TIM BEDDOW / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TIM BEDDOW / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Positron emission tomography (PET) scan of the brain (temporal plane) of a patient suffering from epilepsy. This visual record was taken during an epileptic seizure. Such seizures are a symptom of brain electrical dysfunction. Here, brain activity is colour coded: from low (blue) to high (yellow). PET scans show level of function of brain tissues, rather than merely give structural information. In PET, a radioactive analogue of a substance involved in normal metabolism (such as oxygen) is injected into the blood, and tracked to indicate metabolic activity. Oxygen supply (blood flow) and demand (consumption in tissues) are related to certain diseases, including epilepsy.
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