KARACHI: An experienced dog trainer in Northern Ireland has detected a potentially life-saving way of shielding epileptic people from dreaded seizures, according to the BBC.

Neil Powell, from the seaside resort town of Newcastle, has been awarded a PhD after research he led at the Queen’s University Belfast showed dogs can predict epileptic seizures and warn owners, says a report on the BBC’s website.

Mr Powell, 75, has worked at disaster sites around the world with his sniffer dogs since he trained as a search and rescue dog handler in the mid-1970s.

His dogs found many missing people and recovered bodies at major earthquakes in Algeria and Pakistan and from the 1988 Lockerbie air disaster.

“Mr Powell… has now turned his attention to another potentially life-saving use of the powerful sense of smell possessed by pet dogs,” said the website.

Neil Powell’s canines found missing people and recovered bodies after quakes in Pakistan, Algeria

According to the report, dogs in Mr Powell’s study reacted to an odour associated with seizures and then tried to “warn” their owners by grabbing their attention.

During the study, an epileptic woman said she noticed how her dog used to come close to her some 15 minutes before a seizure and just stare at her. Ultimately, she realised that it was her pet’s way of trying to warn her of the coming fit.

“Karen Browne, from County Galway… said scientific evidence that her dog was giving her a 15-minute warning of an impending seizure was a great comfort,” said the report. “I am enormously grateful to have a pet dog that can do something that extraordinary.”

Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2021

Opinion

Law & processions
16 Oct 2021

Law & processions

It is up to the police to impose reasonable conditions on a procession.
Is the party over?
Updated 16 Oct 2021

Is the party over?

Many in PTI are concerned how they can hang on till the next elections.
The last fortress
Updated 16 Oct 2021

The last fortress

The state wants to use the social media rules to trample on the right to freedom of speech.
Reopening under Covid
15 Oct 2021

Reopening under Covid

It will be a challenge to deal with all students returning to classrooms and maintaining SOPs.

Editorial

Diminishing freedom
Updated 16 Oct 2021

Diminishing freedom

DESPITE the serious reservations of digital rights activists and tech companies, the federal government has...
16 Oct 2021

Dirty politics

IN her outburst against Prime Minister Imran Khan this week, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz may not have taken names but...
16 Oct 2021

Decreasing emissions

THE announcement by SAPM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam that carbon emissions in the country came down by 9pc...
No need for NAB
Updated 15 Oct 2021

No need for NAB

THE National Accountability Bureau has sent instructions to its regional bureaus to stop processing cases that fall...
Forced conversions
Updated 15 Oct 2021

Forced conversions

THE majoritarian view has once again prevailed in the matter of bringing about legislation against forced conversion...
15 Oct 2021

Transgender rights

MEMBERS of the transgender community in the country are often at the receiving end of both their families’ and...