PET: brain lipids may hold answers
PET (positron emission tomography) is a scanning technique that uses an MRI scanner and radioactive substances that are injected into the blood stream to get detailed images of the brain that relate to its real-time function. This technique is being used in an interesting study (read it here) looking at the role of the phospholipids (a kind of fat) that makes up much of the brain.
Brain diseases are notoriously complicated to study because of the complexity of this organ composed of billions of individual cells signally to each other. These phospholipids are an important part of the neural architecture, so may hold the clues to some neurological diseases. Using a PET scanner to study this provides researchers with a wealth of information with a minimally invasive procedure.
With the role of fats in our bodies coming under increasing scrutiny with the high-fat diets of modern life, this study into the neurological behaviors of fats could be very enlightening