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Old 06-14-2024, 02:02 PM
 
26,351 posts, read 49,394,153 times
Reputation: 31998

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Great article in today's NY Times about a woman with an extremely sensitive nose who could accurately detect Parkinson’s in persons, based on body scent.

This gift link will get you past the paywall and into the NY Times to read the full article. If the link expires, you may DM and I can get the link renewed.

It’s a long article but a good read, and as always with many NY Times articles the comments are excellent as comments on their site are reviewed before posting on-line so they can weed out the trolls who inhabit much of the internet.

Towards the end there is some discussion about the body scent of hospice patients, COVID patients, etc.

If we can overcome the arrogance of a medical community that pooh-poohs anything new or unusual we could, in ten years time, see a skin-swab scent-test for several diseases. I'm a bit cynical about the medical community as it seems all they want to do is push pills from big pharma and push patients out the door. Diagnosing disease by scent is something I expect them to claim is fake science and I think it will be hard for them to adopt -- unless they can charge a fortune for the tests.
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Old 06-14-2024, 02:49 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,452 posts, read 5,386,175 times
Reputation: 18235
Our scent is influenced by chemicals in our blood that come out in our sweat. Fifty years ago they tried training dogs to detect the change in odor of patients having acute heart attacks. ..It turns out it's just cheaper., easier, more accurate, reproducible and quantitatively comparable to just do the blood tests in the lab to detect those chemicals.

This example of detction of Parkinson's is particularly egregious because there's no need for early diagnosis because a big problem is that this condition treated too early gets worse faster.

Other than that, great idea!....Next time you have a medical emergency, call your local fortune teller if you don't trust your doctor.
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Old 06-14-2024, 03:05 PM
 
1,405 posts, read 635,118 times
Reputation: 3385
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Our scent is influenced by chemicals in our blood that come out in our sweat. Fifty years ago they tried training dogs to detect the change in odor of patients having acute heart attacks. ..It turns out it's just cheaper., easier, more accurate, reproducible and quantitatively comparable to just do the blood tests in the lab to detect those chemicals.

This example of detction of Parkinson's is particularly egregious because there's no need for early diagnosis because a big problem is that this condition treated too early gets worse faster.

Other than that, great idea!....Next time you have a medical emergency, call your local fortune teller if you don't trust your doctor.
This is such an ignorant comment. The particular odors that people omit are from specific diseases - nothing to do with "fortune telling." Conventional doctors trained in the medical model, funded by Big Pharma, are not the most curious people.

I guess rather than using this way to diagnose people, they would prefer to ignore this "symptom" for some vanity reason? Not sure what their motivation might be, but I know it's not "cutting edge."
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Old 06-15-2024, 01:03 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,452 posts, read 5,386,175 times
Reputation: 18235
Quote:
Originally Posted by considerforamoment View Post
This is such an ignorant comment. The particular odors that people omit are from specific diseases - nothing to do with "fortune telling." Conventional doctors trained in the medical model, funded by Big Pharma, are not the most curious people.

I guess rather than using this way to diagnose people, they would prefer to ignore this "symptom" for some vanity reason? Not sure what their motivation might be, but I know it's not "cutting edge."
Change in scent is due to changes in chemicals in the blood....It's cheaper, easier, more accurate & reproducible and changes over time can be compared quantitatively than to train dogs or people to sniff them out (how many would you need and what would you pay them to be on call 24/7?). Got it?....It has nothing to do with financial incentive of withholding improvements in the technology.

Instead of mentioning psychics, maybe I should have simply said if you don't trust doctors, don't go to them. I bet Aesop's Fables are a mystery to you.
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Old 06-15-2024, 03:53 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
102,497 posts, read 109,032,630 times
Reputation: 116608
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Our scent is influenced by chemicals in our blood that come out in our sweat. Fifty years ago they tried training dogs to detect the change in odor of patients having acute heart attacks. ..It turns out it's just cheaper., easier, more accurate, reproducible and quantitatively comparable to just do the blood tests in the lab to detect those chemicals.

This example of detction of Parkinson's is particularly egregious because there's no need for early diagnosis because a big problem is that this condition treated too early gets worse faster.

Other than that, great idea!....Next time you have a medical emergency, call your local fortune teller if you don't trust your doctor.
Wait, what? (re: the bolded)
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Old 06-16-2024, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Concord, CA
7,263 posts, read 9,459,916 times
Reputation: 25970
Perhaps an AI startup could develop an electronic bloodhound.

If sensors could mimic the dog's nose....

How good is a bloodhound's nose?

How Good Is a Bloodhound's Sense of Smell? Breed Facts & FAQs ...
Bloodhounds have over 300 million scent receptors, giving them one of the keenest olfactory senses among dogs. In fact, their sense of smell is so reliable that their discoveries are permissible evidence in courts of law.
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Old 06-16-2024, 08:42 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,452 posts, read 5,386,175 times
Reputation: 18235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Wait, what? (re: the bolded)
of
The meds for PD often become ineffective after awhile and need to be stopped for a "medication holliday." It's been found that the earlier the meds are started, the faster the condition deteriorates. The meds only cover up annoying symptoms. They don't cure the progressive disease.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vision67 View Post
Perhaps an AI startup could develop an electronic bloodhound.

If sensors could mimic the dog's nose....

How good is a bloodhound's nose?

How Good Is a Bloodhound's Sense of Smell? Breed Facts & FAQs ...
Bloodhounds have over 300 million scent receptors, giving them one of the keenest olfactory senses among dogs. In fact, their sense of smell is so reliable that their discoveries are permissible evidence in courts of law.
Someday they'll have little electronic gizmos like Bones McCoy on Star Trek- just pass it over the pt. once and get a complete diagnosis. Don't hold you breathe while you're waiting.

We have drug sniffing dogs. One dog is traind to find one specific drug, not all possible drugs....How many dogs would we need to cover all the diseases listed in the 4000 page textbook of medicine, and to cover all the hospitals and clinics n the country?

The lady described in the OP is one for Ripley's, not the NEJM.
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Old 06-16-2024, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Juneau, AK + Puna, HI
10,759 posts, read 8,021,049 times
Reputation: 16409
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
..

This example of detction of Parkinson's is particularly egregious because there's no need for early diagnosis because a big problem is that this condition treated too early gets worse faster...
This statement is particularly egregious because researchers say early diagnosis is key to making progress on greater understanding and better treatment of the disease.

From the article:

".. For a disease-modifying therapy to have a meaningful shot at efficacy, it would most likely need to be applied far earlier, years or even decades before most patients are currently diagnosed. Tilo Kunath, a professor at the University of Edinburgh, told me that an early diagnostic was “a sort of holy grail” for the field, the prerequisite for almost everything else. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the world’s largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s science, has spent more than $900 million looking for such a biomarker. With the exception of one that involves a spinal tap, which considerably limits its utility, almost nothing has shown promise.
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Old 06-16-2024, 09:07 AM
 
19,940 posts, read 12,457,577 times
Reputation: 26897
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
of
The meds for PD often become ineffective after awhile and need to be stopped for a "medication holliday." It's been found that the earlier the meds are started, the faster the condition deteriorates. The meds only cover up annoying symptoms. They don't cure the progressive disease.



Someday they'll have little electronic gizmos like Bones McCoy on Star Trek- just pass it over the pt. once and get a complete diagnosis. Don't hold you breathe while you're waiting.

We have drug sniffing dogs. One dog is traind to find one specific drug, not all possible drugs....How many dogs would we need to cover all the diseases listed in the 4000 page textbook of medicine, and to cover all the hospitals and clinics n the country?

The lady described in the OP is one for Ripley's, not the NEJM.
Dogs could be trained for the most common diseases, and the ones that are easiest to pick up. Sounds like Parkinsons could be one of them. Dogs can sometimes detect skin cancer, and these are untrained dogs.

If Parkinson's is detected before physical symptoms begin, and it usually starts years before tremors appear, at least the patient and family can understand the sleep disorders and personality changes that often occur first.
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Old 06-16-2024, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Southern MN
12,223 posts, read 8,638,903 times
Reputation: 45449
My dad's cousin was born early in the last century and became a country doctor. He was trained at the University of MN where I believe they still taught diagnosis by odor.

It was known that he could walk into a patient's room and comment on what illness it smelled like.

I believe they already have companion dogs who can help with cancer, blood sugar, Parkinson's Disease, migraines, malaria.
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