Background The assessment of olfactory dysfunction, partial or total anosmia, is very important in the early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. This diagnosis is difficult because it depends on the cultural habits of each population and in Portugal there is no test adapted to its population.
Purpose The aim of this study was the development of a Portuguese kit (PT-smell test) to assess olfactory dysfunctions. Thus, several compounded formulations adapted to the Portuguese population were developed, characterised and clinically validated.
Material and methods The PT-smell test was developed based on the results of the perception characterisation study, performed through a national cross-sectional survey, which allows the identification of Portuguese fragrances. Thus, different PEG-based formulations were developed and structure characterisation was performed using rheology, differential scanning calorimetry, microscopy, fragrance identification and stability tests.
The olfactory performance of 27 patients presenting with olfactory disorders and 25 healthy controls were evaluated with the PTsmell test and Barcelona smell test, as the reference diagnostic test.
Results A kit of 23 formulations containing polyethylene glycol 1500 and 400 (50:50) and 23 odours presented semisolid behaviour, a non-crystal structure and the fragrance’s volatile ingredients remained stable for 6 months when packed in amber glass flasks.
Concerning the clinical study, the results obtained show no gender difference (p>0.05) between the two groups, although the mean age of the control group (39.03±12.91 years) is statistically different (p=0.0035) from the patient group (50.62±18.76 years). The PT-smell test is a reliable method for assessing human olfaction with good correlation to the Barcelona smell test (r2=0.9214). A limit for hyposmia has been determined, a score of 71.14% for forced choice identification.
Conclusion The PT-smell test could be used as a reliable screening method and also used as an olfactory threshold test and as an olfactory training kit.
Additionally, this study was characterised by its multidisciplinary aspect. Doctors and pharmacists have worked towards a common goal, improving the well-being of the patient. Interinstitutional collaboration between public hospitals and colleges should be improved and encouraged by the Ministry of Health and Governments in order to rationalise human and financial resources.
References and/or acknowledgements No conflict of interest.
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