RESEARCH PROGRAM: The CCCRC conducts basic and clinical research on chemosensory systems. Research is conducted at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, CT and through a consortia at the J. B. Pierce Foundation in New Haven, CT. The goals of the CCCRC are to: (1) operate a Taste and Smell Clinic (TASC) and collect data on chemosensory disorders; (2) test clinical hypotheses regarding effect and treatment of chemosensory disorders; and (3) develop basic knowledge of chemosensory systems. At the heart of the CCCRC is the TASC, which is comprised of a multidisciplinary team concerned with developing ways to evaluate and treat people with chemosensory disorders. The TASC continues to collect data on chemosensory function, clinical conditions, and therapeutic interventions from patients with chemosensory disorders. This information is stored in a database that currently contains information on 2,556 subjects. The database is used to test clinical and scientific hypotheses, such as effects of topical anesthesia on dysgeusia and relationships between taste-quality identification performance and taste complaints. The clinical research projects proposed are focused on clinical trials of the effectiveness of topical corticosteroids for long- term treatment of olfactory loss due to nasal-sinus disease, a prospective determination of iatrogenic effects of oral surgeries on taste function, and data collection on burning mouth syndrome. Basic research projects on human subjects include taste-quality discrimination in normal subjects and in patients with simulated taste disorders and a project on the mechanisms and modality specificity of electric taste. Basic research projects on animals include (1) the effects of short-term and long-term recovery in the hamster brain stem after damage to taste nerves using anatomical, physiological and behavioral techniques; and (2) the effects of reversible deafferentation on the functional organization of the gustatory areas of the hamster cerebral cortex using optical recording and anatomical tracing methods.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Specialized Center (P50)
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Communication Disorders Review Committee (CDRC)
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University of Connecticut
Schools of Dentistry
United States
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Gent, Janneane F; Shafer, David M; Frank, Marion E (2003) The effect of orthognathic surgery on taste function on the palate and tongue. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 61:766-73
Gent, Janneane F; Frank, Marion E; Hettinger, Thomas P (2002) Taste confusions following chlorhexidine treatment. Chem Senses 27:73-80
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Frank, M E; Gent, J F; Hettinger, T P (2001) Effects of chlorhexidine on human taste perception. Physiol Behav 74:85-99
Formaker, B K; Frank, M E (2000) Taste function in patients with oral burning. Chem Senses 25:575-81
Wehby, R G; Frank, M E (1999) NOS- and non-NOS NADPH diaphorases in the insular cortex of the Syrian golden hamster. J Histochem Cytochem 47:197-207
Barry, M A (1999) Recovery of functional response in the nucleus of the solitary tract after peripheral gustatory nerve crush and regeneration. J Neurophysiol 82:237-47
Hettinger, T P; Gent, J F; Marks, L E et al. (1999) A confusion matrix for the study of taste perception. Percept Psychophys 61:1510-21
Gent, J F; Hettinger, T P; Frank, M E et al. (1999) Taste confusions following gymnemic acid rinse. Chem Senses 24:393-403
Shafer, D M; Frank, M E; Gent, J F et al. (1999) Gustatory function after third molar extraction. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod 87:419-28

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