Brain Scans

PET and MRI scan

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  • BRAIN SCANS
    • PET SCAN
      • Positron Emission Tomography
        • Image of 'working brain'
          • Injected with glucose or water
            • Labelled with radioactive tracer
          • Substance reaches brain
            • Brain cells uptake oxygen and tracer starts to decay
              • Emits positrons
                • The more glucose/oxygen the brain cells use up, the more positrons will be emitted in that area
          • Emitted positrons collide with electrons
            • Form gamma rays
              • Detected by scanner
          • Head is inside scanner
    • MRI SCAN
      • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
        • Shows the structure of the brain
          • Large scanner
            • Very strong magnetic field passed through head
              • Electromagnetic waves passed through body by magnet
          • Nuclei of some atoms spin a certain way when placed in a magnet
            • Allows a detailed image of brain to be produced on computer
          • Nuclei of hydrogen molecules emit their own radio wave at a frequency that the scanner picks up

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