A PET or brain positron emission tomography scan is an imaging test which facilitates doctors to assess the functionality of a brain. This scan captures the images of the brain activities post the radioactive ‘tracers’ have been absorbed into the bloodstream. The tracers are linked to compounds such as sugar (glucose). Glucose is principal fuel for the brain.
Active areas of brain utilize glucose at a higher rate than the inactive part. When highlighted through a PET scanner, this allows doctors to identify the working status of the brain & assists them to identify any abnormality.
It is usually an outpatient process, meaning that we are able to leave about our day after the test has been done.
Why is PET Scan done?
This test accurately details the shape, size & function of the brain. Unlike the other scans, the PET scan facilitates doctors to see the structure of the brain and it’s functioning.
It allows doctors to:-
- Check and Identify cancer
- investigate dementia including the Alzheimer’s disease
- Determining whether cancer has spread to our brain
- Differentiate Parkinson’s disease from the other conditions
- Prepare for the epilepsy surgery
Our doctor could ask us to undergo a PET scan of brain regularly when we undergo treatment for a brain disorder. This could assist him/her in monitoring the progress of our treatment.
Preparing for a Brain PET scan
Doctors provide us a complete update to assist us in preparing for our brain PET scan. We shall alert our doctor to any medication we may be taking, whether they are over the counter, prescription or even a nutritional supplement.
We may be instructed for not eating anything for up to 8 hours prior to our procedure. We can drink water.
Women should inform their doctors if they are pregnant or even if they believe they could be pregnant as the test could be unsafe for the fetus. We shall also update our doctor regarding any medical condition we may have i.e. individuals having diabetes would likely be provided special instructions for this test. Prior fasting can negatively affect the blood sugar levels.