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New research shows that dogs can detect the scent of epileptic seizures up to an hour before it happens.

Older research suggested that this unique ability was more of mental awareness. However, this new research says otherwise, giving scientific proof that dogs can actually smell seizures.

Study author Neil Powell, a visiting scholar in biology at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, said, “People who have difficult seizures. And those who are terrified of taking a bath or going out alone in public can take hope. We now have discovered a reliable way to train a seizure alert dog that will give them up to one hour’s warning of an impending seizure.”

The study was done by introducing 19 random dogs to the scent of a seizure. The various breeds all had an immediate response to the scent, displaying behavioral changes even though they had never been trained.

Powell said, “Some dogs even ran back and forth from other family members to tell them the person was about to have a seizure and all without any previous training.”

This research shows serious hope for those living with epileptic seizures, as it may give them a way to live as independently as possible while still being safe.

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