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Parkinson’s Skin Swab Test Imminent

Members will be familiar with the story of Joy Milne, the woman who claimed to be able to detect people with Parkinson’s by their body odour.  Some years ago, members of the Edinburgh Branch participated in a test that Tilo Kunath ran.  Six PwPs and six who did not have Parkinson’s wore t-shirts for 24 hours, and then Joy would indicate if she could detect the distinctive odour, that she had noticed on her husband, long before he developed motor symptoms.

Some years ago the BBC made a documentary called: The documentary “The Woman Who Can Smell Parkinson’s”.  While the documentary about Joy is not currently available her interview on This Morning is available on YouTube.

Earlier today the BBC ran a news item, which confirms there is a Parkinson’s skin-swab test ‘in sight‘. This comes as a result of Joy’s ability to detect the smell of Parkinson’s.  The news article is certainly worth reading.

Members of our Edinburgh Research Interest Group (ERIG) had a sneak preview of this research at an ERIG meeting in November 2020. You can read more about this important study on our website here:

How smell led to a test for Parkinson’s – Edinburgh Parkinsons


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