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Brain injuries can impact smell and taste

The effects of a traumatic brain injury are fairly well known for the most part. There are some lesser known effects that a person with a TBI can experience. A change or loss in smell and taste are possible after one of these injuries because part of the brain controls those senses.

There are sometimes other reasons why a person might experience these symptoms after a TBI. For example, some medications that are commonly used after a brain injury might lead to these symptoms. Medications to help stave off seizures and those to help control pain and muscle spasms are some of the ones that can impact the senses of smell and taste.

Up to 25 percent of people who have a TBI report that they have these taste and smell issues after the injury. It isn't hard to understand why they would be grouped together. When you taste, you also use your sense of smell to process the information. Think about how things taste different when you have a stuffy nose and you can see the connection here.

If the cause of the changes in these senses is the brain injury and not the medications, there is a chance that nothing can be done about the loss of smell or taste. That isn't the case for other effects of a TBI, which could necessitate a lifetime of care. Learning about the possibility of seeking compensation could help TBI victims to determine if they want to pursue this option, which could lead to them recouping some of the expenses related to the injury.

Source:, "Changes in Taste, Smell, and Hormones After Brain Injury," Brian Greenwald, MD, accessed Nov. 10, 2016

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