The purpose of the SUNY Upstate Clinical Smell Research Center is to quantitatively assess a number of clinical conditions possibly underlying olfactory dysfunctions. There is one basis for olfactory perception about which there can be no doubt. That is, if odorant molecules cannot reach the olfactory receptors, there can be no olfactory perception, and the degree to which the airflow towards the olfactory mucosa is compromised, olfactory perception is likely also to be compromised. Similarly, if alteration in airflow reduces the number of odorant molecules which would normally reach the chemoreceptors of the nasal mucosa, the trigeminal component of olfactory experience would be compromised as well. The overall result would be a marked reduction of smell-related information being transmitted centrally via the principle chemoreceptive pathways which originate in the nose. Thus, all of the projects in this proposal investigate olfaction in regards to the availability of the stimulus to the various chemoreceptive inputs in the nose. Central to normal airflow through the nose is the sniff itself. We will quantitatively investigate the effect that different olfactory tasks have on sniffing strategies and the effect that these strategies have on olfactory ability. The olfactory ability of patients with altered nasal airflow including laryngectomized patients will be assessed, and using an anatomically correct model of the nose we will describe the relationship between nasal anatomy and the pattern of nasal airflow. Intubated infants represent and interesting group in which early odorant deprivation may show olfactory deficits later in life. These research efforts require a precise definition of olfactory dysfunction and to this end we have developed a psychophysical approach previously not used in olfaction. Our specific objectives are to: 1): Further refine and analyze the current clinical description of olfactory patients; 2) Continue to describe sniffing behavior and examine how odorant molecules are normally distributed to the receptors; 3) Describe olfactory maturation during childhood and identify children at risk for olfactory deficits; 4) Anatomically document which nasal airway deformaties and obstructions effect olfactory ability; 5) Pursue the possibility that lack of nasal airflow contributes differentially to the hyposmia of laryngectomy depending on the odorant and neural input; 6) Describe the relationship between nasal anatomy and the pattern of airflow through the nose; 7) Determine the physiological and anatomical characteristics of the trigeminal contribution to olfactory experiences using electrophysiological methods.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
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Communicative Disorders Review Committee (CDR)
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Upstate Medical University
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Youngentob, Steven L; Schwob, James E (2006) Odorant identification and quality perception following methyl bromide-induced lesions of the olfactory epithelium. Behav Neurosci 120:1346-55
Holbrook, Eric H; Leopold, Donald A; Schwob, James E (2005) Abnormalities of axon growth in human olfactory mucosa. Laryngoscope 115:2144-54
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Kurtz, D B; White, T L; Hayes, M (2000) The labeled dissimilarity scale: a metric of perceptual dissimilarity. Percept Psychophys 62:152-61
Schwob, J E; Youngentob, S L; Ring, G et al. (1999) Reinnervation of the rat olfactory bulb after methyl bromide-induced lesion: timing and extent of reinnervation. J Comp Neurol 412:439-57
Kurtz, D B; White, T L; Hornung, D E et al. (1999) What a tangled web we weave: discriminating between malingering and anosmia. Chem Senses 24:697-700

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