Abstract and Keywords
Positron emission tomography (PET) is an imaging method that utilizes compounds labeled with positron-emitting radioisotopes as molecular probes to evaluate different neurophysiological processes quantitatively and noninvasively. This chapter provides a background regarding positron emission, radiotracer chemistry, and detector and scanner instrumentation, as well as analytical methods for evaluating basic brain physiology, such as cerebral blood flow and oxygen and glucose metabolism. The methodological aspects of PET imaging, such as patient preparation and optimal scanning parameters, are discussed. Examples of application of blood flow and metabolic imaging in both research and clinical scenarios for the evaluation of normal neurophysiology are provided. Recent advances in PET imaging, including PET-CT and PET-MRI, are also described. Finally, the unique strengths of PET imaging are highlighted.
Keywords: Positron Emission Tomography, positrons, scintillating detectors, radiotracers, compartmental modeling, cerebral blood flow, cerebral metabolic rate of glucose, cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen, cyclotron, and normal development and aging
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