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Loss of Taste and Smell: A Frequently Overlooked Injury Following Traumatic Brain Damge

A frequent but often overlooked complication in brain injury cases is the loss of the sense of taste and smell, a condition known as Anosmia.

Following head trauma, the cranial nerve (olfactory nerve) which transmits impulses for the taste of sense and smell to the brain is frequently damaged.  This nerve's position in the skull makes it especially susceptible to brain trauma.  However, brain injury lawyers should be aware that this nerve is rarely if ever tested in the general neurological examination performed in a hospital emergency room. Unfortunately, many personal injury lawyers do not give much thought to the devastating consequences that this injury has on the quality of life of their clients as well as safety issues pertaining to this loss.

An interesting article in this week's New York Times, Food Section of May 18th discusses the importance of the sense of taste and smell from the perspective of a victim of a truck accident who suffered a fractured skull. The article can be obtained at the New York Times web site.  Further information on anosmia can be obtain from the Anosmia Foundation.

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