Testing shortened versions of smell tests to screen for hyposmia in Parkinson’s disease

Stephen D. Auger, Sofia Kanavou, Michael Lawton, Yoav Ben-Shlomo, Michele T. Hu, Anette E. Schrag, Huw R. Morris, Donald G. Grosset, Alastair J. Noyce*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

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Abstract

Background
Hyposmia is an early feature in neurodegenerative diseases, most notably Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Using abbreviated smell tests could provide a cost-effective means for large-scale hyposmia screening. It is unclear whether short smell tests can effectively detect hyposmia in patient populations.

Objectives
To test the ability of short smell combinations to ‘pre-screen’ for probable hyposmia in people with PD and target administration of more extensive tests, such as the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT).

Methods
We assessed the screening performance of a short 4 smell combination previously derived from use of the 40-item UPSIT in healthy older people and its ability to detect hyposmia in a large cohort of PD patients.

Results
The novel 4 smell combination included Menthol, Clove, Onion and Orange and had a sensitivity of 87.1% (95% confidence interval: 84.9%-89.2%) and specificity of 69.7% (63.3%-75.5%) for detecting hyposmia in patients with PD. A different (also novel) 4-item combination developed using a data driven approach in PD patients only achieved 81.3% (78.2%-84.4%) sensitivity for equivalent specificity.

Conclusions
A short 4 smell combination derived from a healthy population demonstrated high sensitivity to detect those with hyposmia and PD.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalMovement Disorders Clinical Practice
Early online date28 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Feb 2020

Keywords

  • hyposmia
  • Parkinson's disease
  • UPSIT
  • smell tests
  • screening

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