Functional Brain Imaging in Court
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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.
KeywordsTraumatic Brain Injury Single Photon Emission Compute Tomography Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Hippocampal Volume Functional Brain Image
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