The examination of individuals who carry fully penetrant genetic alterations that result in familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD) provides a unique model for studying the early presymptomatic disease stages. In AD, deficits in episodic and associative memory have been linked to structural and functional changes within the hippocampal system. This study used functional MRI (fMRI) to examine hippocampal function in a group of healthy, young, cognitively-intact presymptomatic individuals (average age 33.7 years) who carry the E280A presenilin-1 (PS1) genetic mutation for FAD. These PS1 subjects will go on to develop the first symptoms of the disease around the age of 45 years. Our objective was to examine hippocampal function years before the onset of clinical symptoms.