ADVERTISEMENT
2 /3 FREE ARTICLES LEFT THIS MONTH Remaining
Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.

If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.

ENJOY UNLIMITED ACCES TO C&EN

Diagnostics

Sniffing out Parkinson’s disease

Disease’s characteristic musk could lead to earlier diagnosis

by Laura Howes
March 30, 2019 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 97, ISSUE 13

 

09713-scicon11-strucs.jpg

A nurse who smelled her husband’s Parkinson’s disease (PD) even before he was diagnosed has helped researchers in the UK identify four biomarkers of the disease (ACS Cent. Sci. 2019, DOI: 10.1021/acscentsci.8b00879). These compounds, isolated from skin secretions, could help researchers develop a new diagnostic tool for PD before motor symptoms develop.

Joy Milne is a supersmeller, someone with an extremely sensitive sense of smell. After Milne’s husband, Les, was diagnosed with PD in 1986, Milne realized that Les’s “musky” smell was one he shared with other people with PD. Working with Milne, Perdita Barran’s team at the University of Manchester used gas chromatography–mass spectrometry to isolate four chemicals that were present in different amounts in the skin sebum of PD patients compared with people who did not have PD. Milne confirmed that a mix of those chemicals in specific proportions smells like PD.

X

Article:

This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Leave A Comment

*Required to comment