PHD on tasting and control of food intake in Alzheimer’s disease (université de Bourgogne – Dijon)


The few studies on taste in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) observed an early gustatory
impairment through subjective gustatory tests. These gustatory disorders could be linked to a
degeneration of the gustatory cortex or to agnosia. Gustatory performances in patients with mild
cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia were lower than those in healthy controls. A positive
correlation between gustatory performances and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score
was observed.
Our team developed a recording of gustatory evoked potentials (GEP), which is a reliable method to
explore the afferent gustatory pathway. Thanks to this electroencephalographic technique, a
preliminary work of our team highlighted a different cerebral gustatory activation in response to a
sweet solution according to the cognitive status of the patients (AD, MCI or healthy controls). Several
questions remain yet to be answered. The goal of this thesis is to try to bring new elements of
underlying physiopathological mechanisms: can these results be reproduced after salty, acid or sour
stimulation ? Are the taste modifications specific to AD or do they reflect an aspecific
neurodegeneration? Can these results be found at very early stages of AD?
In order to answer to these questions, the work of the thesis will be performed with a strong
collaboration of the department of Neurology of the University Hospital od Dijon. GEP recordings and
subjective gustatory tests will be compared in response to different primary taste, in patients who
suffer from AD or other neurodegenerative diseases, and in AD patients at different stages of the


Student from an M2R in psysiology/neurophysiology

Cerebral neurnal functioning and exploration methods: EEG

Pathologies: cognitive disorders, Alzheimer’s disease

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