PET scans normal and schizophrenic brains

PET scans normal and schizophrenic brains

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Credit: U.S. NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.

Caption: Two axial PET scans of the brain, comparing a normal subject (left) with a person suffering from schizophrenia. PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography) obtain details of the function of tissues (as opposed to structural aspects resolved by NMR and CAT scans) using tracers labelled with a short-lived radioisotope. Here, a glucose analogue labelled with oxygen-11 was injected into the bloodstream immediately prior to taking the scans, crossing the blood-brain barrier to participate in glucose metabolism in the brain. Photons emitted as the positrons decay are detected & processed to give colour-coded images.

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Keywords: brain, condition, disease, disorder, healthcare, medical, medicine, mental illness, neuroimaging, nuclear medicine, pet scan, schizophrenia, schizophrenic

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