Dogs trained to sniff out Parkinson’s disease

News

Author: Parkinson's Life editorsPublished: 4 May 2016

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

News image

In San Juan Island, US, dogs are being trained to see whether they can detect Parkinson’s disease by smell, using the same techniques used to odour-identify illegal drugs, bombs and cancer.

Lisa Holt, a dog trainer certified by the US-based National Association of Canine Scent Work, has recruited dogs to participate in an experiment that teaches them to associate the particular smell of a shirt from a person living with Parkinson’s with a ‘primary reinforcer’ – a bite of turkey.

After hundreds of exposures to the shirts, the turkey will be removed with the hope that the dogs will have learned, and will still be able to indicate, the shirt from the Parkinson’s patient.

Holt said: “If we see that the dogs can indicate then we can talk about a second stage of training. First we have to find out if there’s anything to train on.”

Go Back

Share this story

Comments


Related articles


Perspectives

6 inspiring TED talks on Parkinson’s disease

Some of the most uplifting presentations given on Parkinson’s

READ MORE
Salmon-brain-food

Recipes & Nutrition

Salmon: the brain’s natural boost against Parkinson’s

Fish has gained a reputation as ‘brain food’ and with good reason

READ MORE
Tony Seidl finishes

Perspectives

Tony’s two-wheel tour: “One of the best experiences of my life”

Tony reflects on his experience, which might just be the best of his life

READ MORE