Joy Milne

The Incredible Story of a Superhuman Nurse Who Discovered She Could Smell Parkinson’s Disease

My talk will be about the ROOMS which have made me reveal my Hyperosmia. The first room is the question asked in the Edinburgh MRCP building of Professor Tilo Kunath, “Why are you not using the smell of Parkinson’s to diagnose it earlier?” The second room is ‘Proof of Concept’ at the MRC Edinburgh, with the results slide with the pre-diagnosed sample highlighted. I will talk about the pre-diagnosis of my husband 12 years before medicine diagnosed him. The third room is a Darkroom where my Nose was a ‘troublemaker’ at six years old, and my Grandmother had to tell me about it. She told me her mother had had it and had inherited ‘the problem,’ and she would help me cope with it, but I had to keep it a secret. The fourth room is acquiring my Medical Olfactory Library – a Nightingale ward. The fifth room is the Gateway in Perth, where I realised others with PD had the same smell as Les. The sixth room is the research laboratory at Manchester University with a slide of me on the Dual port GCMS machine. The seventh room is our research and lecturing in Tanzania and my work with TB. I also, at this point, will speak about a slide about how I see and smell a flower, which reveals my Synesthesia. And Last, the appropriate slide from a quote by Dr. Zeuss, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out,” and I formally admit to my Hyperosmia and Synesthesia.

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