Olfaction plays an important role in the perception of our environment. Smell impairment is known to be a manifestation of several autoimmune diseases. Similarities between the olfactory and immune systems and previously published human studies and animal models of autoimmune diseases account for the accumulating evidence for this observation. In this review, we will present the current literature concerning olfactory dysfunction in autoimmune diseases, discuss clinical aspects and provide new insights regarding pathogenesis and possible mechanisms.
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Olfactory dysfunction and autoimmunity: pathogenesis and new insights
"The olfactory system is able to identify specific odour molecules through a delicate physiological process that starts in the olfactory epithelium, proceeds through the olfactory nerve fibres, which converge into the olfactory nerve and bulb, and ends in olfactionrelated areas in the cerebrum. Olfactory dysfunction (OD) is comprised of partial and complete loss of smell (hyposmia and anosmia, respectively)."