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Diagnostics, therapy, registration


Carmen Lässig is responsible for the scheduling of the center's "Smell Clinic"; she also carries out the majority of the tests.

Patients with smell or taste problems are kindly requested to register under phone number +49- 0351 458-2118. Please leave your message with the answering machine - Carmen Lässig will get back to you!

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EndoskopieFirst of all, at the smell and taste center you will have the opportunity to report your smell or taste problems in a detailed interview. Your eating, drinking, and smoking habits will be addressed as well as further disorders, accidents and surgeries you may have undergone. Specifically, thyroid function, nasal airflow (breathing through the nose) and allergies are of interest. If possible, please bring along previous x-ray images, medical files, and a list of your current medication.

After the interview, a thorough ENT examination will be performed, including nasal endoscopy. If you are interested in having a look into a regular nasal cavity, you will find a . video recording of a nasal endoscopy here (4.26MB).

Smell and taste tests

The sense of smell will be tested using th so called "Sniffin' Sticks". Several aspects of olfaction will be assessed, such as: how strong is a smell required to be for you to perceive it; how is your ability to differentiate between odors; how well are you able to name odors? In addition, retronasal olfaction will be tested (the perception of odors presented through the mouth rather than the nose). Taste tests are performed using taste sprays, chewable tablets or strips of filter paper impregnated with taste solutions ("taste strips").


Detailed information about smell and taste disorders (PDF)

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Recording of brain activity following olfactory stimulation

So called "event related potentials" (ERP) represent cerebral responses to sensory stimuli, such as odors, obtained from EEG (electro-encephalo-gram) recordings. While the EEG is recorded via electrodes which are incorporated in a close fitting elastic cap, odorous stimuli are repeatedly delivered into the nostrils by means of thin tubes. The device used to present the stimuli in a computer controlled fashion is called "olfactometer". The ERP method yields rather exact results and is therefore superior to other procedures.

Further examinations

MRIDepending on a case's particulars, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CAT (computer assisted tomography) are performed, which permit to distinguish smell disorders acquired very early in life from those of a later origin.

Other methods reserved for special cases would be to analyse samples of tissue or mucosa, or to obtain recordings from the olfactory mucosa.

Furthermore, so called functional MRI (fMRI) may be performed, yileding images of activated brain areas after olfactory or gustatory stimulation. In certain contexts, the volume of the olfactory bulb may also be assessed.


Subject during fMRI investigation with smell presentation

Application of nasal drops

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