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Bilateral loss of taste from a unilateral thalamic infarct
  1. Fionn Mag Uidhir,
  2. Aravinth Sivagnanaratnam
  1. Stroke Medicine, Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Fionn Mag Uidhir, Stroke Medicine, Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow HA1 3UJ, UK; fionn.maguidhir{at}nhs.net

Abstract

Loss of sense of taste (hypogeusia) involving a part of the tongue can follow acute stroke. We describe a woman with a small right thalamic acute infarct causing bilateral (mainly left-sided) hypogeusia. Her problem remains sufficiently severe to cause distress and nutritional deficit. The anatomical distribution of her problem—cheiro-oral syndrome with concurrent hypogeusia—suggested involvement of adjacent relevant thalamic fibres. We address key considerations in examining taste in research and in practice and discuss issues to address in people with hypogeusia, including swallow deficits, psychological elements of the poststroke condition and nutrition. Dietetic management should include optimising taste stimuli and nutritional support. Introducing more detailed taste assessments into standard practice would likely improve stroke unit care.

  • oral medicine
  • stroke
  • smell

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Footnotes

  • Contributors FMU has taken a lead in researching and writing about the implications of the case, while AS has taken a lead in assessing the patient whose symptoms the article reports.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally reviewed by Tom Hughes, Cardiff, UK.

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