Early detection of Parkinson’s disease

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Paramedics learn to detect hyperglycemia from a fruity smell on the breath of diabetics. Gastroenterologists learn to identify the odor of digested blood. Until recently, there was little scientific evidence related to neurodegenerative disorders. Nevertheless, science has found a method to detect for Parkinson’s disease.

Indeed, this disease shortens life expectancy while causing tremors, dementia, and other unpleasant conditions. It is not possible to stop or slow down the progression of these symptoms. However, medication limits the most harmful effects. It is a difficult disease to detect until the harmful conditions become apparent.

Remarkably, hyperosmia, is a condition that allows a person to detect odors that are not perceptible to most people. Actually, Joy Milne, a retired nurse in Scotland noticed a musky scent in her house, which later was associated with her husband being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Furthermore, she observed that other people with Parkinson’s had the same distinctive smell. From that moment she started to collaborate with scientific research teams.

In addition, Dr. Perdita Barran at the University of Manchester began experiments to identify the correlation between the odor and the patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Consequently, they discovered from samples of patients that the odor came from a specimen taken from patients. The specimen consists of 4 compounds: perillic aldehyde, hippuric acid, eicosane, and octadecanal.

Finally, the next step after experiments with a larger population is the creation and production of a electronic nose that would identify whether or not an individual might be at the early stage of Parkinson’s.  

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