Alzheimer's disease, SPECT scans

Alzheimer's disease, SPECT scans

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Credit: DR M O HABERT, PITIE-SALPETRIERE, ISM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Alzheimer's disease. Coloured single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans of axial (horizontal) sections through a normal brain (top) and that of a patient with Alzheimer's disease (bottom). The colours show different levels of activity within the brain tissue, with red showing high activity and black very low activity. The Alzheimer's brain is less active. Alzheimer's is a degenerative brain disease and a common cause of dementia in the elderly. It causes memory loss, confusion and personality changes. Its causes are not known and there is no cure. SPECT scans use a gamma camera to detect radioactive traces, injected into the blood, that accumulate in areas of high metabolic activity.

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