Alzheimer's disease, PET scan

Alzheimer's disease, PET scan

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Credit: Frederic Comte, ISM /SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Positron emission tomography (PET) scan of the brain of a patient with Alzheimer's disease (senile dementia). The colour-coded scan shows metabolic activity throughout this axial section, from low (blue) to high (red, pink and white). PET scanning utilises an injected radioactive tracer to reveal variations in metabolic activity in the brain. A normal scan would reveal a more symmetrical pattern of high activity across the cerebral hemispheres (the outer left and right areas of the image). Here, the yellow area at bottom left reveals a particularly low level of metabolic activity in the region of the brain's right temporoparietal junction. Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia.

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