Nurse says she “smells” Parkinson’s and helps create new test for the disease

A new test for the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease it’s under development. The novelty is that the exam will take three minutes to communicate the diagnosis. The test is being developed by researchers at the University of Manchester, UK. The scientific work was published in Journal of the American Chemical Societyinspired by retired nurse Joy Milne. The health professional has a condition characterized by a very keen sense of smell and says she can identify disease patients by smell alone.

Access the study here: Click here to download the PDF.

Joy’s late husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. They began to attend patient support associations and to live with other people with the disease, which gradually impairs brain functions related to movement.

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Then Joy realized that they would all have the “same unusual smell” that she had smelled from her husband 12 years ago, long before his first symptoms manifested. The information is from CNN Brazil.

Joy Milne discussed the fact with a researcher and was involved in research that sought to assess whether her olfactory abilities could be used to identify the disease at an early stage, which would benefit treatment.

The odor felt by the Scotswoman was greater in the region of the patients’ back, which is washed less frequently. Eleven researchers participate in the work, including Joy Milne.

According to the journal, increased oiliness and scaly skin, especially on the face and scalp, are common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD).

The analyzes found that sebum could be used to identify lipids with high molecular mass that are more active in people with Parkinson’s.


The fundamental principle of the test is to observe the mass and chemical composition of the sebum molecules using a technique called mass spectrometry. To perform the exam, a little of the substance is collected from the patient’s back in a simple and non-invasive way, using a cotton swab.

The tallow is placed on a paper filter and given a drop of solvent and electrical voltage, which transfers its components to the mass spectrometer.

According to information released by the researchers, of the 4,000 compounds found in the solution, about 500 are different between people with and without Parkinson’s disease.

The next step for the research team is to make the test a clinical method for diagnosing the disorder.

According to the scientists, the results also open up new possibilities, such as the identification of other diseases through the analysis of sebum, which they found to be an efficient biofluid for diagnoses.

Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects a person’s movements. It causes tremors, slowness of movement, muscle stiffness, imbalance, as well as changes in speech and writing, according to the Ministry of Health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1% of the world population over 65 years of age live with the disease, which causes symptoms such as difficulty moving, tremors and muscle stiffness. There is no cure, but medications to replace dopamine are part of the treatment.

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She's our PC girl, so anything is up to her. She is also responsible for the videos of Play Crazy Game, as well as giving a leg in the news.

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