Olfaction as a Marker for Dystonia: Background, Current State and Directions

Thorsten Herr, Julie Gamain, Robert Fleischmann, Bernhard Lehnert, Marcus Vollmer, Carsten Willert, Birgitt Veit, Andrea Stenner, Jan-Uwe Mueller, Barbara Caspers, Martin Kronenbuerger
2020 Brain Sciences  
Dystonia is a heterogeneous group of hyperkinetic movement disorders. The unifying descriptor of dystonia is the motor manifestation, characterized by continuous or intermittent contractions of muscles that cause abnormal movements and postures. Additionally, there are psychiatric, cognitive, and sensory alterations that are possible or putative non-motor manifestations of dystonia. The pathophysiology of dystonia is incompletely understood. A better understanding of dystonia pathophysiology is
more » ... pathophysiology is highly relevant in the amelioration of significant disability associated with motor and non-motor manifestations of dystonia. Recently, diminished olfaction was found to be a potential non-motor manifestation that may worsen the situation of subjects with dystonia. Yet, this finding may also shed light into dystonia pathophysiology and yield novel treatment options. This article aims to provide background information on dystonia and the current understanding of its pathophysiology, including the key structures involved, namely, the basal ganglia, cerebellum, and sensorimotor cortex. Additionally, involvement of these structures in the chemical senses are reviewed to provide an overview on how olfactory (and gustatory) deficits may occur in dystonia. Finally, we describe the present findings on altered chemical senses in dystonia and discuss directions of research on olfactory dysfunction as a marker in dystonia.
doi:10.3390/brainsci10100727 pmid:33066144 fatcat:zo7pi7g7snf4jc5qfkwlug6ll4