Prague Med. Rep. 2018, 119, 85-96

Olfaction and Colour Vision: What Can They Tell Us about Parkinson’s Disease?

Irene Dall’Antonia, Karel Šonka, Petr Dušek

Department of Neurology and Centre of Clinical Neuroscience, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

Received April 24, 2018
Accepted October 5, 2018

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder with the pathological accumulation of alpha synuclein in the brain and peripheral nerve tissue. Early stages of synucleinopathies, often present clinically with rapid eye movement (REM) sleep disorder (RBD). Clinical markers that indicate early progression from RBD to manifest synucleinopathies include abnormal dopamine transporter (DAT) imaging, motor and non-motor symptoms. Despite the high diagnostic strength of DAT imaging and motor abnormalities, they are not the earliest biomarkers. Non-motor signs of neurodegeneration such as colour vision and olfaction abnormalities are detectable by clinical examination as early as 20 years before disease onset. Detailed analysis of olfactory and colour vision dysfunction can provide valuable information regarding brain pathologies, further specifying clinical phenotypes, and giving clues to underlying pathophysiological mechanisms in Parkinson’s disease and related disorders.


This study was supported by the grant no. AZV 16-28914A of the Czech Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic.


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