Although Parkinson's disease (PD) is usually considered as a movement disorder, it is strongly associated with non-motor symptoms (NMS), including smell and taste dysfunctions, cognitive impairment, apathy, fatigue, and autonomic dysregulation. Olfactory deficit is considered the most common NMS in PD preceding the motor symptoms for years. The aim of this study was to investigate olfactory function, cognitive impairment, apathy, and fatigue in patients with PD in comparison with healthy controls, and subsequently to analyse the correlations between these NMS and motor symptoms severity in subjects with PD. One hundred and forty-seven participants were enrolled (96 PD patients, mean age in years 67.5, SD 7.2; 51 healthy controls; mean age 65.1, SD 11.8). Olfactory function was evaluated using the Sniffin' Sticks test (odor detection threshold, discrimination and identification). The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) was used to assess cognitive impairment. Apathy was examined by the self-report version of Starkstein Apathy Scale and fatigue was evaluated with the Parkinson's Disease Fatigue Scale. PD patients showed severe impairment in odor detection threshold, discrimination, and identification compared to healthy controls. Moreover, in PD patients, apathy and fatigue scores were significantly increased, while MoCA scores were decreased in comparison with controls. Multivariate linear regression analyses showed that both apathy and Unified PD Rating Scale (UPDRS) were associated with odor identification, discrimination and Threshold-Discrimination-Identification (TDI) score. In conclusion, our results reported changes in apathy and motor disability as significant predictors in alterations of odor identification, discrimination and TDI score. Furthermore, these data suggest that olfactory dysfunction might progress in tight relation with motor impairment UPDRS but also with non-motor symptoms such as apathy.
In herbivorous insects, food selection depends on sensitivity to specific chemical stimuli from host-plants as well as to secondary metabolites (bitter) and to sugars (phagostimulatory). Bitter compounds are noxious, unpalatable or both and evoke an aversive feeding response. Instead, sugars and sugar alcohols play a critical role in determining and enhancing the palatability of foods. We assumed that peripheral taste sensitivity may be related to the width of the host selection. Our model consists of two closely phylogenetically related Papilionid species exhibiting a difference in host plant choice: Papilio hospiton and Papilio machaon. The spike activity of the lateral and medial maxillary styloconic taste sensilla was recorded following stimulation with several carbohydrates, nicotine and NaCl, with the aim of characterizing their gustatory receptor neurons and of comparing their response patterns in the light of their different acceptability in feeding behaviour. The results show that: a) each sensillum houses phagostimulant and phagodeterrent cells; b) the spike activity of the gustatory neurons in response to different taste stimuli is higher in P. hospiton than in P. machaon; c) sugar solutions inhibit the spike activity of the deterrent and salt cells, and the suppression is higher in P. machaon than in P. hospiton. In conclusion, we propose that the different balance between the phagostimulant and phagodeterrent inputs from GRNs of maxillary sensilla may contribute in determining the difference in food choice and host range.
Introduction Several studies evaluated the influence of cultural\ud
components on the Sniffin’ Sticks Identification Test in\ud
different countries. The aim of this study was to analyze the\ud
olfactory function in a large sample of healthy subjects living\ud
in Sardinia, an island known for its historic genetic isolation,\ud
in relation to different age ranges to provide new data in\ud
healthy Sardinian subjects.\ud
Methods Olfactory perception of 161 participants (108 females\ud
and 53 males; age range 19–78 years) was assessed\ud
through three different parameters: odor detection threshold,\ud
discrimination, and identification by means of the\ud
Sniffin’Sticks Extended test (SST).\ud
Results Our results show that young adults were generally\ud
normosmic, while in subjects over 55, a statistically significant\ud
age-related decrease of all the parameters was observed.\ud
Regarding odor identification task, a few, such as leather, apples,\ud
lemons, cloves, and pineapples, were frequently\ud
incorrectly identified by participants probably due to the similarities\ud
between the odors and distractors.\ud
Conclusion and Implications Our data provide a comprehensive\ud
evaluation of the three olfactory components in the\ud
Sardinian population and confirm a decrease in the odor detection\ud
threshold, discrimination and identification as well as\ud
in the global TDI score in subjects over 55 years of age. These\ud
results may be useful in providing normative values for routine\ud
clinical use of the SSET in Sardinian subjects
The Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann, 1824; Diptera: Tephritidae), is a polyphagous pest in horticulture, mainly targeting Citrus fruits. Natural essential and fixed oils are currently under investigation for their broad-spectrum in pest control. To gain better knowledge about medfly behavior and biochemistry, we examined with behavioral and biochemical assays, the effects on C. capitata from six natural fixed oils obtained from vegetable (five) or animal (one) matrices using the ecofriendly supercritical CO 2 extraction. Oils were obtained at 250/300 bar and 40°C from the seeds of Laurus nobilis and Citrus paradisi, the fruits of Myristica fragrans and Pistacia terebinthus, wheat germ, and mullet roes (marine oil). Behavioral experiments were performed by means of twochoice tests to analyze the oil attractant effect compared with control (water or standard diet). The fatty acid composition of oils and the total lipid and fatty acid profile of medflies were characterized by chromatographic techniques. Behavioral bioassays showed that fixed oil obtained from M. fragrans (nutmeg butter) was more attractive than other oils. Medflies fed (24 hr) on marine oil showed significant changes in the total lipid and fatty acid profile induced by oil ingestion without toxic effects. However, 56% mortality was observed in insects fed on M. fragrans oil and no biochemical changes ascribable to oil ingestion were detected in the medflies that survived. Our results advance Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. 2018;99:e21508. wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/arch
Qualitative smell/taste disorders (such as phantosmia, parosmia, phantogeusia, and parageusia) have not yet been fully characterized in patients who had COVID-19, whereas quantitative disturbances (i.e., reduction/loss of smell/taste) have been widely investigated.
To simultaneously assess the presence of both quantitative and qualitative smell/taste dysfunctions in patients who suffered from COVID-19.
We enrolled 17 consecutive patients who suffered from COVID-19 over the last 6 months and 21 healthy controls, matched for sex and age. After a negative nasopharyngeal swab, the Sniffin’ Sticks Test and the Taste Strips were used to assess olfactory and taste function, respectively. At the same time, the presence of phantosmia, parosmia, phantogeusia, and parageusia was investigated with a standardized questionnaire.
Qualitative disturbances of smell and/or taste were found in 6/17 (35.3%) patients. Phantosmia was reported in 2/17 (11.8%) patients and parosmia in 4/17 (23.5%). There were no significant differences in smell test scores between patients who reported phantosmia and/or parosmia and patients who did not. Phantogeusia was described in 3/17 (17.6%) patients, and parageusia was identified in 4/17 (23.5%) patients. All tested patients were normogeusic.
Around one-third of patients who recover from COVID-19 may have persistent qualitative dysfunction in smell/taste domains. Detection of phantogeusia in long-term COVID-19 patients represents a further novel finding. Further investigation is needed to better characterize the pathophysiology of phantosmia, parosmia, phantogeusia, and parageusia in patients who had COVID-19.
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