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January 6, 1993

Science of Olfaction

JAMA. 1993;269(1):108. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500010118048

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At long last a book about olfaction with a psychiatric slant! Under the editors' leadership, the linkage between olfaction and cerebral function is eloquently explored.

The book has three parts: historical introduction, basic science, and clinical application. Readers not involved with laboratory research may find the basic science section of little clinical utility and may wish to move on to immerse themselves in the fascinating world of clinical olfaction. The olfactory-neuropsychiatric linkage is explored within the framework of pathological states, including senile dementia of the Alzheimer's type, the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, Parkinson's disease, depression, and schizophrenia. In particularly good chapters, Bieber, Bieber, and Friedman address the genital-nasal link and Ehrlichman and Bastone outline the effect of odor on behavior and mood states. Insights from cases and studies of human subjects make this a particularly fun read.

That the affective memory of odors is contextually specific is seen by