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It only seems to make sense now, but before Dr. Henkin began his groundbreaking research it wasn't really known what caused people to lose their taste or smell, to experience taste or smell distortions or burning sensations in their mouth or nose, much less how to treat these problems. Taste

Dr. Henkin has devoted 40 years of his life to discovering methods to diagnose and treat these problems. Since symptoms of taste and smell dysfunction are so varied and complex it is understandable that there are many diagnostic tools that are critical to understand problems, which cause these symptoms. And only with the diagnosis of these problems is it possible to apply appropriate treatment for these problems.

HISTORY
In order to understand the cause of the taste and smell dysfunction a detailed, specific medical history is necessary. The type of special history necessary to understand your symptoms was developed by Dr. Henkin at The Clinic and refined through its 40 years of existence. It is a different and more complex history than ENT physicians or neurologists perform since Dr. Henkin has such special experience evaluating patients with these symptoms. He has also developed a series of questionnaires, which patients at The Clinic complete to allow the staff to understand in detail and in quantitative terms the cause of your symptoms and complaints.

PHYSICAL EXAMINATION OF THE HEAD AND NECK
Most problems related to taste and smell dysfunction is not manifested by any obvious anatomical changes in the head or neck. However, in order to evaluate any possible physical component of your symptoms a detailed examination of your head and neck is performed at The Clinic. This involves examination of external and internal tissues of your head, eyes, nose, mouth, throat, nose and neck. Specialized examinations of your nose may be performed using endoscopy and biopsies of nasal or lingual tissues may be performed if necessary to establish your diagnosis. Other examinations are also performed as necessary to insure that all aspects of your problem are fully evaluated.

CLINICAL LABORATORY TESTS
Because so many diseases can have taste and smell dysfunction as symptoms of the disease process itself it is necessary to evaluate your blood, red blood cells and urine for a variety of parameters to determine if some common or obscure disease process is initiating your taste and smell symptoms. These involve diseases as diverse as endocrine, neurological, hematological, oncological, metabolic or nutritional disorders, to name just a few.

SPECIAL LABORATORY TESTS
Because anatomical and neurological problems can influence taste and smell function various other tests may be needed to understand your problem. CT scans of your sinuses may be useful. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) studies of your brain may be important including special studies such as diffusion-perfusion studies, functional studies or non-invasive studies to measure neurotransmitters in specific regions of your brain by MRS(magnetic resonance spectroscopy). Electrophysiological studies including EEG, EMG and MEG may be important to understand the cause of your symptom.

TASTE FUNCTION TESTS
In order to understand the role taste function, per se, plays in your symptoms a specific battery of psychophysical tests has been developed at The Clinic to measure all aspects of your taste function. These tests measure your taste thresholds, (i.e., smallest amount of tastant you can detect and recognize), your magnitude estimation, (the level at which you judge intensity of tastants over the entire range of taste) and your hedonics, (the level at which you judge tastants as pleasant or unpleasant). Your responses are scaled, quantitated, various analog to digital conversions made and a quantitative set of parameters of your taste function is generated which define your total taste function. From these parameters a specific evaluation of the physiology and pathology of your taste function will be made which will be related to how to treat you.

SMELL FUNCTION TESTS
In order to understand the role smell function, per se, plays in your symptoms a specific battery of psychophysical tests have been developed at The Clinic to measure all aspects of your smell function. These tests measure your smell thresholds, (i.e., smallest amount of odorant you can detect and recognize), your magnitude estimation, (the level at which you judge intensity of odorants over the entire range of odorants) and your hedonics, (the level at which you judge smells as pleasant or unpleasant). Your responses are scaled, quantitated, various analog to digital conversions made and a quantitative set of parameters of your smell function is generated which define your total smell function. From these parameters a specific evaluation of the physiology and pathology of your smell function will be made which will be related to how to treat you.

These parameters are also critically important to understand the role any distortions of taste or smell play in your condition. The sophisticated tests you will undergo supply Dr. Henkin with data which are not available through any other testing technique including scratch and sniff smell tests which cannot and do not yield the quantitative information necessary to establish your diagnosis or treatment.

SALIVA TESTS
Dr. Henkin's work extended into study of saliva and its role in health and disease. Dr. Henkin performed the first published total protein fractionation of human parotid saliva. With this study Dr. Henkin learned that saliva contained specific proteins that were growth factors that make taste buds develop and mature. Without these growth factors, taste buds degenerate. He learned that specific trace metals, mainly copper and zinc play roles in activation of these growth factors and that these trace metals influence genes that control taste bud and olfactory epithelial growth and development. He also learned that specific diseases inhibit production of these growth factors and by measuring these proteins and trace metals in saliva he could determine what are the causes of loss and distortion of your taste function. These growth factors and trace metals will be measured in your saliva. These levels will be compared to established standards and results will be related to the cause of your symptoms.

NASAL MUCUS TESTS
Dr. Henkin 's work extended into study of nasal mucus and its role in health and disease Dr. Henkin performed the first published total protein fractionation of human nasal mucus. With this study Dr. Henkin learned that nasal mucus also contained specific proteins that were growth factors that make olfactory epithelial cells develop and mature and without these growth factors olfactory receptors degenerate. He learned that specific diseases inhibit production of these growth factors. He also learned that not only trace metals copper and zinc but also calcium and magnesium play roles in this system. By measuring these proteins and trace metals in nasal mucus he learned he could determine what are the causes of loss and distortion of your smell function. These growth factors and trace metals will be measured in your nasal mucus. These levels will be compared to established standards and results will be related to the cause of your symptoms.

NUTRITIONAL EVALUATION
Since what you eat may influence your taste and smell and since changes in your taste and smell may influence what and how much you eat a specific evaluation of your nutritional status will be made. This evaluation is generated from your dietary data through use of an integrated computer program, which compares your intake of all important nutrients, including minerals, vitamins and all energy containing nutrients with established national standards. These results allow Dr. Henkin to understand the role your diet may play in generation of your symptoms.

TRACE METAL METABOLISM
Because copper, zinc, calcium and magnesium levels in your blood, red blood cells, urine, saliva and nasal mucus may influence your symptoms these metals will be measured in each biological fluid and your levels will be compared with established standards. These results allow Dr. Henkin to understand the role trace metal metabolism may play in generation of your symptoms.

DIAGNOSTIC INTEGRATION
When all these examinations are completed Dr. Henkin and his staff integrate all the obtained information and a specific personal diagnostic inventory is established related to the cause of your symptoms. Based upon this diagnostic inventory a treatment plan or protocol based upon your specific evaluation will be made so that you may gain relief from your symptoms.


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