A multi-million dollar effort to produce a test to guide treatment for a potentially lethal skin cancer recently fell apart after the scientific investigator discovered that the commercial antibodies he was using were unreliable.
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Parkinson's disease, smoking, certain head injuries and even normal aging can influence our sense of smell. But certain patterns of loss in the ability to identify odors seem pronounced in Alzheimer's, researchers say.
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"I'm afraid there's a growing sense that the path to health is through testing," says Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, a Dartmouth Institute internist who has written books on the pitfalls of overdiagnosis. Encouraging the worried well to order their own blood tests feeds that mindset, he says.
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Stacy Riggs of Fairfax, Va., is prepped for a screening for atrial fibrillation by Life Line Screening medical assistant Kennea Blake at Messiah United Methodist Church in Springfield, Va.
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