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Thread: TBI and Smell/Taste

  1. #1

    TBI and Smell/Taste

    I had a mild-moderate traumatic brain injury when I broke my neck (c5/6 incomplete). Ever since, my senses of smell and taste aren't nearly as sharp. Is this because of TBI, or SCI? What causes it?


  2. #2
    JLB, the optic nerve is quite sensitive to injury. Although it is supposed to regenerate well, it sometimes does not if there has been a knock to the head that shears the optic nerve at cribiform plate where it exits the cranial cavity. I know of a person who fell and hit the back of his head and then lost his sense of smell. Loss of smell or taste is a common problem associated with head injury, often even mild head injury. Wise.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Los Angeles
    I knew a quad who flipped his chair back on accident, hitting his head hard on the floor (he refused to use wheelie bars on his chair ). He couldn't taste anything for a week.


    "Life's a bitch, but I love her."

  4. #4


    I believe Dr. Young meant to say the "olfactory nerve" not the "optic nerve" in his statement below.

    Loss of taste and smell are common in both TBI and stroke. Smell is an important componenet of taste (which is why food often does not taste when you have a stuffy nose with a cold, or why people on vents say food does not taste).


  5. #5
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Back when I was able to wheel, I did the same thing (nobody had ever told me about wheelie bars, so I didn't have them.) Got a little crack in my skull, but no other problem.

  6. #6
    Thanks, KLD. It is indeed the olfactory nerve. Wise.

  7. #7

    Loss of smell is very common after TBI

    I just posted a bunch of papers on loss of smell after TBI.

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