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Training course / clinical attachment

LogoInspired through the most recent EPOS position paper on rhinosinusitis and nasal polyps we would like to offer one week training courses/clinical attachments on olfactory and gustatory function and dysfunction, its diagnosis and treatment.

The course will take place at the Smell and Taste Clinic of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the TU Dresden, Germany. Should you be interested please contact Thomas Hummel, M.D.,

The training course/clinical attachment will cover

  • impact of smell and taste disorders on patients
  • clinical care for patients affected by smell and taste disorders
  • clinical research in these areas
  • conservative and surgical treatment of smell and taste disorders

How much will it cost?

Nothing (but it would be nice if you would invite the lab for dinner!)

When will it be?

Anytime that suits you and us. Appointments should be made 4 months before commencement of the attachment.

What do we need from you?

Because it will be a clinical attachment, we would need from you: Visa (if outside of EU), passport, CV including DOB and place of birth, mandatory immunization record including recent (less than 10 years) immunization for: Tetanus, diphtheria, polio, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella

Who will benefit?

Physicians, psychologists, biologists, health-care professionals etc.

What will be covered in detail?

Be part of our outpatients clinic

Two days per week we see a total 16-20 patients with various olfactory and gustatory disorders. They receive detailed olfactory testing, structured interviews, intense counselling.

Olfactory dysfunction in neurodegenerative disorders

Impairment of olfaction is a characteristic feature of many neurodegenerative diseases. We will summarize the available information about olfactory function in distinct neurodegenerative conditions and possible therapeutic strategies. It indicates the advantageous use of olfactory testing as a contribution to early and differential diagnosis in Parkinson´s disease and Alzheimer´s dementia. Deficits in the sense of smell precede clinical motor and cognitive symptoms by years and are helpful in assessing the risk for developing these diseases in otherwise asymptomatic individuals. Numerous studies suggest that olfactory disturbances in Parkinson`s disease have diagnostic utility for the differentiation from other movement disorders.

Olfactory and gustatory disorders

The chemical senses gustation and of olfaction are important not only for the detection of potential dangers such as fire or spoilt food, but also for the quality of life of human beings. In this article, we review the characteristics of the sense of smell and give a short overview about possible olfactory dysfunctions and their therapy.

Assessment of nasal airflow

The nose will receive a closer look using rigid and flexible endoscopy technique. Special attention will be paid to the appearance of the vomeronasal duct, as well as to the nasoplatine duct. Major reasons of olfactory loss due to alterations of nasal conditions will be demonstrated. This course will also provide a practical introduction to anterior rhinomanometry, acoustic rhinometry, and Laser Doppler Flowmetry.

Olfactometry / gustometry

An introduction to olfactometry and gustometry will be given. This will consist of both, a more theoretical introduction to this are of research, and a hands-on, practical approach. 

Psychophysical techniques for the assessment of chemonsensory functions

Assessing olfactory and trigeminal function is a key aspect not only in a clinical context but also in olfactory research. During the course different smell-tests will be demonstrated. The focus will be on the Sniffin Sticks test battery with its subtest for evaluating olfactory threshold, odor discrimination and odor identification, which can be experienced in this hands-on course. In addition two methods for assessing intranasal trigeminal function will be demonstrated.

Recordings from the olfactory epithelium

Electro-olfactogram (EOG) are local-field potentials generated in the olfactory epithelium in response to an olfactory stimulus providing neural information from the peripheral olfactory level. EOGs are commonly characterized by the response amplitude that is a negative peak and by the response latency that relates to the time point of the amplitude. During the practical course, it will be shown how to (i) prepare electrodes for recordings; (ii) localize the EOG recording site; (iii) administer odorous stimuli; (iv) visualize EOG responses to odorants.

Biopsies, nasal endoscopy

Starting from known neuroanatomic correlates of olfaction, functional imaging methods will be introduced. The most widely used functional imaging method being MRI, we will concentrate on this modality. We will look at all steps of a fMRI-study, beginning with the methodological background, passing by the study-design, to finally interpret the results of the complex data analysis procedures. Besides the great advantage of good anatomical resolution, fMRI has a rather poor temporal resolution. Possible remedies for this problem will be discussed.

Event-related potential olfactometry and gustometry

EEG (Electroencephalography) is an electrophysiological method to record electrical activity of the brain, with a high temporal resolution. The brain processing of chemosensory perceptions could be measured and studied by the delivery of odors or taste solutions using olfactometers or gustometers. This portion of the course comprises the introduction to the principles of olfactometry and gustometry, demonstration of odor/taste stimulation and recording of event-related brain waves, and the time-frequency analytical method for olfactory EEG results. Specific applications of these measurements will also be discussed.

In addition, the following issues will be touched upon

Olfaction and depression

Olfaction in childhood

Trigeminal function

Nasal inflammation

Olfactory neuroanatomy on the basis of MR scans

Volumetric assessment of the olfactory bulb