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Dogs demonstrate the existence of an epileptic seizure odour in humans

Abstract : Although different studies have shown that diseases such as breast or lung cancer are associated with specific bodily odours, no study has yet tested the possibility that epileptic seizures may be reflected in an olfactory profile, probably because there is a large variety of seizure types. The question is whether a “seizure-odour”, that would be transversal to individuals and types of seizures, exists. This would be a pre requisite for potential anticipation, either by electronic systems (e.g., e-noses) or trained dogs. The aim of the present study therefore was to test whether trained dogs, as demonstrated for cancer or diabetes, may discriminate a general epileptic seizure odor (different from body odours of the same person in other contexts and common to different persons). The results were very clear: all dogs discriminated the seizure odour. The sensitivity and specificity obtained were amongst the highest shown up to now for discrimination of diseases. This constitutes a first proof that, despite the variety of seizures and individual odours, seizures are associated with olfactory characteristics. These results open a large field of research on the odour signature of seizures. Further studies will aim to look at potential applications in terms of anticipation of seizures.
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Submitted on : Friday, March 29, 2019 - 10:03:10 AM
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Amélie Catala, Marine Grandgeorge, Jean-Luc Schaff, Hugo Cousillas, Martine Hausberger, et al.. Dogs demonstrate the existence of an epileptic seizure odour in humans. Scientific Reports, 2019, 9 (1), pp.4103. ⟨10.1038/s41598-019-40721-4⟩. ⟨hal-02083538⟩



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