What specifically makes a person eligible for the study?
You may be eligible to enter this study:

-partial or total loss of the sense of smell -fluent in English



Children permitted to participate:

Potential Benefits.....
There is no known benefit to participants.

Compensation is provided.