Coloured PET brain scans of alcohol withdrawal

Coloured PET brain scans of alcohol withdrawal

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Credit: PASCAL GOETGHELUCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Alcohol withdrawal. Coloured positron emission tomography (PET) scans of horizontal slices of an alcoholic's brain during withdrawal. The front of the brain is at top, and the slices get deeper from left to right. The brighter (yellow) brain areas are those of high activity. The activity of the brain after ten days (top row) and 30 days (bottom row) is seen. Brain activity is seen to increase with increasing time without alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant, and is addictive if taken often in large doses. In PET scans, radioactively- tagged molecules are injected into the bloodstream and their emissions monitored. Glucose is used here, as it is taken up by active brain cells.

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Keywords: abuse, alcohol, alcohol withdrawal, alcoholic, brain, brain pet, brain scan, condition, depressant, detoxification, drug, healthcare, lifestyle, medical, neuroimaging, pet, pet scan, pet scans, recovering, recreational drugs, withdrawal

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