- olfactory aura
- The term olfactory aura comes from the Latin words ol(e)facere (to smell) and aura (breeze, smell). It is used to denote a type of *aura manifesting itself in the form of an * olfactory hallucination or * parosmia (i.e. an olfactory *illusion). The olfactory aura has been described since ancient times. It is mentioned in combination with a * gustatory aura, occurring in the context of epilepsy, by the classical physician Aretaeus of Cappadocia (c. AD 150). Etiologically, the olfactory aura is associated primarily with paroxysmal neurological disorders such as migraine and epilepsy. Pathophysiologically, it is associated primarily with aberrant neuronal discharges in the uncinate gyrus. The prevalence of olfactory aurae in individuals with epilepsy varies from 0.9 to 16%. This relatively wide range may be due to differences in population sampling and clinical rating. Phenomenologically, olfactory aurae can be indistinguishable from * gustatory aurae because of the close relation that exists between the senses of taste and smell. When olfactory hallucinations or parosmia occur in conjunction with hallucinations in any of the other sensory modalities, or with alterations in the sense of familiarity, they can under certain conditions be designated as a * psychic aura.ReferencesHallen, O. (1982). Dreamy states, olfaktorische und Gesmackshalluzinationen epileptischer Genese.In: Halluzinationen bei Epilepsien und ihre Differentialdiagnose.Editedby Karbowski, K. Bern: Verlag Hans Huber.Lüders, H., Acharya, J., Baumgartner, C., Ban-badis, S., Bleasel, A., Burgess, R., Dinner, D.S., Ebner, A., Foldvary, N., Geller, E., Hamer, H., Holthausen, H., Kotagal, P., Morris, H., Meencke, H.J., Noachtar, S., Rosenow, F., Sakamotot, A., Steinhoff, B.J., Tuxhorn, I., Wyllie, E. (1998). Semiological seizure classification. Epilepsia, 39, 1006-1013.Mauguière, F. (1999). Scope and presumed mechanisms of hallucinations in partial epileptic seizures. Epileptic Disorders, 1, 81-91.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.