3 brain Scanning Techniques

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  • 3 brain Scanning Techniques
    • Computerised Axial Tomography (CAT scans)
      • They tell us about the structure of the brain not the function.
      • Cons
    • Positron Emission Tomography (PET scans)
      • 1. Patients are injected with a small amount of radioactive atoms known as FDG.
      • Areas of higher activity will be shown as wormer colours like red.
      • Areas of abnormal (very high or very low) activity indicate tumours or damage
      • Cons
    • Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI scan)
      • They were developed in the 1990s to avoid exposure to radiation.
      • 1. The head is placed in a large electromagnet
        • 2.The nuclei in the hydrogen molecules in the blood align themselves with the direction of the magnetic field.
          • 3. The blood flow in the brain increases in the active areas, bringing glucose and oxygen.
            • 4. The oxygen is carried to the neurons in the haemoglobin of red blood cells.
              • 5. When haemoglobin is oxygenated it repels the magnetic field,  but when it is deoxygenated will follow the direction of the magnetic field.
                • 6. The scanner detects these changes and turns it into an image, it shows where the activity is in the brain when the patient completes a task
      • Pros
        • It doesn't need injections or radioactive material.
      • Cons
        • The patient has to be in a small noisy space which may cause stress
        • Patients with 'pacemakers' or metal surgical implants can't use these scans as they use an electromagnet


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