Parkinson’s disease symptoms: Woman says sufferers give off 'musky' SCENT

Parkinson’s disease affects 127,000 people in the UK, and symptoms include tremors, slowed movement and rigid muscles.

It was recently revealed that rates are rising faster than Alzheimer's disease.

A reduced ability to smell certain foods has been linked to the condition which also has no cure.

Additionally, sufferers may give off a certain odour - a discovery made by chance after a woman revealed to scientists that she could smell the condition on people.

Joy Milne, a retired nusre from Perth, noticed a new odour on her husband, Les - who died in 2015 aged 65 - a decade before he was diagnosed with the condition.

Joy told the BBC: “His smell changed and it seemed difficult to describe. It wasn't all of a sudden. It was very subtle - a musky smell.”

She joined the charity Parkinson’s UK, and realised other people had the same distinct smell.

After mentioning it to scientists at a talk by chance, researchers at Edinburgh University discovered she could accurately detect the disease.

It has now been revealed that she has helped scientists to understand why there is a particular smell linked to sufferers.

Researchers at the University of Manchester discovered that certain molecules seem to be concentrated on the skin of Parkinson's patients.

They hope that the findings will lead to a test that could help diagnose the disease.

There is currently no definitive way of diagnosing people other than by doctors observing symptoms. 

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh gave Joy 12 unmarked t-shirts to smell, including six worn by sufferers and six that weren’t.

Not only did she identify the six worn by the Parkinson’s sufferers, but she also pointed out someone from the control group with the smell who was later diagnosed after the study.

Dr Tilo Kunath, from Edinburgh University, said: "She was telling us that this individual had Parkinson's before he knew, before anybody knew.

"So then I really started to believe her, that she could really detect Parkinson's simply by odour that was transferred on to a shirt that the person with Parkinson's was wearing."

Joy promised her husband before his death that she would investigate her unusual ability.