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Keywords:

  • Smell;
  • olfaction;
  • trigeminal function;
  • irritation;
  • negative mucosal potential

Abstract

The trigeminal and olfactory nerves share overlapping innervation areas in the nasal cavity and seem to work in an interactive way. Loss of olfactory function leads to a decreased trigeminal sensitivity, as shown in anosmic subjects. To report the impact of disturbed trigeminal sensitivity on the olfactory function, we present a patient with unilateral loss of trigeminal function resulting from a meningeoma. Thresholds to a selective olfactory stimulus were elevated by a factor of 64 on the affected side. Recordings of event-related potentials in response to olfactory stimuli showed a significantly reduced response on the affected side. This report indicates that loss of trigeminal function may affect the sense of smell.