In the early 1980s, a young nurse, Joy Milne, noticed the unusual smell of musk from her husband. A couple of years later, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, but then she did not connect these factors. And after a while, Milne ended up in the department for patients with this disease and soon caught a familiar smell. She tried for a long time to draw attention to this discovery - and in 2012 she was offered to participate in an experiment. Milne was able to calculate 11 out of 12 patients with Parkinson's disease by the smell of clothes.
Since then, science has been working to obtain a detector for this disease based on the analysis of human body odors. Previous studies have shown that patients produce intense sebum production. And in new works, scientists have discovered several volatile molecular compounds associated with the disease. They managed to synthesize enough of them so that Milne, who was invited to the laboratory, was able to recognize the very "smell of the disease."
Milne also indicated that the intensity of the scent varied depending on the treatment her husband received. They have lived a long life together, so she has accumulated a wealth of experience. Together, this will be the key to creating a new test: increasing the concentration of fat, the presence of biomarkers in it and changing these parameters in relation to the lifestyle and drug intake of the patient. The very fact of the relationship between disease and odor has already been proven, it remains only to study specific patterns in order to create a detector.
In the future, this technique will help not only identify, but also treat Parkinson's disease. For example, by changing the smell, doctors will understand how effective the chosen course of treatment is, how the use of specific drugs affects the patient, etc. Together, this will help alleviate the plight of millions of people.