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Separating normosmic and anosmic patients based on entropy evaluation of olfactory event-related potentials
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Objective: Methods based on electroencephalography (EEG) are used to evaluate brain responses to odors which is challenging due to the relatively low signal-to-noise ratio. This is especially difficult in patients with olfactory loss. In the present study, we aim to establish a method to separate functionally anosmic and normosmic individuals by means of recordings of olfactory event-related potentials (OERP) using an automated tool. Therefore, Shannon entropy was adopted to examine the complexity of the averaged electrophysiological responses. Methods: A total of 102 participants received 60 rose-like odorous stimuli at an inter-stimulus interval of 10 s. Olfactory-related brain activity was investigated within three time-windows of equal length; pre-, during-, and post-stimulus. Results: Based on entropy analysis, patients were correctly diagnosed for anosmia with a 75% success rate. Conclusion: This novel approach can be expected to help clinicians to identify patients with anosmia or patients with early symptoms of neurodegenerative disorders. Significance: There is no automated diagnostic tool for anosmic and normosmic patients using OERP. However, detectability of OERP in patients with functional anosmia has been reported to be in the range of 50%.