The test dogs involved in the study were able to identify sweat samples of epileptic seizure patients with 100% accuracy
Dogs are known to have a very sharp sense of smell as they can detect diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and malaria. The researchers from the University of Rennes, for the first time, have shown that dogs can identify a person suffering from epileptic seizures. The researchers believe this method could be used to predict an oncoming seizure. There are two types of dogs that assist patients with epilepsy. One, to recognize and warn oncoming seizures called alert dogs and those who remain after seizure for support called response dogs.
The study conducted at the University of Rennes found out that the human body releases specific odor during seizure and dogs can be trained to recognize that. During this study, patients with epileptic seizures were asked to submit cotton pads with their sweat on it. The test dogs chose the samples of epileptic seizures patients with 100% accuracy. The researchers showed that service dogs can recognize seizure odors from 67 to 100 percent. In fact, some scent tests had a 100 percent result and the accuracy was also shown by low-performing dogs. According to researchers, our body changes during seizures which cause a significant odor. If the dogs are trained to identify them, they can do it efficiently.
However, the researchers have not identified which molecules dogs are able to detect. Furthermore, they think it is plausible that a change in electric activity stimulates the release of neuroharmones which release that significant scent from the body. The scent is linked to stress-related molecules and pathways. This breakthrough could prove crucial for researchers and 65 million patients around the world suffering from epileptic seizures. It could help the patients to get better and prompt treatment
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