Some dogs would be able to predict epileptic seizures in children. This is what emerges from a recent Canadian study.
|The doctor's best friend.|
A 4-legged alarm. The predictions of the four-legged friend turned out to be correct in 80% of the cases. This allowed the parents to put the child in the right conditions to face the attack, putting him away from falls and traumas that occur as a result of the uncontrolled movements triggered by the crisis.
This extraordinary ability of the 9 dogs observed by Kirton is not the result of any training: a single month of support with the sick child was sufficient for the animal to begin signaling the arrival of epileptic seizures.
Matter of nose. The study of the mechanism that regulates dogs' predictive ability will be the subject of a forthcoming research. According to some neurologists, the animals would be able to perceive through their very sensitive sense of smell the increase in sweating that occurs before the crisis. This phenomenon would be the consequence of small electrical discharges that would occur in the patient's brain before the attack.
Now the goal is to develop a training program that can help dogs develop this ability, so as to improve the quality of life of sick children and their families.
(News updated June 23, 2004)