Ann Conkle
Feb 6, 2012

Breath reveals early signs of disease

The future of disease diagnosis may lie in breathalyzer-like technology currently under development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. New research demonstrates a simple but sensitive method that can distinguish normal and disease-state glucose metabolism by a quick assay of blood or exhaled air. Many diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and infections, alter the body's metabolism in distinctive ways. The new work shows that these biochemical changes can be detected much sooner than typical symptoms would appear - even within a few hours - offering hope of early disease detection and diagnosis. The researchers studied mice with metabolic symptoms similar to those seen in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).