Patients with Alzheimer's disease may want to participate in research on Alzheimer's disease, but their participation involves exceptional considerations. Plans should be made for determining these patients' cognitive capacity on a regular basis; for example, throughout a study, cognitive capacity may decline, making it necessary for a patient's pre-designated surrogate decision maker to become more involved. Patients with Alzheimer's disease may also choose to designate someone other than their primary caregiver to be their surrogate decision maker. This article discusses these and other core ethical issues.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Informed consent; MCI; mental capacity; minimal cognitive impairment; research; surrogate decision maker.