Influence of Toxins on Olfactory Function and their Potential Association with Neurodegenerative Disease

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Olfactory impairment significantly affects many facets of well-being. The olfactory epithelium (OE) is particularly susceptible to damage from environmental agents given its rather direct exposure to the inhaled air and associated outside environment. The neuronal reserve area of the subventricular zone (SVZ) is critical when discussing the influence of toxins and neurodegenerative diseases on olfactory function and pathology. The immune system plays a critical role in thwarting the penetration of unwelcome organisms or xenobiotics into the brain via the OE. Inflammatory processes trigger neural hyperresponsiveness with the release of neuropeptides by sensory nerve endings and their resultant vasodilatation, leukocyte recruitment, and immune cell activation in a process known as neurogenic inflammation. Aluminum (Al) neurotoxicity is important to consider because the reports dealing with olfaction deficits associated with glue sniffing in teenagers who inadvertently expose themselves to such metals and other neurotoxic chemicals with the intent of feeling high.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Olfaction and Gustation
Subtitle of host publicationThird Edition
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781118971758
ISBN (Print)9781118139226
StatePublished - Jun 4 2015


  • Aluminum (Al) neurotoxicity
  • Immune system
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neurogenic inflammation
  • Neuronal reserve area
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Olfactory epithelium (OE)
  • Olfactory function
  • Subventricular zone (SVZ)
  • Xenobiotics


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