News • Unique detection

'Super smeller' could lead to parkinson skin swab test

A study has identified chemicals in the skin responsible for a unique scent in people with Parkinson’s disease. The chemicals can be detected in an oily substance secreted from the skin called sebum, the researchers found.

The findings suggest Parkinson’s disease could one day be diagnosed from skin swabs, potentially leading to new tests. There are no tests for Parkinson’s disease at present. Patients are diagnosed from observation of symptoms, a process that can take several years. Scientists at The University of Edinburgh first had the idea that Parkinson’s might be diagnosed from chemicals in the skin when they met Joy Milne, the widow of a former patient. Her acute sense of smell had noticed that people with the disease have a unique scent.

Did you know? Persons afflicted with Parkinson's disease have a unique smell. This could lead to the development of a new kind of test.

Source: Unsplash/Erik Odiin

In a pilot study, Joy accurately differentiated Parkinson’s patients from healthy people by smelling T-shirts they had worn for 24 hours. Using a specialised technique that mimics the human nose, researchers at The University of Manchester analysed sebum samples of patients with Parkinson’s Disease. They identified three molecules in sebum linked to the odour caused by Parkinson’s Disease. Researchers say this could lead to new tests. The research was published in the journal ACS Central Science.

"This is a really exciting step towards a test for Parkinson’s that could cut short the time it currently takes to reach a diagnosis. Having a conclusive test would have a huge impact, not only for patients, but could also aid research for new treatments", says Dr Tilo Kunath from the Medical Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh.

Parkinson’s is caused by a loss of nerve cells in the part of the brain that controls body movement. There currently is no cure, but researchers hope that spotting affected people sooner could help them in the search for treatments.


Source: University of Edinburgh

21.03.2019

More on the subject:
Read all latest stories

Related articles

Photo

News • Environmental change effects

The impact of climate change and air pollution on neurologic diseases

Are climate change and air pollution making neurologic diseases like headaches, dementia and multiple sclerosis (MS) worse? A scoping review of research explores the connection.

Photo

News • Neuroinflammation research

Exploring the long-term consequences of infections

Researchers mapped in detail how the immune system acts against pathogens invading the brain. This sheds new light on host-pathogen interactions and the long-term consequences of brain infections.

Photo

News • Disrupted neurogenesis

Covid-19 delirium: new study reveals possible brain mechanisms

Researchers have shown that when brain cells are directly exposed to blood taken from Covid-19 patients with delirium, there is an increase in cell death and a decrease in the generation of new brain…

Related products

Canon – Alphenix Biplane High Definition Detector

Bi-Plane

Canon – Alphenix Biplane High Definition Detector

Canon Medical Systems Europe B.V.
Canon – Vitrea Advanced Visualization

Reading

Canon – Vitrea Advanced Visualization

Canon Medical Systems Europe B.V.
Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

Research Use Only

Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

SARSTEDT AG & CO. KG
Shimadzu – CLAM-2030 CL (IVD)/ CLAM-2030 (RUO)

Mass Spectrometry

Shimadzu – CLAM-2030 CL (IVD)/ CLAM-2030 (RUO)

Shimadzu Europa GmbH
Shimadzu – LCMS-8060NX CL (IVD) / LCMS-8060 NX (RUO)

Mass Spectrometry

Shimadzu – LCMS-8060NX CL (IVD) / LCMS-8060 NX (RUO)

Shimadzu Europa GmbH
Subscribe to Newsletter