Imaging of brain function using SPECT
Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is a technique widely used in nuclear medicine for the imaging of the many organs including the skeleton and heart, as well as for whole body imaging for the detection of tumors. The use of tracers of cerebral perfusion and more recently brain neurotransmitter systems has resulted in the development of a number of applications for brain SPECT in neurology and psychiatry. Indications have been established in cases of dementia, epilepsy, neurovascular disorders, Parkinsonism, and following minor head trauma. It also has the potential to be a valuable research tool for the study of in vivo brain function. In this paper an overview will be given of the principles underlying Brain SPECT, the performance of the procedure, and its applications as a diagnostic modality and research tool.