This Woman Can Literally Smell Parkinson's Disease
This Woman Can Literally Smell Parkinson's Disease
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This Woman Can Literally Smell Parkinson's Disease

Britain's Joy Milne has an incredible power. Thanks to her highly developed sense of smell, she manages to detect certain diseases, notably Parkinson's disease. And she is able to do this several years before the appearance of the first symptoms.

Currently, there is no sure way to detect Parkinson's disease. Everything could change thanks to the incredible abilities of this woman. Britain’s Joy Milne can literally smell the disease, even before the first symptoms appear.

Thanks to her infallible nose, she can detect a ‘musky’ odour in people with Parkinson's disease. She found it for the first time in her husband's home, 10 years before a diagnosis was made by doctors. Later, going to different support meetings for people with the disease, she sensed that strange smell again.

A small sample

According to researchers, this ‘musk’ smelled by Joy Milne comes from the patients’ sebum. It is already known to scientists that Parkinson's disease increases the production of sebum in patients. To identify which biomarkers produce this strange oduor, the researchers used mass spectrometry. Their results are clear: patients had more hippuric acid, icosane and octadecanal.

For now, this test has only been conducted on a sample of 64 people. But it has a lot of potential: ‘This could have a huge impact, not only for an earlier and safer diagnosis, but also to help patients track the effectiveness of treatment,’ says Perdita Barran, a researcher at the University of Manchester.

Towards a pandemic of Parkinson's disease?

Indeed, the earlier the disease is detected, the more it is possible to set up a treatment. According to the researchers, we may well find a way to prevent Parkinson's disease long before treatment is needed.

A hope for the 10 million people currently living with Parkinson's disease. According to scientists, this figure could be expected to increase in the coming years. They fear ‘a pandemic.’

Take a look at the video above for more on Joy's unbelievable sense of smell...

By Rob Mitchell

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