Friday, February 4, 2011

Sniffing Pickles

Post 43
One enjoyable aspect of writing a blog is the feedback I get through email and the comments section.
Another enjoyable indulgence is trying to get my blog on the first page of a Google search.  As the author of this blog, I can see the searches that people use to view my writing. Yesterday, I was amused to see that one of you searched “Pickle Tester for Parkinson’s” to get here.
“Pickle Tester for Parkinson’s”? Why would anyone put pickles and Parkinson’s together? Why would this search bring them to my blog?
 It took a while to figure out, but logic prevailed. Earlier, I used the title “I Don’t want a Pickle” in a blog about motorcycles. Anyone old enough to have an interest in Parkinson’s Disease probably knows that it’s a reference to an Arlo Guthrie song in which he rhymes “I don’t want a pickle” to  “I just want to ride my motor…sickle.”   
All is well and good. A search for Pickles and Parkinson’s would arrive here.  Pickles are funny.  Parkies riding motorcycles is funny.  Hopefully the searcher had a laugh. 
But why would anyone search for a “Pickle Tester for Parkinson’s” in the first place.  This I had to research.  I quickly learned that pickles serve as more than a side to your sandwich or a funny punch line. It turns out that the University of Pennsylvania is developing a predictive test for the disease.  Apparently, Parkinson’s disease affects the area of the brain that involves our sense of smell.
Before movement is affected, which usually signals the disease, some PWP’s (Persons with Parkinson’s) lose the ability to identify certain odors, pickles being one of them.  Interestingly, they can still smell lemons.
I’m not quite sure that early detection is a bonus for future PWP’s, but we never know where the research will lead.
To find out more, just go to Google, type in “Pickle tester” and follow the link. Just ignore any reference to Michael’s Parkinson’s Adventure.

To watch Arlo sing the song, Follow the link.

1 comment:

  1. I don't have any pickles but I just went and sniffed the relish and all is well so far. Thank you for these posts! You're a few years ahead of me in diagnosis and our experiences are very similar. Please keep posting. I've got a killer craving for a hot dog now. ;-)