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bibliography * The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Zanchin 2007.

Osmophobia in migraine and tension-type headache and its clinical features in patients with migraine

updated
Zanchin G, Dainese F, Trucco M, Mainardi F, Mampreso E, Maggioni F. Osmophobia in migraine and tension-type headache and its clinical features in patients with migraine. Cephalalgia. 2007 Sep;27(9):1061–1068. PubMed #17681021.
Tags: headache, etiology, head, head/neck, pain problems, pro

PainSci summary of Zanchin 2007?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆?3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

This study reports that osmophobia is exclusively a migraine symptom, occurring in about 40% of migraine patients, but not at all with tension headaches. In 772 patients, the “most frequently offending odours were scents (63.9%), food (55.2%) and cigarette smoke (54.8%).”

original abstract

Intolerance to smell is often reported by migraine patients. This study evaluates osmophobia in connection with the diagnosis of migraine and episodic tension-type headache (ETTH). The characteristics of this symptom are also investigated. We recruited from our Headache Centre 1005 patients (772 female, 233 male; age 37 +/- 11 years), of whom 677 were migraine without aura (MoA), 130 migraine with aura (MA) and 198 TTH. Patients with two or more forms of primary headache were excluded. Among migraine patients, 43.9% with MoA and 38.5% with MA reported osmophobia during the attacks; none of the 198 TTH patients suffered this symptom. Most frequently offending odours were scents (63.9%), food (55.2%) and cigarette smoke (54.8%). Osmophobia appears structurally integrated into the migraine history of the patient. It seems to be a peculiar symptom favouring the diagnosis of migraine (MoA and MA) in the differential diagnosis with ETTH.

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