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November 1996

Is Research in Normal and III Children Involving Radiation Exposure Ethical?-Reply

Author Affiliations

Section on Clinical Brain Imaging Bldg 10, Room 4N317 National Institute of Mental Health 900 Rockville Pike Bethesda, MD 20892

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1996;53(11):1060-1061. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1996.01830110098015

In Reply  The letter from Dr Morton in this issue of the Archives is a thoughtful and well-tempered query about research performed in our laboratory. We appreciate the comments of Dr Morton because they focus on the importance of facilitating research in minors. Clinical research studies remain an obligatory step in improving the treatment of these patients. However, because of the intendant difficulties of research that has included minors, many investigators have been reluctant to consider clinical studies that have as their objective an improved understanding of those brain abnormalities that lead to serious brain disorders that afflict pediatric populations.During the early 1990s, our laboratory received permission to study a limited number of "normal," healthy control subjects, aged 12 to 18 years, as part of a clinical research protocol that involved administering a radioactive tracer for measuring functional brain activity by PET. The study, despite our best efforts to minimize the

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