What is the anatomy of the olfactory system relevant to taste and smell disorders?

Updated: Dec 11, 2018
  • Author: Eric H Holbrook, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

The olfactory neuroepithelium is located at the upper area of each nasal chamber adjacent to the cribriform plate, superior nasal septum, and superior-lateral nasal wall. It is a specialized pseudostratified neuroepithelium containing the primary olfactory receptors. In neonates, this area is a dense neural sheet, but, in children and adults, the respiratory and olfactory tissues interdigitate. As humans age, the number of olfactory neurons steadily decreases. In addition to the olfactory neurons, the epithelium is composed of supporting cells, Bowman glands and ducts unique to the olfactory epithelium, and basal cells that allow for the regeneration of the epithelium, including the olfactory sensory neurons. [5]


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