In case you would like to have a dog as a pet, here is some good news. According to French scientists, dogs can apparently pick up the smell of an epileptic seizure. The findings, deduced by the team at The University of Rennes, can be of help in anticipating when one can have a seizure. The study, quoted in BBC, has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.
In order to arrive at the result, five dogs, from Medical Mutts, in the US, were trained to identify the smell of sweat, which was taken from a patient suffering a seizure. Other than this, seven sweat samples were taken from patients who were either exercising, relaxing or having a seizure.
The report states that two of the dogs could sniff the seizure sample in about two-thirds of the time, and the other three were completely accurate. “The results are extremely clear and constitute a first step towards identifying a seizure-specific odour,” the report states.
“Further research is needed but it is possible that the change in electrical activity triggers the releasing of some neurohormones that will in the end trigger the scent or that it is linked to stress-related molecules and pathways, or anything else – all hypothesis are still to be considered,” Dr Amelie Catala, from the University of Rennes, was quoted as saying.
The researchers, however, are hopeful that the field could finally help patients. “It could lead to significant improvements in terms of seizure detection or prediction systems,” the report adds.
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