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Olfaction in migraine

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Olfactory thresholds for acetone and vanillin and the unpleasantness rating of concentrated acetone were measured in 20 migraine sufferers and 21 controls. The olfactory threshold for vanillin was lower in migraine sufferers than in controls. In addition, patients who reported that odours frequently seemed stronger during attacks of migraine were able to detect acetone at a lower concentration than most other patients. No differences were found between migraine sufferers and controls for ratings of the unpleasantness of concentrated acetone. These findings suggest that hyperacuity to odours persists between episodes of migraine. Sensitivity to odours could contribute to the migraine predisposition.

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