A sniff of a t-shirt could someday save your life 21



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We’ve known for many years that dogs can sniff out certain forms of cancer, but now it seems human beings may have a similarly remarkable and life-saving superpower… simply by sniffing a t-shirt.

Joy Milne, a 65-year-old grandmother from Perth, Scotland, is making headlines for her reported ability to diagnose Parkinson’s Disease based on the scent of people’s clothing.

According to The Express, Joy discovered her skill after her husband Les, who died earlier this year, developed Parkinson’s 20 years ago.

Joy noticed a change in the smell of the clothes he had been wearing immediately, but it was only earlier this year after he died that she told researchers of what she had noticed and started working with them to investigate her skill further.

“I’ve always had a keen sense of smell and I detected very early on that there was a very subtle change in how Les smelled,” she told The Express.

“It’s hard to describe but it was a heavy, slightly musky aroma. I had no idea that this was unusual and hadn’t been recognised before.”

The charity Parkinson’s UK is funding a study of 200 people with and without the condition, using human “sniffers”. They believe it is possible the disease could affect an oily substance in the skin.

If researchers can establish a unique odour associated with Parkinson’s, the charity believes this could have an immense impact – not just for early diagnosis, but also for the way we treat it.

“It would also make it a lot easier to identify people to test drugs that may have the potential to slow, or even stop Parkinson’s,” said a spokesperson for the charity, adding that this is “something no current drug can achieve”.

Joy said her late husband Les, who was a doctor, would be thrilled to know the research sparked by her discovery had the potential to provide a diagnoses test for Parkinson’s.

Has Parkinson’s Disease touched your life? How do you feel about future diagnosis being as simple as a sniff of a shirt? And has your sense of smell ever told you something important? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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  1. Yes I’ve experienced it, get the smell of meat that has gone off, if any of my children is sick I get pain in my breast , some just say I’m weird when I tell them.

  2. I believe cats have the power as well. Hope it helps as who does not know or have a loved one with this illness.

  3. women seem to have a more enhanced sense of smell than men, also men have a genetic problem that seems to affect them all, they can never find anything, it can be right in front of them and they don’t see it 🙂 but on the other hand I can’t read maps

    4 REPLY
    • well if we ever go wild flower picking, I will smell them out and you can direct us how to get there lmao

    • well if we ever go wild flower picking, I will smell them out and you can direct us how to get there lmao

    • I can’t smell or map read….so you won’t want me with you ladies!! Xx. Have heard that people with diabetes 1 have a sweet smell.

    • That means that you diabetes is not in good control when you have a sweet smell about you. I can’t remember what it is called. I have just remembered it is called acid ketosis. Now I’m not sure if that is correct. What it does mean is your blood has too much sugar ie not enough insulin.

  4. my mum could smell cancer on people who had not been diagnosed with the disease ..and she was always correct.

  5. This fascinates me. I smelt my husbands diabetes before he was diagnosed and got his sugar levels under control.

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