Researchers have proved that canines can detect the distinct smell of a seizure. In the future, this could pave the way to stop seizures well before they happen.
One study found that canines could detect cancers such as colon from breath samples.
There is another research to prove that dogs can detect migraines.
Although dogs have made some progress with the detection of cancer, malaria, diabetes, they have not found out any evidence to spot seizures.
For example, epilepsy can occur due to a lot of factors such as stroke, tumors, genetic factors, or head injury. Even depression and anxiety disorders can cause epilepsy in some cases.
If a canine could spot the very early symptoms of a seizure, this could benefit scores of people in America. Having warning beforehand would allow them to reach a safer place before it began.
Spotting Seizures from Odors
There is proof to prove that some canines can spot seizures in their masters. It is unclear what clues the canines are using. For example, they might be giving their prediction based on changes in their owner’s behavior.
Scientists at the Rennes University in France conducted research; whether canines could use olfactory signs to detect seizures. Scientific Reports magazine published this report.
The scientists collected sweat and breath samples from five people. All the respondents had different stages of the problem. This included both temporal lobe complex seizures and frontal lobe complex seizures.
The sample size included
- Two people whose epilepsy was due to genetic conditions
- Three people whose condition developed because of cerebral malformation
The researchers took three forms of odor samples –
- One type during exercise
- Another during resting
- One more while having a seizure
Experts suggest taking exercise sample due to a normal increase in sweating.
Researchers selected five dogs with previous training to detect disorders and diseases. All the dogs were from different breeds. The seizure alert dog breeds consisted of –
- Chesapeake Bay Retriever mix
- Border Collie mix
- Golden–Labrador Retriever mix
Analyzing the Samples
During each trial, the researchers provided the dogs with different samples. They used one from during an attack, two part of exercise sample, and four when the respondent was free from a seizure.
All the five dogs exactly identified the sample containing the seizures. Taking around eight seconds per trial.
The researchers concluded that “this shows that there is a real epilepsy specific odor present across individuals.”
In this experiment, the researchers used different body fluids that they had collected. Despite the study’s small size, the trial was a stupendous success.
Dogs prove that there is still some scope to identify seizures even before they occur.