Name = Ageusia
ICD10 = ICD10|R|43|2|r|40
ICD9 = ICD9|781.1
Ageusia (pronounced ay-GOO-see-uh) is the loss of
tastefunctions of the tongue, particularly the inability to detect sweetness, sourness, bitterness, saltiness, and umami(the taste of monosodium glutamate). It is sometimes confused for anosmia- a loss of the senseof smell. Because the tongue can only indicate texture and differentiate between sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami most of what is perceived as the sense of taste is actually derived from smell. True aguesia is relatively rare compared to hypogeusia— a partial loss of taste — and dysgeusia— a distortion or alteration of taste.
In order to discover the extent of the ageusia, a scientist attempts to discern the minimum level of a chemical that a patient can detect by taste. Patients may also be asked to compare various concentrations of chemicals in order that the doctor may ascertain what level of intensity that the patient can differentiate. Various methods are used, including the "sip, spit, and rinse" test as well as direct application of chemicals to the tongue.
Tissue damage to the nerves that support the tongue can cause ageusia, especially damage to the
lingual nerveand the glossopharyngeal nerve. The lingual nerve passes taste for the front two-thirds of the tongue and the glossopharyngeal nerve passes taste for the back third of the tongue. Neurological disorders such as Bell's palsy, Familial dysautonomia, and Multiple sclerosiscause similar problems to nerve damage, as do certain infectious conditions like primary amoeboid meningoencephalopathy. The lingual nerve (which is a branch of the trigeminal V3 nerve, but carries taste sensation back to the chorda tympani nerve to the geniculate ganglion of the facial nerve) can also be damaged during otologic surgery, causing a feeling of metal taste.
Problems with the endocrine system
vitaminB3 ( Niacin) and zinccan cause problems with the endocrine system, which may cause taste loss or alteration. Disorders of the endocrine system, such as Cushing's syndrome, hypothyroidismand diabetes mellitus, can cause similar problems. Ageusia can also be caused by medicinal side-effects from antirheumatic drugssuch as penicillamine, antiproliferative drugs such as cisplatin, ACE inhibitors, and other drugs including azelastine, clarithromycinand zopiclone.
Local damage and inflammation that interferes with the taste buds or local nervous system such as that stemming from radiation therapy,
glossitis, tobaccoabuse, and denture use also cause ageusia. Other known causes include loss of taste sensitivity from aging(causing a difficulty detecting salty or bitter taste), anxiety disorder, cancer, renal failureand liver failure.
* MedTerms Online Medical Dictionary. [http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=9664 "Ageusia"] . Retrieved April 15, 2005.
* Family Practice Notebook. [http://www.fpnotebook.com/ENT195.htm "Taste Sensation"] . Retrieved April 15, 2005.
* Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. [http://www.meei.harvard.edu/patient/taste.php "Taste Disorders"] . Retrieved April 15, 2005.
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