Olfactory threshold to differing concentrations of amyl acetate was determined in 78 subjects with idiopathic Parkinson's disease and 40 age-matched controls. Impaired olfactory threshold (previously reported by others) was confirmed in Parkinsonian subjects compared with controls. There was no significant correlation between olfactory threshold and age, sex, duration of disease, or current therapy with levodopa or anticholinergic drugs. In a sub-group of 14 levodopa-treated patients with severe "on-off" fluctuations, no change in olfactory threshold between the two states was demonstrable. Olfactory impairment in Parkinson's disease may involve mechanisms that are not influenced by pharmacologic manipulation of dopaminergic or cholinergic status.
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