Importance of SARs-Cov-2 anosmia: From phenomenology to neurobiology

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Anosmia and hypogeusia, the inability or decreased ability to smell and taste, have been reported as common complaints in SARS-CoV-2 patients who were still in an asymptomatic phase. These impairments affect the ability to sense odors in foods and the environment, obviously affecting quality of life, related to social interactions and general well-being. The British Association of Otorhinolaryngology (ENT-UK) considers loss of sense of smell in their list of COVID-19's markers of infection. Here we present two cases in which early manifestations of anosmia and hypogeusia were experienced with psycho-sensorial and atmospheric phenomena. Psychiatrists, neurologists and physicians in general should be aware of this symptom presentation in order to avoid mistreatment, given that persistent olfactory dysfunction might increase the risks of nutritional deficit and lead to development of adjustment disorders. All clinicians should be aware that the presentation of SARS-CoV-2's symptoms goes far beyond respiratory and sensorial dimensions and involves psychosensorial and neurological dimensions; these clinical observations could shed light on the neurobiological substrates involved in COVID-19 disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number152184
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
StatePublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Anosmia
  • COVID-19
  • Early symptoms
  • Hypogeusia
  • SARS-CoV-2


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