Axial PET scans of the brain, comparing a normal subject (top left), a schizophrenic person (top right) & a person suffering from depression (bottom left). The diagram indicates the level at which the scan was taken. PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography) obtain details of the function of tissues (not structural aspects resolved by NMR and CAT scans) using tracers labelled with a short-lived radioisotope. Here, a radioactive glucose analogue is injected into the bloodstream, crossing the blood-brain barrier to participate in glucose metabolism. Colour coding indicates the level of metabolic activity.
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