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Alzheimer's disease. Coloured single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans of horizontal (XY), side (YZ) and frontal (XZ) sections through a brain showing Alzheimer's disease. The colours show different levels of activity within the brain tissue, with red showing high activity and black very low activity. Alzheimer's is a degenerative brain disease and a common cause of dementia in the elderly. It causes memory loss, confusion and personality changes. Its causes are not known and there is no cure. SPECT scans use radioactive traces, injected into the blood, that accumulate in areas of high metabolic activity. The tracer is detected by a gamma camera, allowing the study of active areas.
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