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PET scan (basal ganglia) of Alzheimer's disease

PET scan (basal ganglia) of Alzheimer's disease

M108/0199

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Credit

TIM BEDDOW / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TIM BEDDOW / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Positron emission tomography (PET) scan of the brain (basal ganglia level) of a patient with senile dementia (Alzheimer's disease). The colour- coded scan through this cerebral layer shows brain activity: from low (blue) to high (yellow). PET scanning relies on an injected radioactive tracer to reveal variations in metabolic activity in the brain. Normal brain metabolic activity produces a roughly symmetrical pattern in the yellow areas of left and right cerebral hemispheres. The patchy appearance of this scan indicates degeneration of brain tissue. Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease include memory loss, personality changes, and disorientation. There is no known cure.

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