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Olfactory Processing in Mood Disorders Examined

Bipolar Disord; ePub 2018 Feb 13; Kamath, et al

Odor identification difficulties may exist in mood disorders, especially when psychotic features are present, according to a recent study. In contrast, the global olfactory dysfunction observed in schizophrenia may not be a feature of other neuropsychiatric conditions. Researchers examined odor identification, odor discrimination, detection threshold, and odor hedonic processing performance in individuals with bipolar I disorder (n=43; n=13 with psychotic features), bipolar II disorder (n=48), major depressive disorder (MDD) (n=134), anxiety (n=48), and no mental disorder (n=72) who participated in a community-based family study. They found:

  • Compared to controls, odor identification performance was lower among individuals with MDD and bipolar I disorder.
  • Among the latter group, performance was only reduced among those with psychotic features, particularly for pleasant odors.
  • Those with MDD showed lower identification accuracy for neutral odors.
  • Performances on measures of odor discrimination and detection threshold did not differ by diagnostic group.

Citation:

Kamath V, Paksarian D, Cui L, Moberg PJ, Turetsky BI, Merikangas KR. Olfactory processing in bipolar disorder, major depression, and anxiety. [Published online ahead of print February 13, 2018]. Bipolar Disord. doi:10.1111/bdi.12625.