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Clinical Trial Summary

Olfactory dysfunction (OD) like hyposmia or anosmia has been realized as a common symptom or even cardinal sign of the disease and can be persisting after recovering. There are two different hypotheses on the pathogenesis of OD in past COVID-19: The central hypothesis, which speculates on neurotrophic abilities on olfactory receptors in the neuroepithelium, and the peripheral hypothesis, which speculates on damage of the sensory olfactory epithelium. Potential treatment strategies aim for the unique neural plasticity of the olfactory system and its potential for recovery. Clinical studies and case reports have shown a promising effect of olfactory training (OT) by frequent sniffing and/or exposure to odors 2-4 times a day for several weeks. The main objective of the study is to assess the effects of olfactory training in patients with COVID-19 related OD on: 1. objective olfactory testing with the Sniffin' sticks test (identification and discrimination) (primary endpoint), 2. subjective OD and its impact on the daily life (key secondary endpoint), 3. other clinical scales and questionnaires referring to OD-related mood and quality of life (other secondary endpoint), 4. gender differences in COVID-19 related OD (exploratory endpoint). Approach / methods OT will be performed twice a day with a 4-odor training set for 12 weeks. Effects of OT on COVID-19 related OD will be measured with objective and subjective efficacy variables. The sense of smell is an important function for social relationships and is therefore a challenging clinical problem with few proven therapeutic options. With this new approach, we want to investigate a possible simple treatment for an impedimental symptom of COVID-19, but also learn more about the pathomechanism of post-infectious OD. To our knowledge, this will be the first study comparing patients with COVID-19 associated OD with and without OT in clinical outcomes.

Clinical Trial Description


Study Design

Related Conditions & MeSH terms

NCT number NCT05421221
Study type Interventional
Source Medical University Innsbruck
Status Not yet recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date August 1, 2022
Completion date December 31, 2023

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