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DAT scans are abnormal in patients with Parkinson’s, but normal in patients with essential tremor. Differentiating between Parkinson’s disease and drug-induced parkinsonism – anti-psychotic medications used to treat psychiatric illnesses (including schizophrenia) work by blocking dopamine receptors.
Despite the DaTscan being available to help diagnose PD, in most clinical situations, a DaTscan will not add information to what can be gleaned from the clinical exam. One study actually demonstrated that the accuracy of diagnosis in early PD was the same whether the diagnosis was reached using clinical exam or using DaTscan.
In Parkinson’s, there is a steady loss of dopamine transporters in the brain. Dopamine transporters (DaT) mediates the flow of the neurotransmitter dopamine between nerve cells. The loss of DaT disrupts the communication between nerve cells and the transport of information from the brain to the muscles causing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Evaluating DaT levels using Datscan can help provide a clearer picture of the brain’s functional health.
DaTscan (ioflupane I-123) belongs to a group of drugs called diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals (RAY dee oh far ma SOO tik als). Ioflupane I-123 is a radioactive agent that allows images of the brain to be detected by a gamma camera. DaTscan is used to detect brain signs of Parkinson's disease in people with symptoms such as...
DaTSCAN. This scan uses an intravenously administered radiolabeled ligand that binds the dopamine transporter (DAT) on the synaptic terminals of nigrostriatal neurons. This test cannot differentiate between PD and other forms of pre-synaptic parkinsonism such MSA, PSP, CBD, or LBD. Consider using SPECT...
Using DaTscan in Parkinson’s diagnoses. DaTscan is a radiopharmaceutical imaging agent that works by binding to dopamine transporters (DaT) in the brain. A specific marker for DaT, DaTscan produces images that provide visual evidence of nigrostriatal degeneration based on a reduced density of dopamine transporters.