Gray matter volume reduction in the emotional brain networks in adults with anosmia

Suji Lee, Jungyoon Kim, Bong Jik Kim, Rye Young Kim, Eunji Ha, Shinhye Kim, Seung No Hong, In Kyoon Lyoo, Dae Woo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Loss of olfaction, or anosmia, frequently accompanies emotional dysfunctions, partly due to the overlapping brain regions between the olfactory and emotional processing centers. Here, we investigated whether anosmia was associated with gray matter volume alterations at a network level, and whether these alterations were related to the olfactory-specific quality of life (QOL) and depressive symptoms. Structural brain magnetic resonance imaging was acquired in 22 individuals with postinfectious or idiopathic anosmia (the anosmia group) and 30 age- and sex-matched controls (the control group). Using independent component analysis on the gray matter volumes, we identified 10 morphometric networks. The gray matter volumes of these networks were compared between the two groups. Olfactory-specific QOL and depressive symptoms were assessed by self-report questionnaires and clinician-administered interviews, respectively. The anosmia group showed lower gray matter volumes in the hippocampus–amygdala and the precuneus networks, relative to the control group. Lower gray matter volumes in the hippocampus–amygdala network were also linearly associated with lower olfactory-specific QOL and higher depressive symptom scores. These findings suggest a close relationship between anosmia and gray matter volume alterations in the emotional brain networks, albeit without determined causal relations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1321-1330
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded (2020R1A6A1A03043528, 2020R1F1A1077421, 2020R1I1A1A01057962, and 2020M3E5D9080555)

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Wiley Periodicals LLC.


  • amygdala
  • anosmia
  • gray matter volume
  • hippocampus
  • morphometric network
  • olfaction


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