Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that leads to progressive death of brain cells and extensive loss of motor function. Although many studies have been conducted on this disease, no final diagnostic tests are currently available. Now, researchers are identifying compounds that make up the signature smell of the disease with a person who can detect Parkinson's smell by smell. They report their findings The Scientific Center.
Ancient doctors used the smell as a diagnostic tool, and although olfactory testing is not common in modern medicine, diseases such as diabetes are often associated with a particular smell. However, there have been small evidence to tie odor to neurodegenerative disorders. Enter Joe Milne, "Super Smiller", which can distinguish the unique smell of Parkinson's, which it can detect in the milk of subjects before the onset of clinical symptoms. It is a wax, a bi-fat based biofluid moisturizer and protects the skin, especially on the forehead and back. Excessive production of the substance is a known symptom of Parkinson's disease. So, Perdita Barran and colleagues wanted to determine what chemicals assemble the milk smell that Milan is picking up on in Parkinson's patients so that they can eventually develop a diagnostic test for the disease.
The researchers collected milk samples using gauze to wipe the upper back of more than 60 subjects, both with and without Parkinson's. Volatile odor compounds of this milk can be contributing to the odor associated with the extracted disease and analyzed with mass spectrometry. The data revealed the presence of hyporic acid, eicosane and octadecanal, which indicate levels of urination of neurotransmitters found in Parkinson's patients, along with some other biomarkers for the disease. Milne confirmed the muscular signature of Parkinson's when presented with prepared laboratory samples containing these compounds in an olfactory controlled environment. While researchers acknowledge the limited scope of this study, they say it opens the door to the development of a noninvasive screening test for Parkinson's, which could lead to earlier detection.
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