JAN 03, 2018 05:48 AM PST

This Nose Knows Parkinson's

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Parkinson's disease is a neurological disease, that is progressive. Once it begins symptoms get worse, sometimes very quickly. Nearly 10 million people suffer from it across the globe, but one woman in the UK has a unique ability concerning the disease. Joy Milne's husband has Parkinson's disease, and she recognized a different smell about him ten years before he was officially diagnosed. Her ability to smell scents is quite rare, and she's got almost the same ability as some dogs, who are known to have a sense of smell thousands of times more potent than the average human.

Joy's husband is a doctor, and she is a nurse, so both were well-versed in the medical issues concerning the disease. While she initially thought the odor she detected must be from when her husband hadn't showered recently or had forgotten to brush his teeth, they both attended a meeting of Parkinson's patients, and that is when she knew. Her sense of smell went into overdrive once in the room. Joy is now working with a team of researchers at the University of Manchester to hopefully develop a diagnostic test for Parkinson's. Currently, no definitive assessment exists, so the diagnosis is often made after ruling out other conditions. This can take a long time and delay treatment, so hopefully, her superior ability can be a part of finding a way to detect the devastating disorder early.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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