Desert Radiology is Committed to Providing Patients with the Most Advanced Imaging to Diagnose Chronic Illness
Parkinsonian Syndrome (PS) is a progressive nervous system disorder that causes movement abnormalities. The disease causes a steady loss of dopamine transporters in the brain. When dopamine levels are decreased, it causes abnormal brain activity resulting in impaired movement, tremors, stiffness, and other symptoms.
Parkinsonian Syndrome (PS) risk factors include:
• Age—adults typically 60 years or older
• Heredity—close relatives with Parkinson’s disease increases risks
• Sex—men are more likely than women to develop the disease
• Exposure to toxins—exposure to herbicides and pesticides may slightly increase your risk of getting the disease
DaTscan is a nuclear medicine imaging exam that helps providers evaluate and diagnose patients with suspected Parkinsonian Syndrome (PS) by helping to differentiate between essential tremors and tremors that are due to Parkinsonian Syndrome (PS).
DaTscan utilizes a radiopharmaceutical (radioactive medication) that is injected into the patient’s bloodstream, allowing 3-D images to be taken with a single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) camera to assess the patient’s dopamine levels. Dopamine is an essential chemical in the brain that controls movement and other motor functions. DaTscan specifically targets the dopamine transporter brain cells . The higher the number of healthy cells with the transporter protein, the brighter the images appear.
The radiopharmaceutical can take three to four hours to process through the body before the imaging can begin. The imaging portion of the exam takes about 45 minutes to one hour to complete.
DaTscan is becoming an essential tool for early treatment and diagnosis of Parkinsonian Syndrome (PS). Early and accurate diagnosis of this disease is crucial, as research shows treatments are more effective when administered early on. At Desert Radiology, we are committed to staying informed of the latest imaging technology to not only provide our patients with the most advanced diagnostic imaging services, but to also allow for early detection which can be critical in the effort to save lives.