Is the Loss of Smell an Indicator of ... - Parkinson's Movement

Parkinson's Movement

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Is the Loss of Smell an Indicator of COVID-19 Infection? Probably

sharoncrayn
sharoncrayn

Spinning off comments by UK’s ENT president...and the fact that TORY MP Nadine Dorries has revealed she has completely lost her senses of taste and smell after contracting COVID-19, this is my take.

(For information purposes only. See or call your physician.)

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Anyone familiar with PD research on the loss of smell (Haehner, et al, 2011) or the work of Pinto and McClintock (2014) understands that the loss of smell accompanies the progression of PD and from Pinto/McClintock’s work it accompanies the progression of mortality in certain cases by a factor of three (3).

Although some will dismiss their work, Pinto/McClintock’s work should not be dismissed because they did not deal with PD. They tested more than 3,000 people between the ages of 57 and 85, which is also the wheel house for PD, particularly males.

They found:

1) A TOTAL loss of smell resulted in 3x times greater mortality regardless of co-factor(s) like diabetes or cardio vascular disease.

2) They didn’t know why this increase in mortality occurred, but the olfactory nerve, the sole conduit from a person's nose to their brain, also happens to be the only cranial nerve that is directly exposed to the environment, and hence a primary conduit for COVID-19 if suspended in air as particulate matter, which it often is.

IMO, the loss of smell should not be dismissed as an possible indicator of COVID-19 infection (or PD progression for that matter). It isn't a perfect indicator, but it shouldn't be dismissed as irrelevant.

(I am busy closing down my clinical trials, so I have no time to respond to comments or questions.)

Keep safe.

Sharon

12 Replies
oldestnewest

Succinct and informative. Thank you.

One thing I inadvertently edited out that should be noted.

IMPORTANT: If person with PD (who has specific co-factors such as a pulmonary distress condition: smoking COPD, HIV, consistent pneumonia episodes, etc.) but has never had a loss of smell and/or taste to any significant degree, but now experiences a TOTAL LOSS.

Please get yourself tested ASAP. Even if you were previously tested negatively, ask for a re-test. Even if right now you are “asymptomatic” (without any obvious external symptoms). In a week or two you might not be. Better safe than sorry.

Sharon

One thing I inadvertently edited out that should be noted.

IMPORTANT: If person with PD who has specific co-factors (which are not not necessarily limited to pulmonary factors) such as CVD, diabetes, and pulmonary distress conditions: smoking COPD, HIV, consistent pneumonia episodes, etc. but has never had a loss of smell and/or taste to any significant degree, but now experiences a TOTAL LOSS.

Please get yourself tested ASAP. Even if you were previously tested negatively, ask for a re-test. Even if right now you are “asymptomatic” (without any obvious external symptoms). In a week or two you might not be. Better safe than sorry.

Sharon

Reports are wide spread on loss of smell in those who are COVID -19 positive (NY Times article link below). For some COVID -19 positive it is the only symptom. For those of us with PD and weak sense of smell to start with, it may be hard to determine what is PD and what is COVID-19 symptom.

nytimes.com/2020/03/22/heal...

sharoncrayn
sharoncrayn in reply to KemptonD

If you have a sense of smell and/ or taste now, and then suddenly loose it, go get tested.

Sudden total loss is the key.

I wonder if serious COVID-19 infection will hasten the progression of neuro-degenerative diseases. Hope not.

Sharon

Grumpy77
Grumpy77 in reply to sharoncrayn

So the other question is if you loose your sense of smell due to coronavirus, once you recover from the virus do you regain your sense of smell or is it gone forever?

jrg54321
jrg54321 in reply to Grumpy77

The New York Times article said the loss of smell lasted a few weeks.

Unfortunately, at least around here (SF Bay Area), and I believe in many places, it isn't possible to get tested unless you're symptoms are bad enough to hospitalize...

glenandgerry
glenandgerry in reply to rebtar

Same here in the UK

sfgate.com/news/article/Los...

I did experience a loss of small, although not complete, due to PD. However this improved with B1 therapy.

Zinc is used by the body to activate t-cells to fight infections. I wonder if people who experience anosmia were low in the mineral (especially vegetarians and vegans high in copper) and went zinc deficient, which could cause the problem. Given the S. Korean stat shows about 30% of the patient population experienced the issue with Covid-19, I'd be curious to see a correlation to the mineral status.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/271...

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