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Reduced olfactory performance in patients with major depression

Reduced olfactory performance in patients with major depression,10.1016/S0022-3956(01)00029-2,Journal of Psychiatric Research,Bettina M Pause,Alejandr

Reduced olfactory performance in patients with major depression   (Citations: 58)
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The aim of the present study is to investigate olfactory sensitivity and odor evaluations in a homogenous sample of unipolar depressive patients using pure olfactory odors. Twenty-four in-patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) were investigated during their acute depressive phase. Eighteen of them participated a second time after successful treatment. A group of healthy subjects, matched by age, sex, and smoking behavior, served as a control. Olfactory sensitivity, as measured by threshold tests, was strongly reduced in patients with severe depression. Additional correlative analyses revealed that the lowered sensitivity could partly be predicted by high depression scores. After successful medical treatment, these sensitivity differences were reduced and did not reach the significance level. The subjective odor evaluations (valence and intensity ratings) were not markedly changed in general. The results reveal that olfactory performance in MDD patients is reduced at an early perceptional level of stimulus processing. It is discussed whether this effect can be attributed to the close functional connection between the main olfactory bulb and the amygdala.
Journal: Journal of Psychiatric Research , vol. 35, no. 5, pp. 271-277, 2001
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