Olfactory function is reduced in aged humans and diabetes mellitus patients. However, little is known about the pathogenic mechanisms leading to olfactory dysfunction. Recently, it has been shown that the voltage-gated potassium channel Kv1.3 is regulated by insulin and is highly expressed in the olfactory bulb. Furthermore, the function of this channel is associated with olfaction in mice and with glucose metabolism in mice and men. We therefore hypothesized that a functionally relevant polymorphism in Kv1.3 might alter olfactory function.