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Insights into the molecular triggers of parosmia based on gas chromatography olfactometry

Parker, J. K. ORCID:, Kelly, C. E. and Gane, S. B. (2022) Insights into the molecular triggers of parosmia based on gas chromatography olfactometry. Communications Medicine, 2 (1). 58. ISSN 2730-664Xc

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/s43856-022-00112-9


Background Parosmia is a debilitating condition in which familiar smells become distorted and disgusting, with consequences for diet and mental health. It is a feature of post-infectious olfactory loss, particularly resulting from COVID-19. There is currently little understanding of its pathophysiology, and the prevailing hypothesis for the underlying mechanism is aberrant growth of regenerating olfactory sensory neurons after damage. Methods We use gas-chromatograph olfactometry to individually present components of a complex olfactory mixture as a rapid screening tool for assessment of both quantitative and qualitative olfactory dysfunction in those with and without parosmia. This allows them to report the associated sensory effects and to identify those molecules which are altered or parosmic in nature. Results Here we show 15 different molecular triggers of this symptom. These trigger molecules are common to many in the parosmic volunteer group and share certain characteristics such as extremely low olfactory threshold and common molecular structure Conclusions We posit that specific highly odour-active molecules are the cause of the parosmic symptom in most cases and initiate the sense of disgust, suggesting that parosmia is, at least in part, a receptor-level phenomenon.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Food Research Group
ID Code:104982


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