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Dogs can sniff epileptic seizures, research finds out

Dogs provide emotional support to human beings. There remains no denying in that. In fact, as most would say, a dog is one of man’s best friends.  However, if you thought they were for only support and fun, then you might be wrong. A team of scientists from the University of Rennes concluded a finding that can prove to be groundbreaking in the field of medical science. According to the findings, a dog can potentially smell epileptic seizure. Yes, you heard it right. If someone is suffering from one, then a dog might possibly be able to predict and alert others around.

Dogs and Epileptic Seizure

The study included investigating the probability of dogs sniffing the sweat of a person who had an epileptic seizure. For the purpose of the research, five dogs were examined and trained in the initial stages.

Three samples of sweat were subsequently taken and then made to sniff. One included a person who was relaxing. The other belonged to someone who had just gotten off from a period of vigorous exercise. And finally, the sweat of the third person who had an epileptic seizure was collected.

Once the samples were gathered, they were put in different places. The five dogs were then allowed to sniff each sweat sample one by one.

The results rather surprised the scientists who initially thought the experiment to not yield positive results. In the first case scenario, three out of five had a success rate of 100% in sniffing the right epileptic seizure sample. The other two, although were not able to get it right every time, nevertheless had a success rate of 67%.

To increase reliability, the experiment was conducted multiple numbers of times. As with the case with the first trial, the results turned out to be more or less similar.

According to the scientists associated with the study, the results allow establishing meaningful deductions. Foremost being, dogs can viably predict the smell of a person who had an epileptic seizure. Second, as the experiment suggested, there is a distinctive feature about the sweat of a person who had a seizure. What might be different about the smell? Scientists are still looking for possible explanations.

A Big Breakthrough?

The research conducted at the University of Rennes can surely be considered as a big breakthrough. Particularly, with regards to how we understand and help patients with epileptic seizures.

One of the biggest problems faced by the general population is the unawareness about the condition. Not many can possibly predict when a person has had a seizure. Which essentially would impede the entire process of providing any sort of help for the patient.

The result of the study is, however, able to offer one practical solution to the problem. As the experiment suggested, dogs can viably predict the smell of the sweat of a person with an epileptic seizure. By detecting, when a person might be having one, a dog is able to alert others around it.

The researchers are very optimistic that the findings will be utilized in the best way possible. Not only sniffing is a fast and accurate method, but it can also, at the same time, save hundreds of lives.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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