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Olfactory function distinguishes vascular parkinsonism from Parkinson’s disease


Objective: To compare olfactory function in vascular parkinsonism and Parkinson’s disease diagnosed according to published clinical diagnostic criteria.

Methods: The University of Pennsylvania smell identification test (UPSIT) was carried out in 14 patients with vascular parkinsonism, 18 with Parkinson’s disease, and 27 normal controls matched for age, sex, and smoking status.

Results: UPSIT scores in vascular parkinsonism (mean 26.1, 95% confidence interval, 23.1 to 29.0) were significantly better than in Parkinson’s disease (mean 17.1 (14.5 to 19.7)) (p<0.0001), and did not differ from the healthy controls (mean 27.6 (25.8 to 29.4)) (p = 0.32).

Conclusions: Testing olfactory function may be helpful in differentiating vascular parkinsonism from Parkinson’s disease.

  • UPSIT, University of Pennsylvania smell identification test
  • olfactory function
  • vascular parkinsonism
  • Parkinson’s disease

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