Epilepsy, SPECT and MRI scans

Epilepsy, SPECT and MRI scans

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

Caption: Epilepsy. Coloured single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans co-registered to magnetic resonance image (MRI) scans of axial sections through the brain of a patient having an epileptic seizure. Epilepsy is abnormal chaotic electrical activity in the brain. It can result in seizures, hallucinations or emotional outbursts depending on the brain area affected. This is focal epilepsy as only part of the brain (coloured areas on MRI scans, bottom) are affected. There is no cure, but anticonvulsant drugs may control or limit seizures. SPECT scans use gamma cameras to detect radioactive tracers, injected into the blood, that accumulate in areas of high metabolic activity.

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