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Molecular Mechanism of Parosmia

By Jane K Parker, Christine E. Kelly, Simon B Gane

Posted 08 Feb 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.02.05.21251085

The molecular stimuli that trigger parosmia have been identified. Parosmia is a debilitating disease in which familiar smells become distorted and unpleasant. Often a result of post infectious smell loss, incidences are increasing as the number of COVID-19 cases escalates worldwide. Little is understood of its pathophysiology, but the prevailing hypothesis for the underlying mechanism is a mis-wiring of olfactory sensory neurons. We identified 15 different molecular triggers in coffee using GC-Olfactometry as a relatively rapid screening tool for assessment of both quantitative olfactory loss and parosmia. This provides evidence for peripheral causation, but places constraints on the mis-wiring theory.

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