New Hope for Disorder That Makes Humans Smell Like Fish

Mar 3, 2012 7:00am
ht camille dm 120302 wblog New Hope for Disorder That Makes Humans Smell Like Fish

                                                                                                                (Image Credit: Handout)

There’s new hope for people with Trimethylaminuria, a rare disorder that causes its sufferers to smell like dead fish.

Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia recently won a $36,000 grant to study the genes behind the disorder – work scientists believe could lead to new developments in helping control the symptoms of Trimethylaminuria, also known as TMAU.

ABC News introduced TV viewers to a TMAU sufferer in 2006: Former model and teacher Camille said TMAU endangered her career.

“I was so focused on ‘Do I smell? Do I smell? Are they saying things? Are they whispering? Are they laughing about me?’” she said at the time. Camille asked ABC News not to publish her last name.

Camille recently said she was doing well. ”If there’s one thing I’ve learned since being diagnosed with TMAU, it’s that, with accurate information and proper perspective, TMAU is manageable. Thank you, ABC, for being part of that equation,” she said in a written statement.

Watch the full story on “Extreme Afflictions,” a “20/20″ special, online here.

TMAU symptoms can be managed with changes to diet and certain medications, but those solutions don’t work for everyone.

Monell’s Drs. Dani Reed and George Preti are leading the research supported by the new grant from the TMAU foundation. The grant is being administered by the National Organization of Rare Disorders.

For more on TMAU, visit http://www.monell.org/contact_us/tmau/ or e-mail bodyodorinfo@monell.org. Read more about Camille here.

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