PloS one 2017 01 0612(1) e0169183 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0169183
Olfaction may be related to food restriction and weight loss. However, reports regarding olfactory function in individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) have been inconclusive.
Characterize olfactory sensitivity and identification in female adolescents and young adults with first-episode AN and young females recovered from AN.
We used the Sniffin’ Sticks Odor Threshold Test and Odor Identification Test to assess 43 participants with first-episode AN, 27 recovered participants, and 39 control participants. Participants completed the Importance of Olfaction questionnaire, the Beck Youth Inventory and the Eating Disorder Inventory. We also conducted a psychiatric diagnostic interview and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule with participants.
Both clinical groups showed heightened olfactory sensitivity. After excluding participants with depression, participants with first-episode AN identified more odors than recovered participants.
Heightened olfactory sensitivity in AN may be independent of clinical status, whereas only individuals with current AN and without depression show more accurate odor identification.