Lateralization of olfactory processing: Differential impact of right and left temporal lobe epilepsies
E&B 37:184-190
Hudry J
Ryvlin P
Saive AL
Ravel N
Playlli J
Royet Jp

Olfactory processes were reported to be lateralized. The purpose of this study was to further explore this phenomenon and investigate the effect of the hemispheric localization of epileptogenic foci on olfactory deficits in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Olfactory functioning was assessed in 61 patients and 60 healthy control (HC) subjects. The patients and HC subjects were asked to rate the intensity, pleasantness, familiarity, and edibility of 12 common odorants and then identify them. Stimulations were delivered monorhinally in the nostril ipsilateral to the epileptogenic focus in TLE and arbitrarily in either the left or the right nostril in the HC subjects. The results demonstrated that regardless of the side of stimulation, patients with TLE had reduced performance in all olfactory tasks compared with the HC subjects. With regard to the side of the epileptogenic focus, patients with left TLE judged odors as less pleasant and had more difficulty with identification than patients with right TLE, underlining a privileged role of the left hemisphere in the emotional and semantic processing of odors. Finally, irrespective of group, a tendency towards a right-nostril advantage for judging odor familiarity was found in agreement with a prominent role of the right hemisphere in odor memory processing. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.