In an age of increasingly sophisticated wearable and diagnostic technology; enabled by data analytics and machine learning, it seems rather archaic to consider odour as a useful diagnostic tool.
However, following the amazing nose of a retired Scottish nurse, Joy Milne, it appears there may be an almost imperceptible, musky smell associated with people developing Parkinson’s disease. The correlation appears to hold, following some initial spectrometry experiments and may well lead to a new type of diagnostic smelling device which will be able to identify those developing early signs of Parkinson’s way before signs and symptoms emerge.
There are no tests that diagnose whether Parkinson’s is actually present. The best that neurologists can do is study the symptoms and theorise about whether someone actually has the disease. Hence the search is on for a better form of diagnosis. Unexpectedly, scientists are now literally following someone’s nose.