Article

Olfactory deficits in patients with anorexia nervosa.

Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Medical University Hospital Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany.
European Eating Disorders Review (Impact Factor: 1.38). 09/2010; 18(5):385-9. DOI: 10.1002/erv.1010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) often show gastrointestinal symptoms and have altered gastrointestinal functions. Olfaction is part of the predigestive function and plays an important role in the selection of food and the control of food intake. The question arises if patients with eating disorders have changes in olfactory functions as well. The aim of this study was to compare olfactory functions in patients with AN and controls using the Sniffin' sticks.
We studied 19 patients with AN, restricting type (10 patients) and binge-eating/purging type (9 patients) and 21 healthy controls matched by age. For evaluation of the severity of AN we used the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (EDI-2).
Differences were found in odour identification with patients with AN having lower scores and there was a significant correlation between results in this subtest and BMI. There were no differences in odour threshold, odour discrimination and overall performance. There was no correlation between test results and EDI-2 scores. We did not find differences between subtypes of AN.
Larger and more homogenous samples are needed to gain a better understanding of degree and type of olfactory deficits in AN-patients with possible consequences for refeeding therapy.

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