- 1Second Department of Neurology, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Warsaw, Poland.
- 2Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Centre for Preclinical Research and Technology, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.
- 3Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Warsaw, Poland. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introduction: Many neurodegenerative disorders are associated with olfactory dysfunction (OD), but little is known about OD in Wilson's Disease (WD). We evaluated olfactory function in patients with WD.
Material and methods: OD was examined in 68 patients with WD and 70 sex- and age-matched healthy controls using subjective testing with 'Sniffin Sticks'. Threshold discrimination identification (TDI) score and its three components (odour detection threshold, discrimination, and identification) were assessed.
Results: Compared to controls, patients with WD had a significantly weaker sense of smell in terms of TDI (p < 0.01), odour discrimination (p < 0.01), and identification (p < 0.01), but not in terms of odour detection threshold (p = 0.27). Patients with predominantly neurological symptoms were characterised by greater OD by TDI (p < 0.01), odour detection threshold (p = 0.01), and discrimination (p = 0.03). The presence of pathological lesions (p = 0.04) in brain magnetic resonance imaging and generalised brain atrophy (p = 0.02) predisposed to worse TDI. In the WD group, weak inverse correlations between age and TDI score (r = -0.27), odour detection threshold (r = -0.3), and discrimination (r = -0.3) were found. Male gender was a risk factor for abnormal TDI in both WD and controls (both p = 0.02).
Conclusions: Patients with WD, particularly older individuals, more frequently had OD than healthy volunteers. Predominantly neurological symptoms, and the presence of typical brain MRI changes, predisposed patients with WD to smell disorders.