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Neurodegener Dis Manag. 2013;3(3):219-229.

Amyloid imaging, risk disclosure and Alzheimer's disease: ethical and practical issues.

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Department of Health Behavior & Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.
Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Memory & Aging Center, Department of Neurology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.


PET ligands that bind with high specificity to amyloid plaques represent a major breakthrough in Alzheimer's disease (AD) research. Amyloid neuroimaging is now approved by the US FDA to aid in the diagnosis of AD, and is being used to identify amyloid-positive but asymptomatic individuals for secondary AD prevention trials. The use of amyloid neuroimaging in preclinical populations raises important ethical and practical challenges, including determining appropriate uses of this technology, evaluating the potential benefits and harms of disclosing results, and communicating effectively about testing with patients and family members. Emerging policy issues also require consideration (e.g., legal safeguards for biomarker-positive individuals). Further research is needed to inform effective and ethical implementation and regulation of amyloid imaging.

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