Navigation Links
Detecting sickness by smell
Date:1/23/2014

Humans are able to smell sickness in someone whose immune system is highly active within just a few hours of exposure to a toxin, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

According to researcher Mats Olsson of Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, there is anecdotal and scientific evidence suggesting that diseases have particular smells. People with diabetes, for example, are sometimes reported to have breath that smells like rotten apples or acetone.

Being able to detect these smells would represent a critical adaptation that would allow us to avoid potentially dangerous illnesses. Olsson wondered whether such an adaptation might exist already at an early stage of the disease.

"There may be early, possibly generic, biomarkers for illness in the form of volatile substances coming from the body," explains Olsson.

To test this hypothesis, Olsson and his team had eight healthy people visit the laboratory to be injected with either lipopolysaccharide (LPS) a toxin known to ramp up an immune response or a saline solution. The volunteers wore tight t-shirts to absorb sweat over the course of 4 hours.

Importantly, participants injected with LPS did produce a noticeable immune response, as evidenced by elevated body temperatures and increased levels of a group of immune system molecules known as cytokines.

A separate group of 40 participants were instructed to smell the sweat samples. Overall, they rated t-shirts from the LPS group as having a more intense and unpleasant smell than the other t-shirts; they also rated the LPS shirt as having an unhealthier smell.

The association between immune activation and smell was accounted for, at least in part, by the level of cytokines present in the LPS-exposed blood. That is, the greater a participant's immune response, the more unpleasant their sweat smelled.

Interestingly, in a chemical assay the researchers found no difference in the overall amount of odorous compounds between the LPS and control group. This suggests that there must have been a detectable difference in the composition of those compounds instead.

While the precise chemical compounds have yet to be identified, the fact we give off some kind of aversive signal shortly after the immune system has been activated is an important finding, the researchers argue. It grants us a better understanding of the social cues of sickness, and might also open up doors for understanding how infectious diseases can be contained.


'/>"/>
Contact: Anna Mikulak
amikulak@psychologicalscience.org
202-293-9300
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Dentists Play Key Role in Detecting Oral Cancer
2. Detecting malaria early to save lives: New optical technique promises rapid and accurate diagnosis
3. Studies See Advances in Detecting, Treating Pancreatic Cancer
4. New technology represents next-generation tool for detecting substandard and counterfeit medicines
5. Detecting thyroid disease by computer
6. Pharmacists provide additional line of defense for detecting knee osteoarthritis
7. New biomarker may help in detecting gliomas, reports Neurosurgery
8. Amyloid imaging shows promise for detecting cardiac amyloidosis
9. Detecting cocaine naturally
10. Handheld device for detecting counterfeit and substandard medicines tested by PQM
11. Detecting circulating tumor cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 26, 2017 , ... Mediaplanet is proud to announce the launch of its ... will educate readers on how to take care of all aspects of their skin. ... on melanoma. Dancing with the Stars professional, Witney Carson, shares her journey with the ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... The Radiology Business ... focus on current legislative activity and the latest regulatory concerns impacting RBMA members. ... Sept. 10, and will continue through Monday, Sept. 11, at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... MN (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 , ... A ... U.S. states with the healthiest seniors are located in the Midwest. With the average ... more and more people are concerned with both the quality and affordability of where ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... ... On May 24, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that the amended ... would result in 23 million Americans losing their health insurance by 2026 as compared ... Affordable Care Act (ACA). , “It is clear from the CBO analysis that ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... Silver Birch of Hammond, a new assisted ... more than four acres of land at 5620 Sohl Avenue in Hammond, serves older ... building includes 125 studio and one-bedroom apartments. Each of the private apartments at Silver ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/15/2017)... , May 15, 2017 Enterin Inc., a ... and developing novel compounds to treat Parkinson,s disease (PD), ... study is a Phase 1/2a randomized, controlled, multicenter study involving ... It will enroll 50 patients over a 9-to-12-month period. The ... in 10 patients with PD. Participating sites include ...
(Date:5/10/2017)...  The Corporate Whistleblower Center says, "We are ... clinics to call us anytime at 866-714-6466 if they ... in a substantial scheme to overbill Medicare. We ... employee of a medical equipment company if their ... medical practice groups with extra generous incentives to use, ...
(Date:5/9/2017)... -- Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ORMP ) ... on the development of oral drug delivery systems, ... has granted Oramed a patent titled, "Methods and ... covers Oramed,s invention of an oral glucagon-like peptide-1 ... hormone that stimulates the secretion of insulin from ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: