Journal Article Association of Odor Thresholds and Responses in Cerebral Blood Flow of the Prefrontal Area during Olfactory Stimulation in Patients with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Azuma, Kenichi  ,  Uchiyama, Iwao  ,  Tanigawa, Mari  ,  Bamba, Ikuko  ,  Azuma, Michiyo  ,  Takano, Hirohisa  ,  Yoshikawa, Toshikazu  ,  Sakabe, Kou

11 ( 12 ) 2016-12-09 , Public Library of Science
Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is a disorder characterized by nonspecific and recurrent symptoms from various organ systems associated with exposure to low levels of chemicals. Patients with MCS process odors differently than controls do. Previously, we suggested that this odor processing was associated with increased regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in the prefrontal area during olfactory stimulation using near-infrared spectroscopic (NIRS) imaging. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of odor thresholds and changes in rCBF during olfactory stimulation at odor threshold levels in patients with MCS. We investigated changes in the prefrontal area using NIRS imaging and a T&T olfactometer during olfactory stimulation with two different odorants (sweet and fecal) at three concentrations (zero, odor recognition threshold, and normal perceived odor level) in 10 patients with MCS and six controls. The T&T olfactometer threshold test and subjective assessment of irritating and hedonic odors were also performed. The results indicated that the scores for both unpleasant and pungent odors were significantly higher for those for sweet odors at the normal perceived level in patients with MCS than in controls. The brain responses at the recognition threshold (fecal odor) and normal perceived levels (sweet and fecal odors) were stronger in patients with MCS than in controls. However, significant differences in the odor detection and recognition thresholds and odor intensity score between the two groups were not observed. These brain responses may involve cognitive and memory processing systems during past exposure to chemicals. Further research regarding the cognitive features of sensory perception and memory due to past exposure to chemicals and their associations with MCS symptoms is needed.

Number of accesses :  

Other information