Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

Professor Trevor Robbins discusses how positron emission tomography (PET) works to provide detailed images of brain structure and chemistry.

PET, positron emission tomography, depends on the detection of radioactivity in the brain. So, typically the subject is given a radioactive substance, or ligand as it is called. It travels in their venous blood supply to the brain and wherever the brain is active, that PET ligand will be used. So, if you have a PET camera that can detect the radioactivity, you can build up a picture of where that radioactivity is happening in the brain. So, it enables you to map activity in the brain, and this can be done in several ways. You can map, for example, blood flow or oxygen consumption or glucose metabolism to determine which parts of the brain are most active, for example, in vision or in hearing or in memory or in movement. You can also do something very clever and use drugs that are specific tags or labels for neurotransmitters, such as dopamine receptors. So, you can actually image where the dopamine receptors are in the brain. And this can be a very important diagnostic tool in such conditions as Parkinson's disease where the dopamine is lost specifically from the striatum.

pet, positron, emission, tomography, neuroimaging, imaging, scan, brain, dopamine, receptor, brain, ligand, radioactive, trace, trevor, robbins,

Related Content

1153. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

Professor Trevor Robbins describes functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology, which is used to take detailed images of the functioning brain.

  • ID: 1153
  • Source: G2C

2278. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) - Demonstration

Professor Wayne Drevets explains how positron emission tomography (PET) is used to examine biochemicals in the brain such as serotonin.

  • ID: 2278
  • Source: G2C

2257. Neuroimaging

A review of neuroimaging-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.

  • ID: 2257
  • Source: G2C

800. Imaging Alzheimer's Disease

Neuroimaging techniques help scientists visualize Alzheimer's disease before the disease becomes debilitating.

  • ID: 800
  • Source: G2C

1163. Neuroimaging and Schizophrenia

Professor Daniel Weinberger describes how neuroimaging techniques are being used to examine the brains of schizophrenic patients.

  • ID: 1163
  • Source: G2C

864. Imaging Technology

Images from brain scans and new microscopy techniques are offering a strikingly clear glimpse of what’s going on underneath the bumpy surface of our skulls.

  • ID: 864
  • Source: G2C

873. Electroencephalogram (EEG)

Electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings measure electrical activity in the brain that is the result of electrochemical signaling between neurons.

  • ID: 873
  • Source: DNALC.G2C

883. Treating Autism

Exploring the possiblities of 'bringing back' the brain of a child with autism.

  • ID: 883
  • Source: G2C

860. Anti-pain Systems

Why do women and men feel pain differently?

  • ID: 860
  • Source: G2C

828. The Brain and Sleep

Researchers are using neuroimaging to look at what happens in the whole brain during sleep.

  • ID: 828
  • Source: G2C