Functional Brain Imaging in Court

  • Sukhi Shergill
  • Kris H. Naudts
  • J. Gunn


Nuclear medicine CNS studies, SPECT and PET, are increasingly used as a tool in forensic medicine. The mental disorders which attract most legal attention are those where a connection between an injurious stimulus and the disorder is likely to exist, as for instance in posttraumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder. However, even with these disorders with a much clearer aetiology, the same brain changes are not clear in all subjects. Thus, functional neuro-imaging cannot safely be used to make a diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder or indicate the presence or absence of psychiatric symptoms. It can be used to support a case which has other evidence, so evidence of functional abnormality in a brain region shown to be abnormal on a structural brain scan would provide useful additional information.


Traumatic Brain Injury Single Photon Emission Compute Tomography Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Hippocampal Volume Functional Brain Image 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sukhi Shergill
    • 1
  • Kris H. Naudts
    • 2
  • J. Gunn
  1. 1.Division of Psychological Medicine, Section of Brain ImagingInstitute of PsychiatryLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Medical PsychologyUniversity Hospital GhentGentBelgium

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