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Chanchai Boonla 1 Article
Umami and Other Taste Perceptions in Patients With Parkinson’s Disease
Priya Jagota, Nattida Chotechuang, Chanawat Anan, Teeraparp Kitjawijit, Chanchai Boonla, Roongroj Bhidayasiri
J Mov Disord. 2022;15(2):115-123.   Published online March 22, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14802/jmd.21058
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Objective
Studies of taste perceptions in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients have been controversial, and none of these studies have assessed umami taste. This study aimed to assess umami, along with the other 4 taste functions in PD patients.
Methods
Participants were tested for gustation using the modified filter paper disc method and olfaction using the modified Sniffin’ Stick-16 (mSS-16) test (only 14 culturally suitable items were used). A questionnaire evaluated patients’ subjective olfactory and gustatory dysfunction, taste preference, appetite, and food habits.
Results
A total of 105 PD patients and 101 age- and sex-matched controls were included. The body mass index (BMI) of PD patients was lower than that of controls (PD = 22.62, controls = 23.86, p = 0.028). The mSS-16 score was 10.7 for controls and 6.4 for PD patients (p < 0.001) (normal ≥ 9). Taste recognition thresholds (RTs) for sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami tastes were significantly higher in PD, indicating poorer gustation. All taste RTs correlated with each other, except for umami. Most patients were unaware of their dysfunction. Patients preferred sweet, salty and umami tastes more than the controls. Dysgeusia of different tastes in patients was differentially associated with poorer discrimination of tastes, an inability to identify the dish and adding extra seasoning to food. BMI and mSS-16 scores showed no correlation in either patients or controls.
Conclusion
PD patients have dysgeusia for all five tastes, including umami, which affects their appetite and diet. Patients preferred sweet, salty and umami tastes. This information can help adjust patients’ diets to improve their nutritional status.

JMD : Journal of Movement Disorders