Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Decrease In Sense Of Smell Seen In Lupus Patients

Date:
May 6, 2009
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
The sense of smell is a complex process of the central nervous system that involves specific areas of the brain. In fact, olfactory dysfunction is seen in various central nervous system disorders that involve immune-mediated mechanisms, such as Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis.

The sense of smell is a complex process of the central nervous system that involves specific areas of the brain. In fact, olfactory dysfunction is seen in various central nervous system disorders that involve immune-mediated mechanisms, such as Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that sometimes involves the central nervous system in a condition known as neuropsychiatric SLE (NPSLE). Research in mice has shown that NPSLE-like symptoms and olfactory impairment might be induced by autoimmune mechanisms that target specific areas of the brain, but this has not been explored. A new study assessed olfactory function in SLE patients and found that there is a decrease in the sense of smell compared with healthy controls.

Led by Yehuda Shoenfeld of Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Tel-Hashomer, Israel, the study involved 50 SLE patients and 50 age and sex-matched controls. Researchers evaluated three levels of olfactory function: threshold (identifying a stick with an odor from among sticks that didn’t have an odor); discrimination (differentiating between two smells); and identification of a smell from among four options. The three scores were combined to form a total TDI score.

The results showed significant olfactory deficits in the SLE patients compared with the controls. SLE patients showed a decrease in olfactory function in both the threshold and discrimination tests. In addition, the study found that patients with more active disease and past NPSLE manifestations had significantly lower TDI scores. Past research in mice has shown that injection of antibodies linked to NPSLE manifestations induced olfactory deficit and that these antibodies can bind and penetrate cells in limbic areas of the brain, which are associated with the sense of smell. In addition, magnetic resonance imaging has recently shown limbic system involvement in SLE patients. “Although the exact mechanism of olfactory impairment has yet to be elucidated, the possibility of an immune-mediated mechanism is intriguing,” the authors note.

The incidence of olfactory dysfunction in the general population is a matter of debate. About one percent of the population is believed to have a loss of the sense of smell; in the study, loss of smell was seen only in SLE patients, 10 percent of whom suffered from this condition. The importance of the sense of smell is easy to appreciate, since the inability to detect odors in daily life, for example in food that has spoiled or leaks in a gas line, could seriously compromise a person’s health.

The authors point out that olfaction is unfamiliar territory for rheumatologists and immunologists, but results from this and other studies demonstrate that an autoimmune mechanism may play a role in olfactory impairment. They conclude that “smell decrement has been found to be an early and predictive sign in several CNS diseases, and therefore, might be a useful and easy tool for the physician in early diagnosis of CNS involvement in autoimmune diseases.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Shoenfeld et al. The sense of smell in systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 2009; 60 (5): 1484 DOI: 10.1002/art.24491

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Decrease In Sense Of Smell Seen In Lupus Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090430161230.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2009, May 6). Decrease In Sense Of Smell Seen In Lupus Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090430161230.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Decrease In Sense Of Smell Seen In Lupus Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090430161230.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins