ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Alzheimer's disease. Array of coloured sagittal positron emission tomography (PET, bottom) scans of the brain of a 58-year-old woman diagnosed two years previously with Alzheimer's disease. The front of the brain is at left in each scan. These scans form a series from the left (top left) to the right (bottom right) cerebral hemispheres, showing the left temporal lobe and right temporal lobe. There are significant absences (green areas) of metabolism in the hippocampus region and in the parietal lobes, due to Alzheimer's and possibly also due to an earlier stroke. Alzheimer's is a neurodegenerative disease and a common cause of dementia in the elderly. It is caused by the formation of protein plaques in the brain, which kill surrounding neurons. The cause of these plaques is not known and there is no cure. These PET scans were obtained using the radioisotope-labelled fludeoxyglucose. For a scan with the hippocampus area marked, see image C038/8788.
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