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  • 1 University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry 40506-0055 Lexington KY USA
  • 2 University of Illinois Department of Nuclear Engineering 61801 Urbana IL USA
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Copper (Cu) is an essential element and is incorporated in many biomolecules that are involved in protecting the brain from oxidative damage. Many brain regions strongly affected by neurodegene rative diseases are small. A sensitive nondestructive procedure to determine Cu is desirable to preserve samples for additional studies. Copper is not easily determined by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) due to high activity levels produced by major abundance elements such as sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl), which produce a high Compton background. An INAA method involving a short epithermal neutron irradiation and counting with a Compton suppression system was developed to determine Cu in brain, via 5.1-min66Cu. These short irradiation results are compared to those based on coincidence spectrometry of annihilation photons from positron emitting 12.7-h64Cu after a long irradiation.