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Health and medicine/Medical specialties/Pathology/Disease susceptibility

Dementia usually is considered a disease of the elderly, but Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia are detected in many who are younger than 65, and early diagnosis of the disorders can be elusive, a leading specialist on dementias told a recent Capitol Hill briefing hosted by AAAS.

Toxicologists have long held that the dose makes the poison: A substance can cause harm only in amounts high enough to overwhelm the body’s defenses. But a major conceptual shift is underway, a leading expert said recently at AAAS, with much more attention being paid to low-dose chemical exposures and the impact they can have even many years later.

A recent AAAS seminar explored the potential consequences of direct-to-consumer genetic testing—and the appropriate role of government regulation—through the lens of two individuals who went through genetic testing.