US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Positron emission tomography (PET) scan of the brain of a patient with Alzheimer's disease (senile dementia). 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 (in this case glucose) to reveal variations in metabolic activity in the brain. A normal brain shows metabolic activity in much of the central area of left & right cerebral hemispheres; the patchy appearance of this scan indicates degeneration of brain tissue. Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease include personality change, memory loss & disorientation. There is no cure.
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