Test developed to detect Parkinson’s disease thanks to a woman who feels the disease

Test developed to detect Parkinson’s disease thanks to a woman who feels the disease

Researchers at the University of Manchester have developed a new test to diagnose Parkinson’s disease more quickly and accurately. The scientists were assisted by a Scottish woman with a unique ability to detect disease.

Joy Milne, a retired nurse, discovered years ago that her husband Les suddenly felt different. “Especially on her shoulders and neck, her scent has visibly changed,” she says. Twelve years later, her husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He was already having serious problems by then and later died of the disease.

Milne’s claim that he could smell Parkinson’s disease was later scientifically investigated. The woman had to smell the T-shirts of the subjects and tell who had Parkinson’s disease and who did not. Anyway, he was right.

It was discovered that Milne suffered from a rare condition that improved his sense of smell. He also named a healthy control group person as a patient. This person learned from a doctor eight months later that he had Parkinson’s disease.

Scientists believe that Parkinson’s disease causes the oil in the skin to change. Milne describes the smell of the disease as “musty and rather unpleasant.” To him, Parkinson’s smells like musk.

Scientists have invented a test that can do almost the same thing as Milne, who is now 72. A cotton swab to wear around your neck. After that, the person will know within three minutes whether he has Parkinson’s disease or not.

79 Parkinson’s patients and 71 healthy people took part in the first test of the new method. The test was found to be 95% reliable. The research has been published in the scientific journal Journal of the American Chemical Society. A new study is currently underway with more than two thousand test subjects.

“This is a big step forward in the fight against Parkinson’s disease,” said lead researcher Perdita Barran. “The next step is to develop a version that is ubiquitous and usable by everyone.”

Source: NU