When evaluating your symptoms for diagnosis of PD, did your doctor ask whether you still have your sense of smell?

Neither my GP or Neuro asked that question although they asked and checked everything else. This, in spite of the fact that a large percentage of PWP lose their sense of smell, often long before other symptoms develop. Also, in studies of anosmia, I have not seen any information linking it to Parkinson's.

Any thoughts???

26 Replies

  • I don't recall any of my medical team asking about this having been diagnoised for over three years. However, I recently came across this information on the MJF website a few weeks ago. I was blown away as I have a very diminished scent of smell and have been for well over 10 years. I had no idea there was any relation.

  • Now if we could only find out where the information fits in the big picture....

  • No, it was never mentioned.

  • I've been told that my loss of smell is because of PD.

    Many years ago I asked by GP about my loss of smell. He squirted perfume in the air, asked if I could smell it. I could, some. He said I was OK.

    No one else has asked.

    I did mention to my nurse that I can't taste because I can't smell. She didn't seem surprised.

  • Domino,

    In polling my local group of recently diagnosed PWP, five of eight have lost or are losing their abiliity to smell. It would seem that the medical profession is missing out on a good tool.

  • i lost my sense of smell about 10 years ago when it wasrealised that i had pd it was then it was associated with it .one of our local pd docters asks about sense of smell first he maintains its the first & most obvious signs having said ive lost my sense of smell it hasnt gone completely i can smell some perfumes & bacon frying luckily i cant smell the bad smells like crap & rotten things so sometimes its ablessing

  • Davey,

    Yes, it's a blessing..........(unless you've stepped in some.)

  • i also suffered from alack of taste but i put that right by divorcing her

  • Good one! Sense of taste is dependent on sense of smell, so you could always blame in on that!

    I have not lost my sense of smell, it has always been too acute, so maybe it would be a good thing, though I do use it as an indicator of when food is ready.

    If I do loose it, I am sure everything I cook will eventually go up in flames, as I forget about things that I am slow cooking, like beans.

  • At my first appt nearly 4 years ago my neuro asked about smell along with whether i smoked. This was the first time i had heard the connection. He wasnt a movement disorder neuro either. He had the philosophy of undertreating Parkinsons which i appreciated.

    Found this Mayo clinic linic on anosmia


  • Hikoi,

    The Mayo article is good. It points out another (remote) possibility, that Anosmia may not be a symptom of PD, but that they are separate problems which share a common cause, such as exposure to insecicides or other caustic substances. Thanks for your response.

  • hi


    it has neve rbeen mentioned but my sense of taste and smell have been diminished to the point of non existence overthe last 20 years

    Put down to sinusitis

    lol jill :-)

  • It wasn't til after my diagnosis that I realized just why I was so fond of hot /spicy Chicken Wings. A guy doesn't tend to eat as much if he can't taste the food either!

  • yes, just took this test, it was very interesting. my husband and i both had to take it since we live in the same enviroment. he passed and i failed! we answered almost the same but its different for men and womens and im 4 yrs older. PD plays a big part in my lose of smell but my taste senses is still good. interesting test.

  • I can't even remember when I lost my sense of smell it was so long ago. It was only when someone asked 'can you smell that' and I could not smell anything, that I realised that it had gone.

    As far as I remember I have never been asked by any member of the medical profession about my sense of smell.

  • yes both neuros asked and I had to say yes, pretty much

  • We had 3 differant doctors check out my husband for Parkinsons. We didn't want to beleive that he had it. Only one asked him that question. We researched it and we found it is linked to PD. I wonder why you couldn't find that info. Almost every thing we found says they feel or think it is related but that is said about all the other proroblems that come along with PD too.

  • My husband has had sinus problems for years. Has had surgery where they went in through his throat. That was about 10 years ago, and he has been dx'd over 3 yrs. ago. His sense of smell hasn't been good since that surgery. But he hasn't been asked about it.

  • I gradually lost my sense of smell -- pre PD dx-- and even after the dx nobody asked about it. I went to an ear/nose/throat specialist and he chalked it up to likely complications of a bad sinus infection in my past. Then, after dx.. I happened to see it online somewhere as a potential symptom, but to this day no one has asked about the sense of smell issue. One more reason it's aptly called medical "Practice".

  • Never Asked, even though I have that symptom and it has been with me from the start of my symptoms.

  • Never been asked the question , but have lost the sense of smell and taste . .. His mother did also . Has a step broth er same mother who also has Parkinsons

  • Yep I think this is typical question when trying to dx espeically on young on set patients..

  • I was told about loss of smell being a common indicator/symptom of PD when I was dxd 8 yrs ago. My sense of smell is odd. I don't smell certain odours that most people can. It's a bit sound waves in hearing. I know this because when i was studying genetics in 'A' level Biology (UK) I got the job of feeding greenfly larva raw meat in a pneumatic trough- the smell made the others retch. Could this be another case of parallel phenomena?

  • Just thought hubby was over reacting to my candle fettish, air fresher fettish and perfume fettish. I was a smell freak but now unless it is really strong, i don't smell it in anything. ANd my husband smokes lightly so I wonder how his smell is affected. I dont smell him smoking anymore.

    explains why he says our appartment smells like a candle shop but I dont smell much.


  • Hi, he did not ask I told him. but he confirmed that an affected sense of smell is a typical P symptoms. Today, I have virtually no smell.

    Mr. Day

  • There are a lots of various symptoms of PD that the docs never ask, but after doing internet research, I have found that I have most of them ! I do have a severely diminished sense of taste and smell.

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