Degenerative brain disease, SPECT scans

Degenerative brain disease, SPECT scans

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

Caption: Posterior cortical atrophy. Coloured single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans of axial sections through the brain of a patient with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA). PCA is a rare degenerative disorder characterised by visual agnosia, the inability to recognise and identify familiar objects and persons, and apraxia, the loss of ability to execute skilled familiar movements. The scans show areas of low blood flow (blue and black) around the posterior cortex (bottom of brain), the area responsible for visual processing. There is no cure for the condition. 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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