A certain woman who is able to smell Parkinson’s disease has been able to assist scientists identify 10 molecules linked with the condition. Joy Milne, has an unusual sense of smell that is able to identify Parkinson’s disease even before the symptoms appear. The woman Joy Milne told the BC that she forms part of a tiny population who are between dogs and humans. She discovered her ability when she attended a Parkinson’s workshop and realized that all people who attended the workshop and had Parkinson have had the same smell as her husband who had Parkinson’s disease.
She identified the unique talent after smelling her husband for 12 years and linked the smell to bad hygiene. But now she has realized that people suffering from the same disease have a particular smell.
As a proof for her ability, researchers sought to find out her unique skills. They conducted tests for people with the disease and she was able to accurately and astonishingly smell the skin swabs of the people with the disease. They further tested her ability suing 12 shirts 6 worn by people without the disease and 6 with the disease and she was able to correctly identify the shirt worn by people with Parkinson’s disease.
Prof Perdita Barran who is the chair of mass spectrometry in the school of chemistry at Manchester University sought to find out the molecules associated with the smell from the samples that Joy had detected and says that now they have identified more than ten molecules associated with Parkinson’s disease. They attribute their success to Joy who led them to focus on the study. The scientists hope to train dogs so as to be able to smell the molecules in future.
Parkinson’s disease is thought to affect more than 127,000 people in Britain and this means that roughly 1 in 500 have the disease. Parkinson’s disease leads to damage of nerves in brain severing movement and speech. Prof Perdita says that because it is difficult to diagnose Parkinson’s disease by the time a person record the symptoms, 60-70% of the damage usually has already been done and this makes it difficult for drugs designed for controlling the damages to be effective so diagnosing the disease early will help in the prevention of the disease at an early stage in the future.
Currently Parkinson’s disease has no cure