Disturbances of olfaction are a common occurrence in many neurological and neurosurgical patients and their correct diagnosis might be helpful in management and enhancement of quality of life. However, olfaction is seldom checked in most neurosurgical units and the ''smell bottles'' are often either absent or out of date. This chapter reviews systematically recent advances in our understanding of the anatomy, physiology (olfactory coding) and measurement of olfactory function in the human. The causes and symptoms of smell disorders, risk of damage to the olfactory system by various surgical procedures and, finally, the natural history of recovery and treatment of smell disorders, for example after trauma, are discussed.
Keywords: Olfaction; smell disorder; anatomy; physiology; olfactory coding; measurement of olfactory function; craniotomy.
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