This review outlines ethical, legal, and practical issues related to conducting functional imaging research with Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Imaging techniques, with an emphasis on functional MRI and positron emission tomography, are compared and contrasted with respect to the manner in which they can be applied to issues of clinical relevance to AD. Methodological difficulties are raised to assist with critical evaluation of current imaging results. Various potential clinical applications of functional imaging are briefly reviewed and discussed with respect to associated ethical conflicts. © 2002 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.
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