Alberta Smell Test

The AST is a very easy to use test of the ability to identify odors presented to one nostril at a time.

The record forms, standard instructions for administration and basic test manual are free of charge to users of the WMT, MSVT or NV-MSVT. Ask for a copy via email

The stimuli used are standard scents contained within the scented markers made by Sanford, USA, called “Mr. Sketch”, available from many stores. They can be found at Amazon.com at this address.

The AST was found to be by far the strongest predictor of severity of head injury when compared with many neuropsychological tests.

Why should this be so? Because of the anatomy of the skull in the region of the olfactory cortex (uncus).

To illustrate the relationship between the uncus and the clinoid processes, the following diagram was drawn on commission to Dr. Paul Green by Valerie Oxorn, based on his hypothesis and supported by anatomical research by Dr. Keith Moore. Dr. Moore is the first author of a major neuroanatomy textbook called Clinically Oriented Anatomy (Moore and Dalley).  For more details see this link.

As shown in the references below, it is important to measure effort when testing sense of smell.

Green, P., Rohling, M.L, Iverson, G. & Gervais, R. (2003) Relationships between olfactory discrimination and head injury severity. Brain Injury, 17 (6) 479-496

Green, P. & Iverson, G.L. (2001) Effects of injury severity and cognitive exaggeration on olfactory deficits in head injury compensation claims Neurorehabilitation, 16, 237-243