Dogs could sniff out Parkinson’s years before symptoms

News

Author: Parkinson's Life editorsPublished: 12 July 2017

Parkinson's LifePrep: Parkinson's LifeCook: Parkinson's LifeServes:

Sniffer dogs lead

Scientists are investigating whether dogs can “sniff out” Parkinson’s disease even before an individual’s symptoms emerge.

Researchers at Manchester University began investigating the possibility of Parkinson’s having discernible odour molecules after a woman in Perth, Scotland believed she detected a subtle change in her husband’s smell six years before he was diagnosed with the condition.

The study, which is being carried out with the research charity Medical Detection Dogs, is investigating which odour molecules are linked to the condition so that dogs can be trained to spot the illness from skin swabs. Dogs have been trained in the past to detect cancer.

Claire Guest, chief executive of Medical Detection Dogs – which is also working on the study – said: “If all diseases have an odour, which we have reason to believe they do, we can use dogs to identify them. Dogs have 300 million smell receptors in their noses compared to our mere five million. They are first-rate bio-sensors and their ability to help us make important scientific advances should not be dismissed on account of their waggy tails and fluffy coats.”

Go Back

Share this story

Comments


Related articles


GK cyclist

sponsored article

Advances

KinetiGraph: tracking your symptoms on the move

A look at Parkinson’s KinetiGraph, a new objective measurement device

READ MORE
Mike Bell poet lead

Perspectives

Why I promise to make poetry, not Parkinson’s disease, my daily challenge

Parkinson’s poet crafts a piece per day for year-long project

READ MORE
Fighting Fit

Interviews

Fighting Fit: tackling Parkinson’s in the workplace

We talk to the founders of a new programme in Buckinghamshire, UK

READ MORE