Browsing by Subject "OLFACTORY DETECTION"

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  • Vaarno, Jenni; Myller, Jyri; Bachour, Adel; Koskinen, Heli; Bäck, Leif; Klockars, Tuomas; Koskinen, Anni (2020)
    Purpose We have previously demonstrated that dogs can be trained to distinguish the urine of patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) from that of healthy controls based on olfaction. Encouraged by these promising results, we wanted to investigate if a detection dog could work as a screening tool for OSA. The objective of this study was to prospectively assess the dogs' ability to identify sleep apnea in patients with OSA suspicion. Methods Urine samples were collected from 50 patients suspected of having OSA. The urine sample was classified as positive for OSA when the patient had a respiratory event index of 5/h or more. The accuracy of two trained dogs in identifying OSA was tested in a prospective blinded setting. Results Both of the dogs correctly detected approximately half of the positive and negative samples. There were no statistically significant differences in the dogs' ability to recognize more severe cases of OSA, as compared to milder cases. Conclusion According to our study, dogs cannot be used to screen for OSA in clinical settings, most likely due to the heterogenic nature of OSA.
  • Poessel, Maria; Freiherr, Jessica; Wiencke, Kathleen; Villringer, Arno; Horstmann, Annette (2020)
    The worldwide obesity epidemic is a major health problem driven by the modern food environment. Recently, it has been shown that smell perception plays a key role in eating behavior and is altered in obesity. However, the underlying mechanisms of this phenomenon are not well understood yet. Since the olfactory system is closely linked to the endocrine system, we hypothesized that hormonal shifts in obesity might explain this relationship. In a within-subject, repeated-measures design, we investigated sensitivity to a food and a non-food odor in the hungry and sated state in 75 young healthy (26 normal weight, 25 overweight, and 24 obese) participants (37 women). To determine metabolic health status and hormonal reactivity in response to food intake, we assessed pre- and postprandial levels of insulin, leptin, glucose, and ghrelin. Odor sensitivity did not directly depend on body weight status/body mass index (BMI) or hunger state. However, we could establish a strong negative mediating effect of insulin resistance on the relationship between BMI/waist-hip ratio and olfactory sensitivity for the food odor. These findings indicate an impact of metabolic health status on sensitivity to food odors. Our results contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms behind altered smell perception in obesity.
  • Rosell, Frank; Cross, Hannah B.; Johnsen, Christin B.; Sundell, Janne; Zedrosser, Andreas (2019)
    The invasion of a species can cause population reduction or extinction of a similar native species due to replacement competition. There is a potential risk that the native Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) may eventually be competitively excluded by the invasive North American beaver (C. canadensis) from areas where they overlap in Eurasia. Yet currently available methods of census and population estimates are costly and time-consuming. In a laboratory environment, we investigated the potential of using dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) as a conservation tool to determine whether the Eurasian or the North American beaver is present in a specific beaver colony. We hypothesized that dogs can discriminate between the two beaver species, via the odorant signal of castoreum from males and females, in two floor platform experiments. We show that dogs detect scent differences between the two species, both from dead beaver samples and from scent marks collected in the field. Our results suggest that dogs can be used as an "animal biosensor" to discriminate olfactory signals of beaver species, however more tests are needed. Next step should be to test if dogs discern between beaver species in the field under a range of weather conditions and habitat types and use beaver samples collected from areas where the two species share the same habitat. So far, our results show that dogs can be used as a promising tool in the future to promote conservation of the native beaver species and eradication of the invasive one. We therefore conclude that dogs may be an efficient non-invasive tool to help conservationist to manage invasive species in Europe, and advocate for European wildlife agencies to invest in this new tool.