Central olfactory pathway impairment, largely involving the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), may play a role in the underlying etiology of persistent gustatory and olfactory symptoms in patients after COVID-19 infection.
Why this matters
Olfactory and gustatory dysfunction are established correlates of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); however, investigation of the underlying corresponding neural mechanisms using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in these patients is uncommon.
The potential role of the OFC in gustatory and olfactory symptoms in COVID-19 highlights the importance of imaging in elucidating underlying mechanisms of this illness. Little is known about persistent COVID-19 effects, thus multimodal research is valuable for both greater understanding, and development of treatment strategies for patients going forward.