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  • 1. Aazh, Hashir
    et al.
    Knipper, Marlies
    Danesh, Ali A.
    Cavanna, Andrea E.
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Paulin, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Schecklmann, Martin
    Heinonen-Guzejev, Marja
    Moore, Brian C. J.
    Insights from the Third International Conference on Hyperacusis: Causes, Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment2018In: Noise & Health, ISSN 1463-1741, E-ISSN 1998-4030, Vol. 20, no 95, p. 162-170Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Hyperacusis is intolerance of certain everyday sounds that causes significant distress and impairment in social, occupational, recreational, and other day-to-day activities. Objective: The aim of this report is to summarize the key findings and conclusions from the Third International Conference on Hyperacusis. Topics covered: The main topics discussed comprise (1) diagnosis of hyperacusis and audiological evaluations, (2) neurobiological aspect of hyperacusis, (3) misophonia, (4) hyperacusis in autism spectrum disorder, (5) noise sensitivity, (6) hyperacusis-related distress and comorbid psychiatric illness, and (7) audiologist-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy for hyperacusis. Conclusions: Implications for research and clinical practice are summarised.

  • 2.
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Multiple chemical sensitivity and persistent pain states are related, may be treated with similar procedures?2014In: Scandinavian Journal of Pain, ISSN 1877-8860, E-ISSN 1877-8879, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 102-103Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Sick of smells: Empirical findings and a theoretical framework for chemical intolerance2012Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Chemical intolerance (CI) is a term that refers to the surprisingly common phenomenon of persons getting ill from everyday chemicals. Although seemingly similar to asthma and allergies, CI sufferers do not react to exposures with increased histamine release. CI neither conforms to toxicological dose-response relationships as sufferers react to very low concentrations of chemicals assumed to be harmless. In addition, no particular chemical can be tied to any particular set of symptoms as in the case of other kinds of toxic injuries. The two overreaching goals of this thesis were to empirically investigate important hypotheses regarding CI, and to develop a theoretical framework that integrates previous theories of CI into a coherent whole.There are four empirical studies in this thesis. Utilizing event-related potentials (ERPs), magnitude estimations of perceived intensity, detection tests and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the studies provided support for the following hypotheses: (1) persons with self-reported CI sensitize to olfactory and chemosomatosensory stimuli, whereas non-intolerant individuals habituate; (2) sensitization in CI is similar in terms of brain activation patterns to both non-clinical sensitization and other unexplained illnesses such as fibromyalgia; (3) persons with CI have an attention bias to chemical exposures, reflected by problems with withdrawing attention from such stimuli; (4) measures of peripheral hyperreactivity are correlated with chemosensory ERP measures; but failed to corroborate (5) the reactions of women resemble those found in persons with CI to a greater degree than the case in men.Three major theories of CI are also discussed. The neural sensitization theory describes CI as pathological and non-immunological increases in neural responsiveness. The conditioning theory describes CI as the result of basic associative learning mechanisms. The neurogenic inflammation theory describes CI as proliferation of sensory c-fibers and inflammatory responses carried to several parts of the body through axon reflexes and release of inflammatory mediators. The main point of the theoretical synthesis is that the theories offer different and complementary perspectives on CI, rather than presenting conflicting ontologies. With an integrated perspective, infected debates whether CI is a psychological or organic illness can hopefully be avoided.Finally, the unexplained characteristics of CI, the empirical findings and the theoretical accounts are described within the theoretical framework of signal detection theory. Several features of CI, e.g. sensitization and peripheral hyperreactivity, are described in terms of applying a low criterion (ß).

  • 4.
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Sjuk av lukter2014In: Fagbladet Allergi i praksis, ISSN 0806-5462, Vol. 3, p. 6-14Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Andersson, Linus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bende, Mats
    Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Central Hospital, Skövde, Sweden.
    Millqvist, Eva
    Astma and Allergy Research Group, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden.
    Nordin, Steven
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Attention bias and sensitization in chemical sensitivity2009In: Journal of Psychosomatic Research, ISSN 0022-3999, E-ISSN 1879-1360, Vol. 66, no 5, p. 407-416Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    ObjectiveWe investigated whether persons with self-reported chemical sensitivity (CS) have an attention bias and enhanced sensitization to chemical exposure.MethodsChemosomatosensory, olfactory, and auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 21 CS subjects and 17 controls in attend and ignore conditions. Reaction times (RTs) and magnitude estimations of perceived intensity were collected in the attend condition. ERPs were averaged over attention conditions and during the first/second part of the testing.ResultsERP patterns indicated that CS subjects did not habituate to the same extent as the controls and had difficulties ignoring the chemical exposure. CS subjects had faster overall RT, and the perceived intensities for the chemosomatosensory stimuli did not decrease with time in the CS group, which was the case for the controls.ConclusionsThese results indicating attention bias and enhanced sensitization in CS suggest alterations in central, cognitive responses to chemical exposure.

  • 6.
    Andersson, Linus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Claeson, Anna-Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Ledin, Lisa
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Wisting, Frida
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nordin, Steven
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    The influence of health-risk perception and distress on reactions to low-level chemical exposure2013In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 4, p. 816-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The general aim of the current study was to investigate how perceived health risk of a chemical exposure and self-reported distress are related to perceived odor intensity and odor valence, symptoms, cognitive performance over time as well as reactions to blank exposure. Based on ratings of general distress, 20 participants constituted a relatively low distress group, and 20 other participants a relatively high distress group. Health risk perception was manipulated by providing positively and negatively biased information regarding n-butanol. Participants made repeated ratings of intensity, valence and symptoms and performed cognitive tasks while exposed to 4.7 ppm n-butanol for 60 min (first 10 min were blank exposure) inside an exposure chamber. Ratings by the positive and negative bias groups suggest that the manipulation influenced perceived health risk of the exposure. The high distress group did not habituate to the exposure in terms of intensity when receiving negative information, but did so when receiving positive information. The high distress group, compared with the low distress group, rated the exposure as significantly more unpleasant, reported greater symptoms and performed worse on a cognitively demanding task over time. The positive bias group and high distress group rated blank exposure as more intense. The main findings suggest that relatively distressed individuals are negatively affected by exposures to a greater degree than non-distressed.

  • 7.
    Andersson, Linus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, University of Gävle, Sweden.
    Claeson, Anna-Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nyberg, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Nordin, Steven
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Short-term olfactory sensitization involves brain networks relevant for pain, and indicates chemical intolerance2017In: International journal of hygiene and environmental health (Print), ISSN 1438-4639, E-ISSN 1618-131X, Vol. 220, no 2, p. 503-509Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Chemical intolerance is a medically unexplained affliction that implies deleterious reactions to non-toxic everyday chemical exposure. Sensitization (i.e. increased reactivity to repeated, invariant stimulation) to odorous stimulation is an important component in theoretical explanations of chemical intolerance, but empirical evidence is scarce. We hypothesized that (1) individuals who sensitize to repeated olfactory stimulation, compared with those who habituate, would express a lower blood oxygenated level dependent (BOLD) response in key inhibitory areas such as the rACC, and higher signal in pain/saliency detection regions, as well as primary and/or secondary olfactory projection areas; and (2) olfactory sensitization, compared with habituation, would be associated with greater self-reported chemical intolerance. More-over, we assessed whether olfactory sensitization was paralleled by comparable trigeminal processing - in terms of perceptual ratings and BOLD responses. We grouped women from a previous functional magnetic imaging study based on intensity ratings of repeated amyl acetate exposure over time. Fourteen women sensitized to the exposure, 15 habituated, and 20 were considered "intermediate" (i.e. neither sensitizers nor habituaters). Olfactory sensitizers, compared with habituaters, displayed a BOLD-pattern in line with the hypothesis, and reported greater problems with odours in everyday life. They also expressed greater reactions to CO2 in terms of both perceived intensity and BOLD signal. The similarities with pain are discussed.

  • 8.
    Andersson, Linus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Claesson, Anna-Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nyberg, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB), Physiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Diagnostic Radiology.
    Stenberg, Berndt
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Dermatology and Venerology.
    Nordin, Steven
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Brain responses to olfactory and trigeminal exposure in idiopathic environmental illness (IEI) attributed to smells: An fMRI study2014In: Journal of Psychosomatic Research, ISSN 0022-3999, E-ISSN 1879-1360, Vol. 77, no 5, p. 401-408Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVE: Idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI) to smells is a prevalent medically unexplained illness. Sufferers attribute severe symptoms to low doses of non-toxic chemicals. Despite the label, IEI is not characterized by acute chemical senses. Theoretical models suggest that sensitized responses in the limbic system of the brain constitute an important mechanism behind the symptoms. The aim was to investigate whether and how brain reactions to low-levels of olfactory and trigeminal stimuli differ in individuals with and without IEI. METHODS: Brain responses to intranasally delivered isoamyl acetate and carbon dioxide were assessed in 25 women with IEI and 26 non-ill controls using functional magnetic resonance imaging. RESULTS: The IEI group had higher blood-oxygenated-level-dependent (BOLD) signal than controls in the thalamus and a number of, mainly, parietal areas, and lower BOLD signal in the superior frontal gyrus. The IEI group did not rate the exposures as more intense than the control group did, and there were no BOLD signal differences between groups in the piriform cortex or olfactory regions of the orbitofrontal cortex. CONCLUSIONS: The IEI reactions were not characterized by hyper-responsiveness in sensory areas. The results can be interpreted as a limbic hyperreactivity and speculatively as an inability to inhibit salient extemal stimuli.

  • 9.
    Andersson, Linus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johansson, Åke
    Millqvist, Eva
    Nordin, Steven
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bende, Mats
    Prevalence and risk factors for chemical sensitivity and sensory hyperreactivity in teenagers2008In: International journal of hygiene and environmental health (Print), ISSN 1438-4639, E-ISSN 1618-131X, Vol. 211, no 5-6, p. 690-697Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    prevalence of chemical sensitivity (CS) and sensory hyperreactivity (SHR) was assessed in a teenage population. Among a random sample of 401 teenagers, 326 (81.3%) answered questionnaires assessing sensitivity to chemicals and noise, anxiety and depression. A subgroup of 85 teenagers conducted a capsaicin inhalation test. The estimated prevalence was 15.6% for general self-reported CS, 3.7% for CS with affective and behavioral consequences, about 1% for SHR. Sensitivity variables were positively intercorrelated. Risk factors for general CS were noise sensitivity (OR: 2.1), probable anxiety (OR: 2.5) and female sex (OR: 2.0). CS problems seem to be present also in teenagers, although less so than in adults. Furthermore, CS seems to be related to other environmental sensitivities.

  • 10.
    Andersson, Linus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Lundberg, Catrine
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Åström, Jonas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nordin, Steven
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Chemosensory attention, habituation and detection in women and men2011In: International Journal of Psychophysiology, ISSN 0167-8760, E-ISSN 1872-7697, Vol. 79, p. 316-322Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

     The aim of this study was to investigate whether there are differences between women and men in how chemosensory stimuli are processed. Event-related potentials from 36 participants (18 men) showed that women had larger P3 amplitudes when attending, but not when ignoring CO 2 but not for n-butanol, compared with men. The main finding was that women and men differ in cognitive measures of chemosensory processing. 

  • 11.
    Andersson, Linus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nordin, Steven
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Millqvist, E
    Sahlgrenska University Hospital Asthma and Allergy Research Group Göteborg, Sweden.
    Bende, M
    Central Hospital Department of Otorhinolaryngology Skövde Sweden.
    On the relation between capsaicin sensitivity and responsiveness to CO2: detection sensitivity and event-related brain potentials2009In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 82, no 3, p. 285-290Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sensory hyperreactivity (SHR) with predominantly airway symptoms is a subgroup of chemical intolerance to various environmental substances with pungent/odorous properties. The hallmark of SHR is sensitivity to capsaicin inhalation, resulting in extensive coughing likely to be mediated by a C-fiber hyperreactivity of the airway sensory neurons. However, it is not clear whether capsaicin sensitivity implies a greater sensitivity to chemosomatosensory substances in general. Therefore, the present study tested the hypothesis of an association between capsaicin cough sensitivity and sensitivity to CO2 with respect to detection sensitivity and electrophysiological brain response.

    Methods A correlational study was employed to investigate the relation between capsaicin cough sensitivity and detection thresholds and chemosomatosensory event-related potentials (ERPs) for CO2 presented in the nasal cavity in 35 persons varying in capsaicin cough sensitivity.

    Results Number of coughs were found to correlate negatively with CO2 threshold and tended to correlate negatively also with N1 and P2 latencies of the chemosomatosensory ERP for CO2. No tendencies of correlations were found between number of coughs and latencies for olfactory and auditory ERPs, recorded for comparison, but, unexpectedly, were found between number of coughs and auditory N1 amplitude.

    Conclusions The results imply that capsaicin cough sensitivity, such as in SHR, is related to higher detection sensitivity, and tends to be related to faster cortical processing of other chemosomatosensory substances, at least of CO2.

  • 12.
    Andersson, Linus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, University of Gävle, Box 7629, SE-90712 Umeå, Sweden.
    Sandberg, Petra
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Nordin, Steven
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Effects of Task Demands on Olfactory, Auditory, and Visual Event-Related Potentials Suggest Similar Top-Down Modulation Across Senses2018In: Chemical Senses, ISSN 0379-864X, E-ISSN 1464-3553, Vol. 43, no 2, p. 129-134Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A widely held view is that top-down modulation of sensory information relies on an amodal control network that acts through the thalamus to regulate incoming signals. Olfaction lacks a direct thalamic projection, which suggests that it may differ from other modalities in this regard. We investigated the late positive complex (LPC) amplitudes of event-related potentials (ERP) from 28 participants, elicited by intensity-matched olfactory, auditory and visual stimuli, during a condition of focused attention, a neutral condition, and a condition in which stimuli were to be actively ignored. Amplitudes were largest during the attend condition, lowest during the ignore condition, with the neutral condition in between. A Bayesian analysis resulted in strong evidence for similar effects of task across sensory modalities. We conclude that olfaction, despite its unique neural projections, does not differ from audition and vision in terms of task-dependent neural modulation of the LPC.

  • 13.
    Andersson, Maria J. E.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bende, Mats
    Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Central Hospital, Skövde, Sweden.
    Millqvist, Eva
    Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden.
    Nordin, Steven
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    The idiopathic environmental intolerance symptom inventory: development, evaluation, and application2009In: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, ISSN 1076-2752, E-ISSN 1536-5948, Vol. 51, no 7, p. 838-847Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: To develop, evaluate, and apply a questionnaire-based instrument for investigation of specific symptoms in idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI), called the Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance Symptom Inventory (IEISI).

    Methods: Participants with IEI to chemicals responded to 82 candidate symptoms and to three subscales of the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) at a test (n = 207) and retest (n = 193) occasion.

    Results: The 27 most commonly reported symptoms were selected and grouped into five symptom categories. Internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and concurrent validity were found to be satisfying. Cluster analysis identified two subgroups of IEI to chemicals.

    Conclusions: The results provide support for the IEISI being a reliable, valid, and fast tool for the study of specific symptom prevalence in IEI and encourage further study of subgroups.

  • 14.
    Claeson, Anna-Sara
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Symptoms from masked acrolein exposure suggest altered trigeminal reactivity in chemical intolerance2017In: Neurotoxicology, ISSN 0161-813X, E-ISSN 1872-9711, Vol. 60, p. 92-98Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Chemical intolerance (CI) is a widespread occupational and public health problem characterized by symptoms that reportedly result from low-levels of chemical exposure. The mechanisms behind CI are unknown, however modifications of the chemical senses (rather than toxic processes) have been suggested as key components. The aim of this study was to investigate whether individuals with self-reported CI report more sensory irritation during masked acrolein exposure compared to controls without CI. Methods: Individuals with CI (n = 18) and controls without CI (n = 19) were exposed in an exposure chamber. Each participant took part in two exposure conditions – one with heptane (the masking compound), and one with heptane and acrolein at a dose below previously reported sensory irritation thresholds. The exposures lasted for 60 min. Symptoms and confidence ratings were measured continuously throughout the exposure as were measurements of electrodermal activity and self-reported tear-film break-up time. Participants were blind to exposure condition. Results: Individuals with CI, compared with controls reported greater sensory irritation in the eyes, nose and throat when exposed to acrolein masked with heptane. There was no difference during exposure to heptane. Conclusions: Masked exposure to acrolein at a concentration below the previously reported detection threshold is perceived as more irritating by individuals with CI compared with controls. The results indicate that there is altered trigeminal reactivity in those with CI compared to controls.

  • 15. Dantoft, Thomas M.
    et al.
    Skovbjerg, Sine
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, University of Gävle, Sweden.
    Claeson, Anna-Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Engkilde, Kaare
    Lind, Nina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Nordin, Steven
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Hellgren, Lars I.
    Gene expression profiling in persons with multiple chemical sensitivity before and after a controlled n-butanol exposure session2017In: BMJ Open, ISSN 2044-6055, E-ISSN 2044-6055, Vol. 7, no 2, article id e013879Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: To investigate the pathophysiological pathways leading to symptoms elicitation in multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) by comparing gene expression in MCS participants and healthy controls before and after a chemical exposure optimised to cause symptoms among MCS participants. The first hypothesis was that unexposed and symptom=-free MCS participants have similar gene expression patterns to controls and a second hypothesis that MCS participants can be separated from controls based on differential gene expression upon a controlled n=-butanol exposure.

    Design: Participants were exposed to 3.7 ppm n-butanol while seated in a windowed exposure chamber for 60 min. A total of 26 genes involved in biochemical pathways found in the literature have been proposed to play a role in the pathogenesis of MCS and other functional somatic syndromes were selected. Expression levels were compared between MCS and controls before, within 15 min after being exposed to and 4 hours after the exposure.

    Settings: Participants suffering from MCS and healthy controls were recruited through advertisement at public places and in a local newspaper.

    Participants: 36 participants who considered themselves sensitive were prescreened for eligibility. 18 sensitive persons fulfilling the criteria for MCS were enrolled together with 18 healthy controls.

    Outcome measures: 17 genes showed sufficient transcriptional level for analysis. Group comparisons were conducted for each gene at the 3 times points and for the computed area under the curve (AUC) expression levels.

    Results: MCS participants and controls displayed similar gene expression levels both at baseline and after the exposure and the computed AUC values were likewise comparable between the 2 groups. The intragroup variation in expression levels among MCS participants was noticeably greater than the controls.

    Conclusions: MCS participants and controls have similar gene expression levels at baseline and it was not possible to separate MCS participants from controls based on gene expression measured after the exposure.

  • 16.
    Dantoft, Thomas Meinertz
    et al.
    Danish Research Centre for Chemical Sensitivities, Copenhagen University Hospital, Gentofte, Denmark.
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nordin, Steven
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Skovbjerg, Sine
    Danish Research Centre for Chemical Sensitivities, Copenhagen University Hospital, Gentofte, Denmark.
    Chemical Intolerance2015In: Current Rheumatology Reviews, ISSN 1573-3971, E-ISSN 1875-6360, Vol. 11, no 2, p. 167-184Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Chemical intolerance (CI) is a term used to describe a condition in which the sufferer experiences a complex array of recurrent unspecific symptoms attributed to low-level chemical exposure that most people regard as unproblematic. Severe CI constitutes the distinguishing feature of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). The symptoms reported by CI subjects are manifold, involving symptoms from multiple organs systems. In severe cases of CI, the condition can cause considerable life-style limitations with severe social, occupational and economic consequences. As no diagnostic tools for CI are available, the presence of the condition can only be established in accordance to criteria definitions. Numerous modes of action have been suggested to explain CI, with the most commonly discussed theories involving the immune system, central nervous system, olfactory and respiratory systems as well as altered metabolic capacity, behavioral conditioning and emotional regulation. However, in spite of more than 50 years of research, there is still a great deal of uncertainties regarding the event(s) and underlying mechanism( s) behind symptom elicitation. As a result, patients are often misdiagnosed or offered health care solutions with limited or no effect, and they experience being met with mistrust and doubt by health care professionals, the social care system and by friends and relatives. Evidence-based treatment options are currently unavailable, however, a person-centered care model based on a multidisciplinary treatment approach and individualized care plans have shown promising results. With this in mind, further research studies and health care solutions should be based on a multifactorial and interdisciplinary approach.

  • 17. Dantoft, Thomas Meinertz
    et al.
    Skovbjerg, Sine
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, University of Gävle, Sweden.
    Claeson, Anna-Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Lind, Nina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nordin, Steven
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Brix, Susanne
    Inflammatory Mediator Profiling of n-butanol Exposed Upper Airways in Individuals with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity2015In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 10, no 11, article id e0143534Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is a chronic condition characterized by reports of recurrent symptoms in response to low level exposure to various chemical substances. Recent findings suggests that dysregulation of the immune system may play a role in MCS pathophysiology. Objectives The aim of this study was to examine baseline and low dose n-butanol-induced upper airway inflammatory response profiles in MCS subjects versus healthy controls. Method Eighteen participants with MCS and 18 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were enrolled in the study. Epithelial lining fluid was collected from the nasal cavity at three time points: baseline, within 15 minutes after being exposed to 3.7 ppm n-butanol in an exposure chamber and four hours after exposure termination. A total of 19 cytokines and chemokines were quantified. Furthermore, at baseline and during the exposure session, participants rated the perceived intensity, valence and levels of symptoms and autonomic recordings were obtained. Results The physiological and psychophysical measurements during the n-butanol exposure session verified a specific response in MCS individuals only. However, MCS subjects and healthy controls displayed similar upper airway inflammatory mediator profiles (P>0.05) at baseline. Likewise, direct comparison of mediator levels in the MCS group and controls after n-butanol exposure revealed no significant group differences. Conclusion We demonstrate no abnormal upper airway inflammatory mediator levels in MCS subjects before or after a symptom-eliciting exposure to low dose n-butanol, implying that upper airways of MCS subjects are functionally intact at the level of cytokine and chemokine production and secretory capacity. This suggests that previous findings of increased cytokine plasma levels in MCS are unlikely to be caused by systemic priming via excessive upper airway inflammatory processes.

  • 18.
    Holm, Linus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Eriksson, Johan
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Looking as if you know: Implicit identification guides the eyes in object recognitionArticle in journal (Refereed)
  • 19.
    Holm, Linus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Eriksson, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Looking as if you know: Systematic object inspection precedes object recognition2008In: Journal of Vision, ISSN 1534-7362, E-ISSN 1534-7362, Vol. 8(4), no 14, p. 1-7Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sometimes we seem to look at the very object we are searching for, without consciously seeing it. How do we select object relevant information before we become aware of the object? We addressed this question in two recognition experiments involving pictures of fragmented objects. In Experiment 1, participants preferred to look at the target object rather than a control region 25 fixations prior to explicit recognition. Furthermore, participants inspected the target as if they had identified it around 9 fixations prior to explicit recognition. In Experiment 2, we investigated the influence of semantic knowledge in guiding object inspection prior to explicit recognition. Consistently, more specific knowledge about target identity made participants scan the fragmented stimulus more efficiently. For instance, non-target regions were rejected faster when participants knew the target object's name. Both experiments showed that participants were looking at the objects as if they knew them before they became aware of their identity.

  • 20.
    Jonsson, Kjell
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Centrum för belastningsskadeforskning, Högskolan i Gävle.
    Den undflyende lukten2018In: Kulturella perspektiv - Svensk etnologisk tidskrift, ISSN 1102-7908, Vol. 27, no 1-2, p. 14-28Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Fleeting Sense of Smell (Den undflyende lukten)

    This is an overview of the elusive sense of smell, both from a historical/cultural and psychological perspective. We follow two themes. In the first, we describe the repeated efforts to understand and categorize human olfaction, from antiquity to present day. We disseminate how smell has been positioned in sensory hierarchies, describe odor classifications systems and discuss differing views on the relationship between odor and health. The second theme regards how odors and the sense

    itself has been used as a means for understanding, separating and classifying other phenomena. Odors have throughout history been used to de- marcate class boundaries; the (non-)reliance of the sense of smell has been seen as an indication of civilization. Olfactory acuity is used to separate humans from animals, women from men, and young from old. These smell-based taxonomies persist, despite having no clear backing from em- pirical evidence. Finally, we suggest that the inter- est in smell may be on the rise, both from a societal and scientific perspective.

  • 21.
    Lind, Nina
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
    Söderholm, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Palmquist, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, University of Gävle, Gävle .
    Millqvist, Eva
    Asthma and Allergy Research Group, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Nordin, Steven
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Comorbidity and multimorbidity of asthma and allergy and intolerance to chemicals and certain buildings2017In: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, ISSN 1076-2752, E-ISSN 1536-5948, Vol. 59, no 1, p. 80-84Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: We tested the hypothesis of high comorbidity between asthma/allergy and chemical intolerance (CI) and between asthma/allergy and building intolerance (BI), and high multimorbidity between asthma/allergy, CI, and BI.

    Methods: Population-based questionnaire data were used from 530 participants with asthma/allergy (allergic asthma, nonallergic asthma, allergic rhinitis, and/or atopic dermatitis), 414 with self-reported and 112 with physician-diagnosed CI, and 165 with self-reported and 47 with physician-diagnosed BI. Separate reference groups were formed for each of the five case groups.

    Results: Adjusted odds ratios varied from 4.6 to 13.1 for comorbidity, and from 6.6 to 46.4 for multimorbidity.

    Conclusion: The large comorbidity and multimorbidity between asthma/allergy, CI, and BI evokes the question as to whether there are similarities in underlying mechanisms between these conditions.

  • 22.
    Millqvist, E.
    et al.
    Sahlgrenska Academy, Department of Internal Medicine, Göteborg, Sweden.
    Johansson, Å.
    Central Hospital, Department of Lung, Sköwde, Sweden.
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nordin, Steven
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bende, Mats
    Central Hospital, Department of ENT, Sköwde, Sweden.
    Prevalence of chemical sensitivity and its risk factors in teenagers: a population-based study2008In: 2008 The Authors Journal Compilation Allergy 63 (Suppl. 88): 158-611: Poster Group 1 - Pollution and Pet Allergy, Munksgaard: Blackwell , 2008, p. 279-280Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 23.
    Nordin, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nordin, Steven
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Coping strategies, social support and responsibility in chemical intolerance2010In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 19, no 15/16, p. 2162-2173Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aims and objectives. To study coping strategies, social support and responsibility for improvement in chemical intolerance (CI).

    Background. Limited knowledge of CI among health professionals and lay persons places demands on the chemically intolerant individual’s coping strategies and perception of social support and ability to take responsibility for improvement. However, there is sparse literature on these issues in CI.

    Design. A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based, quasi-experimental study.

    Method. Fifty-nine persons with mild, 92 with moderate and 31 with severe CI participated by rating (i) usage and effectiveness of six problem- and six emotion-focused coping strategies, (ii) emotional, instrumental and informative support provided by various sources and (iii) society’s and the inflicted individual’s responsibility for improvement.

    Results. The participants reported that the most commonly used and effective coping strategies were avoiding odorous/pungent environments and asking persons to limit their use of odorous/pungent substances (problem-focused strategies) as well as accepting the situation and reprioritising (emotion-focused strategies). High intolerance severity was associated with problemfocused coping strategies and relatively low intolerance with emotion-focused strategies. More emotional than instrumental and informative support was perceived, predominantly from the partner and other family members. Responsibility attributed to society was also found to increase from mild to moderate/severe intolerance.

    Conclusions. Certain coping strategies are more commonly used and perceived as more effective than others in CI. However, intolerance severity plays a role regarding both coping strategies and responsibility. Emotional support appears to be the most available type of support.

  • 24.
    Nordin, Steven
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Aldrin, Lina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Claeson, Anna-Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, University of Gävle, Sweden.
    Effects of Negative Affectivity and Odor Valence on Chemosensory and Symptom Perception and Perceived Ability to Focus on a Cognitive Task2017In: Perception, ISSN 0301-0066, E-ISSN 1468-4233, Vol. 46, no 3-4, p. 431-446Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim was to gain understanding for the impact of negative affectivity (NA) and odor valance on perceptual aspects during low-level odorous exposure. Fifty-five young adults who were either relatively low or high in NA (anxiety, depression, and somatization) were randomized for exposure to either limonene (pleasant odor) or pyridine (unpleasant odor). In an exposure chamber, they took part in baseline, blank and stable exposure sessions, during which they rated odor intensity, impact on ability to focus on an imagined cognitive task, and intensity of symptoms. The results showed higher ratings of negative impact on ability to focus during exposure to the unpleasant odor compared with the pleasant odor, and an association between NA and symptom intensity, with 18% of the variance in symptom intensity explained by somatization. The association between NA and symptom intensity was found to be driven by the factor sex. These results imply (a) that prior findings of odorous exposure that interfere negatively with work performance may be due to impact of an unpleasant odor on ability to focus on cognitive tasks and (b) that there are associations between NA, sex, and symptoms that may partly be referred to attentiveness to and interpretation of bodily sensations.

  • 25.
    Nordin, Steven
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden .
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Evaluation of a Swedish version of the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory2010In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 83, no 1, p. 95-104Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: To psychometrically evaluate a Swedish version of the Quick Environment Exposure Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI), originally developed in the United States, which is a sensitive and fast questionnaire instrument with five scales used to investigate chemical intolerance. Methods: Ninety non-intolerant, 67 mildly intolerant, and 126 moderately/severely intolerant individuals to environmental chemicals responded at test and retest (n = 69, 64, 120, respectively) occasions to the Swedish version of the QEESI. Results  Good internal consistency (α = 0.74–0.95) and test–retest reliability (r = 0.78–0.93) was found in all scales, except for the internal consistency in the Masking Index (Kuder-Richardson coefficient = 0.10). All scales, but the Masking Index, further showed good convergent validity (somewhat lower in the Other Intolerences scale) and predominantly unidimensionality. Conclusions: The Swedish version of the QEESI is reliable and valid for investigation of chemical intolerance, but the Masking Index scale does not represent a unified concept of exposure to masking agents.

  • 26.
    Nordin, Steven
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    McCormack, Michael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Polich, John
    Molecular and Integrative Neurosciences Department, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA.
    Evaluation of auditory, visual and olfactory event-related potentials for comparing interspersed- and single-stimulus paradigms2011In: International Journal of Psychophysiology, ISSN 0167-8760, E-ISSN 1872-7697, Vol. 81, no 3, p. 252-262Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: An interspersed-stimulus paradigm (ISP) for event-related potential (ERP) recordings in which different sensory modality stimuli are presented within the same test session was developed to minimize recording time and facilitate modality comparison. The present study compared the ISP with a single-stimulus paradigm (SSP), using auditory, visual, and olfactory stimuli.

    Method: Normal participants (n=16) were assessed on two independent test occasions to obtain data on inter-paradigm and test-retest reliability. Peak amplitude/latency and area measures were obtained for the N1, P2 and P3 peaks for each paradigm.

    Results: Except for larger auditory and visual P3 peaks and smaller visual P2 peaks in the ISP, no significant differences in amplitudes or latencies were found between the two paradigms. Correlation coef ficients between paradigms were generally fairly high (amplitude mean r=0.76; latency r=0.42). Test–retest reliability within paradigms for amplitudes (ISP r=0.70; SSP r=0.68) and latencies (ISP r=0.44; SSP r=0.42) was similar across paradigms.

    Conclusion: Thefindings suggest that the ISP, compared to the SSP, produces, in general, highly comparable auditory, visual, and olfactory peak amplitudes and latencies, and comparable reliability estimates, even though the ISP takes much less time to record (25 vs. 50 min). The larger auditory and visual P3 peaks and smaller visual P2 peaks in the ISP may be attributable to a less predictable stimulus environment. Thus, this method enables systematic comparisons of ERP peaks across sensory modalities while reducing testing time. Practical implications are discussed.

  • 27.
    Nordin, Steven
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Claeson, Anna-Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Andersson, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Sommar, Louise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Andree, Jakob
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Lundqvist, Klas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Impact of Health-Risk Perception on Odor Perception and Cognitive Performance2013In: Chemosensory Perception, ISSN 1936-5802, Vol. 6, no 4, p. 190-197Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Indications of adverse effects of nontoxic malodorous chemical exposure on work performance and safety and the role of health-risk perception on odor perception motivated the present study of the impact of health-risk perception on odor perception and cognitive performance. Healthy young adults were informed that they were to be exposed to an odorous substance that is either potentially health-enhancing (positive information bias, n = 24) or hazardous (negative information bias, n = 25). The two groups, screened for loss in odor-detection sensitivity, were matched for age, sex, chemical intolerance, and negative affectivity. During each of 14 trials of exposure to 433 mg/m(3) of n-butanol, the participants rated the intensity and valence of odor perception and performed a cognitive task that taxed working memory and attention. The results showed that the negative-bias group rated the odor perception as more unpleasant than did the positive-bias group during the entire session, but significantly more unpleasant only during the first half of the session. The negative-bias group was also found to perform significantly poorer on the cognitive task during both halves of the session. No effect of information bias was found on perceived odor intensity. The results provide experimental support for the hypotheses that belief that exposure to an odorous chemical is hazardous contributes to the odor perception being more unpleasant and to poorer cognitive performance.

  • 28.
    Nordin, Steven
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Söderholm, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Palmquist, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Claeson, Anna-Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nordin, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Miljökänslighet – den osynliga folksjukdomen: ett detektivarbete kring orsakerna till miljörelaterad överkänslighet2012In: Byggnadsrelaterad ohälsa i Kvarkenregionen: nio delprojekt om miljökänslighet, luftkvalitetoch sjuka hus ur ett tvärvetenskapligt perspektiv : slutrapport för projektet Kompetenscentrum Byggnad - Luftkvalitet - Hälsa 2 (KLUCK 2) / [ed] Martina Österberg, Vasa: Yrkeshögskolan Novia , 2012, p. 30-43Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    När man besöker en annan persons hem känner man den vaga lukten av möbler, textilier, matlagning och olika ämnen som många av oss använder – parfymer, rengöringsmedel eller hårprodukter. Efter en stunds vistelse i bostaden registrerar de fl esta människor inte längre lukterna. Men för vissa personer går det precis tvärtom; lukterna försvinner inte utan blir i stället skarpare. De blir allt mer distinkta, till och med påträngande. Någon kanske försöker föra en konversation, men obehaget gör att man inte kan koncentrera sig vad den andra har att säga. I värsta fall drabbas man av huvudvärk, yrsel och andra symptom som gör tillvaron närmast outhärdlig. För en överkänslig person kan vardagen vara fylld av sådana här situationer. Men hur kommer det sig att endast vissa personer drabbas av miljökänslighet?

  • 29.
    Paulin, Johan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Andersson, Linus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Nordin, Steven
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Characteristics of hyperacusis in the general population2016In: Noise & Health, ISSN 1463-1741, E-ISSN 1998-4030, Vol. 18, no 83, p. 178-184Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is a need for better understanding of various characteristics in hyperacusis in the general population. The objectives of the present study were to investigate individuals in the general population with hyperacusis regarding demographics, lifestyle, perceived general health and hearing ability, hyperacusis-specific characteristics and behavior, and comorbidity. Using data from a large-scale population-based questionnaire study, we investigated individuals with physician-diagnosed (n=66) and self-reported (n=313) hyperacusis in comparison to individuals without hyperacusis (n=2995). High age, female sex, and high education were associated with hyperacusis, and that trying to avoid sound sources, being able to affect the sound environment, and having sough medical attention were common reactions and behaviors. Posttraumatic stress disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, exhaustion, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, hearing impairment, tinnitus, and back/joint/muscle disorders were comorbid with hyperacusis. The results provide ground for future study of these characteristic features being risk factors for development of hyperacusis and/or consequences of hyperacusis.

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