Semantic dementia, SPECT brain scans

Semantic dementia, SPECT brain scans

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

Caption: Semantic dementia. Coloured single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans of axial sections through the brain of a patient with semantic dementia. Semantic dementia is a language disorder characterised by progressive deterioration of semantic knowledge (understanding and recognising words). The scans show areas of low blood flow (blue and black) around the temporal cortex (sides of the brain), the area responsible for language, speech and auditory 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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