Meta-analysis of olfactory function in schizophrenia, first-degree family members, and youths at-risk for psychosis

Paul J. Moberg, Vidyulata Kamath, Dana M. Marchetto, Monica E. Calkins, Richard L. Doty, Chang Gyu Hahn, Karin E. Borgmann-Winter, Christian G. Kohler, Raquel E. Gur, Bruce I. Turetsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Background:Previous research has provided compelling support for olfactory dysfunction in schizophrenia patients, their first-degree relatives, and youth at-risk for psychosis. A previous meta-analysis revealed large effect sizes across olfactory tasks but was limited to 2 olfactory tasks and did not examine moderator variables. Thus, the current meta-analysis was undertaken to incorporate additional studies, risk cohorts, olfactory test domains, and moderator variable analyses.Method:A meta-analysis was conducted on 67 publications examining olfactory function in schizophrenia patients and 15 publications examining olfactory functioning in youth at-risk for psychosis, first-degree relatives of schizophrenia patients, and individuals with schizotypy.Results:Results revealed medium-to-large olfactory deficits in schizophrenia patients though significant heterogeneity was evident. Several variables moderated overall study effects. At-risk youths similarly demonstrated medium-to-large effect sizes, whereas first-degree relatives and individuals with schizotypy showed small effects.Conclusions:Findings suggest robust olfactory deficits in schizophrenia and at-risk youths. In schizophrenia, several variables had significant impact on these deficits and warrant consideration in prospective studies. Our findings also indicate that olfactory measures may be a useful marker of schizophrenia risk status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • olfaction
  • psychosis
  • schizophrenia prodrome
  • schizotypy
  • smell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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