Brain scans are sometimes used to help doctors to diagnose dementia. There are several types of brain scan:
- CT or CAT (computerised axial tomography) scans are a way of taking pictures of the brain using X-rays and a computer
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans create an image of the brain using radio signals produced by the body in response to the effects of a very strong magnet contained within the scanner.
- SPECT (single photon emission computerised tomography) scans look at the blood flow through the brain, rather than at the structure of the brain.
To see how these scans may be used as part of an assessment, see Factsheet 426, Diagnosis and assessment.