JOHN MEYER, CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN MEYER, CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Alzheimer's disease. Coloured positron emission tomography (PET) scans of an Alzheimer's disease patient's brain. Horizontal sections of the brain are seen, taken at sequentially higher levels from 1-14. Active areas are orange and yellow, and blue and black areas show low activity. Alzheimer's di- sease is a major cause of dementia in the elderly, and causes brain degeneration and shrinkage (dark areas). PET scanning uses radioactively-labelled molecules injected into the blood, which accumul- ate in areas of high metabolic activity. Scanners detect this, allowing the study of active areas. For healthy brain PET scans see image P332/317.
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