Olfactory dysfunction in incidental Lewy body disease and Parkinson's disease

Erika Driver-Dunckley, Charles H. Adler, Joseph G. Hentz, Brittany N. Dugger, Holly A. Shill, John N. Caviness, Marwan N. Sabbagh, Thomas G. Beach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background: Olfactory dysfunction in Parkinson's disease (PD) is well-established and may represent one of the earliest signs of the disease. Objective & methods: The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship of olfactory dysfunction, using the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT), to clinical and pathological parameters of clinicopathologically diagnosed PD (n=10), incidental Lewy body disease (ILBD) (n=13), and identically assessed controls who lacked a neurodegenerative disease (n=69). Results: Mean UPSIT scores were significantly lower in PD (16.3, p<0.001) and ILBD (22.2, p=0.004) compared to controls (27.7). Using an UPSIT cutoff score of <22 (the 15th percentile) the sensitivity for detecting PD was 9/10 (90%) and ILBD 6/13 (46%), while the specificity was 86% (Controls with score of <22=10/69). Conclusions: These results add to the growing body of evidence suggesting that olfactory testing could be useful as a screening tool for identifying early, pre-motor PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1260-1262
Number of pages3
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Hyposmia
  • Incidental Lewy body disease
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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