Physiology and Treatment of Olfactory Dysfunctions

A special issue of Brain Sciences (ISSN 2076-3425). This special issue belongs to the section "Systems Neuroscience".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2023) | Viewed by 5265

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Howard University, Washington, DC 20059, USA
Interests: translational medicine; drug discovery; public health; neural signaling and synaptic transmission in the central nervous system; functional organization of the olfactory and limbic system; cellular and network mechanisms of brain function and dysfunction studied with electrophysiological, optical, anatomical, and pharmacological methods
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Olfaction, the sense of smell, is critically important in our daily lives and contributes to our personal wellbeing and safety as well as communication with others. However, it is only when disease or injury impair its function that we appreciate the relevance of this sensory modality. During the past several decades, research of the olfactory sense has seen ever-growing interest in this exciting field of study. Researchers have attempted to and succeeded in deciphering molecular, cellular, and system aspects of the olfactory sense that are the basis for behavior and disease. However, even though our understanding of olfactory physiology has grown tremendously, pivotal questions remain regarding the treatment of sinonasal and olfactory dysfunctions and recovery from olfactory sensory loss. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the relevance of olfaction as a key symptom of disease and underscored our needed search for cures of both short- and long-term loss of olfaction. The olfactory system shows distinct regenerative capacity by generating new olfactory sensory neurons in the nasal epithelium and adding new central olfactory neurons to the olfactory bulb circuitry. Several neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the loss of smell as a prodromal symptom. At the same time, olfactory function is related to emotional wellbeing and involved in olfactory-dysfunction-induced psychiatric disorders.

This Special Issue intends to provide the reader with a comprehensive overview of the current state of the art of olfaction and olfactory dysfunctions in humans and animal models. The Special Issue will address all aspects of olfaction, ranging from molecular, cellular, developmental, and systems to cognitive and behavioral topics, as well as clinical studies.

In this Special Issue, we welcome original and review articles, as well as opinion, methods, and modeling studies. Individual papers can focus on recent advances in specific areas of olfactory physiology or pathophysiology, while other studies might focus on technological developments to study olfactory function, dysfunction, and treatment options.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Heinbockel
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • olfactory sensory transduction
  • phantosmia
  • olfactory learning
  • olfactory neurogenesis
  • COVID-19
  • olfactory bulb
  • olfactory cortex
  • distorted smell
  • sniffing (orthonasal olfaction) or eating (retronasal olfaction)
  • nerve cell regeneration
  • neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease)
  • aging
  • rhinosinusitis

Published Papers (2 papers)

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10 pages, 771 KiB  
Article
Neural Processing of Odors with Different Well-Being Associations—Findings from Two Consecutive Neuroimaging Studies
by Akshita Joshi, Henriette Hornstein, Divesh Thaploo, Vanda Faria, Jonathan Warr and Thomas Hummel
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 576; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040576 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1342
Abstract
Much is known about the effect of odors on mood, cognition and behavior, but little is known about the relationship between odors and well-being. We investigated the neural processing of odors with different degrees of association with well-being (WB) through two large independent [...] Read more.
Much is known about the effect of odors on mood, cognition and behavior, but little is known about the relationship between odors and well-being. We investigated the neural processing of odors with different degrees of association with well-being (WB) through two large independent datasets. The study encompassed pre-testing and fMRI. During pre-testing, 100 and 80 (studies 1 and 2) young, healthy subjects participated, rating intensity, valence, and WB association for 14 (study 1) and 8 (study 2) different odors. Pre-testing resulted in the selection of two odors with high WB association (WB-associated) and two odors with lower WB association (neutral odors) for each study. Odors were delivered intranasally to the subjects who underwent fMRI scanning (44 and 41 subjects, respectively, for studies 1 and 2). We assessed brain activity for subjects when they experienced WB-associated versus neutral odors. In study 1, WB-associated odors showed increased activation in the right angular gyrus whereas in study 2, increased activity in the left angular gyrus existed, together with increased activity in the anterior cingulate cortex and posterior orbitofrontal cortex. The increased activity of higher-order cognitive and emotional regions during the processing of WB-associated odors in the two independent studies suggests a role of odors in influencing individual well-being. Moreover, the consistent activation of the angular gyrus might suggest its key role in shifting attention toward relevant emotional stimuli. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiology and Treatment of Olfactory Dysfunctions)
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Review

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18 pages, 4013 KiB  
Review
The Olfactory Bulb in Companion Animals—Anatomy, Physiology, and Clinical Importance
by Rui Alvites, Abby Caine, Giunio Bruto Cherubini, Justina Prada, Artur Severo P. Varejão and Ana Colette Maurício
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(5), 713; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13050713 - 24 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3414
Abstract
The Olfactory Bulb is a component of the Olfactory System, in which it plays an essential role as an interface between the peripheral components and the cerebral cortex responsible for olfactory interpretation and discrimination. It is in this element that the first selective [...] Read more.
The Olfactory Bulb is a component of the Olfactory System, in which it plays an essential role as an interface between the peripheral components and the cerebral cortex responsible for olfactory interpretation and discrimination. It is in this element that the first selective integration of olfactory stimuli occurs through a complex cell interaction that forwards the received olfactory information to higher cortical centers. Considering its position in the organizational hierarchy of the olfactory system, it is now known that changes in the Olfactory Bulb can lead to olfactory abnormalities. Through imaging techniques, it was possible to establish relationships between the occurrence of changes secondary to brain aging and senility, neurodegenerative diseases, head trauma, and infectious diseases with a decrease in the size of the Olfactory Bulb and in olfactory acuity. In companion animals, this relationship has also been identified, with observations of relations between the cranial conformation, the disposition, size, and shape of the Olfactory Bulb, and the occurrence of structural alterations associated with diseases with different etiologies. However, greater difficulty in quantitatively assessing olfactory acuity in animals and a manifestly smaller number of studies dedicated to this topic maintain a lack of concrete and unequivocal results in this field of veterinary sciences. The aim of this work is to revisit the Olfactory Bulb in companion animals in all its dimensions, review its anatomy and histological characteristics, physiological integration in the olfactory system, importance as a potential early indicator of the establishment of specific pathologies, as well as techniques of imaging evaluation for its in vivo clinical exploration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiology and Treatment of Olfactory Dysfunctions)
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