Chapter

Abnormalities of smell and taste

Christopher Kennard

in Brain's Diseases of the Nervous System

Edition 12

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198569381
Published online July 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199640232 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780198569381.003.0381
Abnormalities of smell and taste

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Since both the sensation of smell, olfaction, and taste, gustation, rely on chemical stimuli to excite their receptors, they are known as the chemosensory system (Smith and Shepherd 1999). Both of these senses are interdependent together providing the sensation of flavour of food and drink, but dysfunction of one may be misinterpreted as an abnormality of the other. Although loss of either sensation is rarely a major handicap, they are essential to detect noxious odours, such as smoke or gas, and to avoid spoiled food or potential poisons. Their loss could, therefore, have serious consequences. In addition, loss of smell or taste may indicate serious intracranial or systemic disease.

Chapter.  3349 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology

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