Woman Smells Parkinson’s Disease ?

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: November 20, 2015

Woman Smells Parkinson’s Disease?

We put a question mark on the end of the title because it almost sounds laughable…

But make no mistake that Parkinson’s Disease is no laughing matter… Parkinson’s is a progressive disease affecting the nervous system and bodily movement. There is no cure, but symptoms can be treated.

A woman in Scotland says she can smell Parkinson’s disease, and that skill prompted scientists to do further diagnostic research into the phenomenon.

A Scottish woman who said she could smell her husband’s Parkinson’s disease may actually be onto something, according to scientists…

Joy Milne’s husband died of Parkinson’s disease in June. Milne claims she noticed that he began to smell differently during the 20 years he lived with the disease, BBC reported…

She said she recognized a change in his smell. In fact, that it was “quite musky”

Edinburgh University  wasn’t going to let the matter be but instead decided to put Milne’s theory that people with Parkinson’s disease emit a distinct odor to the test!

Researchers recruited six people with Parkinson’s and six without, according to Tilo Kunath, a Parkinson’s fellow at the school of biological sciences at Edinburgh University, BBC reported.

The researchers had the participants wear a t-shirt for a day and then bagged the shirts and asked Milne to smell them.

Her job was to tell us who had Parkinson’s and who didn’t…Her accuracy?

Milne’s was 11 out of 12 correct on her smells…Needless to say, the scientists of Edinburgh University were quite impressed.

Milne was adamant that a man in the control group had Parkinson’s disease, but researchers assured her that he did not have the disease…

However, eight months later the researchers were proved wrong and Milne right, when the man was diagnosed with the disease…

Don’t worry, we kind of freaked out too and we think the scientists (secretly) did too!

Researchers believe that people with Parkinson’s may experience changes in the skin that could lead to the distinct odor Milne noticed and they hope the research could lead to a simple diagnostic test.

“A diagnostic test like this could cut through so much of that, enable people to go in and see a consultant, have a simple swab test and come out with a clear diagnosis of Parkinson’s,” according to Katherine Crawford, the Scotland director of Parkinson’s UK, BBC reported.

A follow up study of 200 people with and without the disease is being funded by Parkinson’s UK, a support and research charity, BBC reported.

What do you think? Can this woman smell Parkinson’s disease?

Doug Zanes
Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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