Passing the sniff test

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Science  12 Apr 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6436, pp. 142-143
DOI: 10.1126/science.364.6436.142-e

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic progressive neurological disorder that largely affects movement. There is currently no diagnostic test. Trivedi et al. collected sebum samples from PD patients and unaffected volunteers to identify volatile metabolites that may serve as PD biomarkers. The research team included a woman with a sensitive sense of smell who reported to be able to detect PD by odor. In blinded studies, she identified the “musky” samples that belonged to the PD patients with high accuracy, which guided mass spectrometry to identify the volatile compounds that constituted a signature PD scent. These studies may pave the way for development of the first PD-specific diagnostic test.

ACS Cent. Sci. 10.1021/acscentsci.8b00879 (2019).

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