PET scan

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PET scan

(pĕt) or

positron emission tomography

(pŏz`ĭtrŏn' ĭmĭsh`ən təmŏg`rəfē), a medical imaging technique that monitors metabolic, or biochemical, activity in the brain and other organs by tracking the movement and concentration of a radioactive tracer injected into the bloodstream. The technique uses special computerized imaging equipment and rings of detectors surrounding the patient to record gamma radiationgamma radiation,
high-energy photons emitted as one of the three types of radiation resulting from natural radioactivity. It is the most energetic form of electromagnetic radiation, with a very short wavelength (high frequency).
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 produced when positrons (positively charged particles) emitted by the tracer collide with electrons.

PET scans are especially valuable in imaging the brain. They are used in medicine to diagnose brain tumors and strokes, and to locate the origins of epileptic activity; in psychiatry to examine brain function in schizophreniaschizophrenia
, group of severe mental disorders characterized by reality distortions resulting in unusual thought patterns and behaviors. Because there is often little or no logical relationship between the thoughts and feelings of a person with schizophrenia, the disorder has
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, bipolar disorderbipolar disorder,
formerly manic-depressive disorder
or manic-depression,
severe mental disorder involving manic episodes that are usually accompanied by episodes of depression.
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, and other mental illnesses; and in neuropsychology to study such brain functions and capabilities as speech, reading, memory, and dreaming.

References in periodicals archive ?
The positron emission tomography scan is now available for use at Sparks every other Friday.
Congratulations to Encino resident Michael Pehlps on receiving the Enrico Fermi Award for his invention of the positron emission tomography scan.
PET was created to allow scientists and physicians from different disciplines to come together to develop ways to study the biology of disease as it takes place in the ultimate laboratory - the human body,'' said Phelps, 59, who invented the positron emission tomography scan.
One of the emerging trends in the market is the rise in the use of positron emission tomography scans.

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