Rev Neurol (Paris) 2003 Mar;159(3):287-92
Benatru I, Terraux P, Cherasse A, Couvreur G, Giroud M, Moreau T.
Service de Neurologie.
Gustatory dysfunction is a known but uncommon element in the course of multiple sclerosis.
Gustatory dysfunction has been described during the chronic progressive phase and during the relapse phase.
We report five patients with clinically definite multiple sclerosis who developed transient gustatory disorders during the relapse phase of their disease.
Agueusia occurred as one of the first symptoms in three patients, revealing the disease.
Symptoms generally improved with remission or corticosteroid administration.
These disorders are due to demyelinating lesions of the gustatory pathways in the thalamus or brainstem.
MRI studies were not performed during the relapse phase and no clinical neuroimaging correlations could be established.
Agueusia may be accompanied by olfactory dysfunction which is due to plaque demyelinization of the olfactory pathways, particularly in the temporal and inferior frontal lobes.
Taste anomalies can also be observed in other diseases, including systemic diseases such as sarcoidosis or Sjogren's syndrome.
Drug-induced gustatory disorders are also reported.