Recently it has been determined that many people with Parkinson’s have a distinct smell. It is a subtle odour that only some individuals with a very sensitive sense of smell can detect (Click here to read a previous SoPD post on this topic).
This curious discovery has given rise to a number of interesting research programmes which are trying to determine the underlying biology of the odour and how this knowledge could be useful in early detection of the condition and in our understanding of the disease.
In addition, there has been efforts to train dogs to detect the smell of Parkinson’s, and recently I was invited to visit a research centre that is teaching dogs to differentiate between odours, and identify the odour from people with Parkinson’s. It was a wonderful experience.
In today’s post, we will look at what the Medical Detection Dogs does and what implications their research could have for Parkinson’s.
In my role of Deputy Director at the Cure Parkinson’s Trust I get invited to visit many interesting research efforts associated with Parkinson’s.
But recently there was one visit that I was particularly looking forward to.
A couple of weeks ago I drove up to Milton Keynes here in the UK and visited a charity called Medical Detection Dogs.
What do they do?