Dog’s miraculous sense of smell allows them to do many things that no human technology can achieve, such as sniffing out drugs, explosives, and even diseases like cancer. Dogs are trained to respond to and even sense epileptic seizures before they occur—though effectiveness varies widely, and there’s been little solid scientific evidence that such a thing is possible.
Further, it hasn’t been understood how dogs might be capable of such a feat. Could it be subtle alterations in behavior, movement, or some odorous giveaway? A new small study suggests that humans emit a specific odor during epileptic seizures that some dogs can recognize.
In a paper published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers took sweat samples from seven patients with different types of epilepsy across a range of activities, such as resting, exercising, or having a seizure.