The Taste and Smell Clinic (TASC) has an extensive, centralized database of valuable clinical information relevant to the diagnosis and management of taste and smell disorders and burning mouth syndrome. This database maintains up to 2,598 variables for each of 1,800 comprehensively evaluated persons with these disorders. Questionnaire data are also available for more than 3,000 subjects who contacted the (TASC). It is the largest centralized database of clinical chemosensory information in the United States of America. The Taste and Smell Clinic is the nucleus of the Center. Patients travel to the TASC from all over the USA, and sometimes from other countries, to be evaluated and contribute to research. Essential data are gathered from procedures developed by the TASC and adopted by other chemosensory centers.
The fundamental goal of this clinical center is to advance the understanding of the causes and potential treatments of chemosensory disorders through provision of: (1) meticulous and comprehensive clinical and chemosensory data to scientific investigators; and (2) a forum for interaction between clinical, basic science, data management, and biostatistical experts. Chemosensory losses, phantom tastes and smells, and burning mouth syndrome can adversely affect mental health and nutritional status. Frequently, management of these disorders is greatly hindered by lack of identifiable causation, and is therefore symptom-targeted rather than causation-targeted.
The multidisciplinary TASC database includes information from many specialty fields in medicine and dentistry, and is therefore uniquely positioned to clarify the diverse conditions likely to be causative for chemosensory disorders. The clinical scientific team, comprised of researchers with expertise in both their clinical fields and the chemosenses, has also been successful in generating new therapeutic approaches to these disorders, and in proposing means to prevent these disorders from occurring. Proposed studies offer hope to many people who suffer with these neglected disorders.