Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative neurological disease affecting balance, movement and agility, affects approximately 1 percent of the population over 60 years of age. Although recent years have brought increased awareness of this disorder, the lack of a test to detect this condition can lead to misdiagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and related syndromes. In many cases, especially early in the course of the disease, an important step in diagnosis is to distinguish Parkinson’s syndrome (PS) from essential tremor (ET).

Patients with ET may have some of the same symptoms as those with PS, but have a much better prognosis and generally undergo different types of medical therapy than PS patients. Sometimes, it can take years of clinical follow-up to distinguish PS symptoms from ET symptoms.

However, a radiopharmaceutical called DaTscan™ was approved by the FDA to be used in nuclear medicine SPECT imaging to help distinguish Parkinsonian syndromes (PS) from essential tremor (ET). This agent detects the amount or lack of neurons in the brain that act as dopamine transporters.

The value of DaTscan is often to either increase the physician’s confidence in the diagnosis, especially early in the course of the disease, or to give the physician more cause to investigate other possible causes of the patient’s symptoms.

DaTscan is performed at select Capitol Imaging Services locations. Capitol Imaging Services is the largest independent radiology practice of its type serving the Southeastern United States. Not only do we perform the scan, such as an MRI or nuclear medicine study, we also provide the radiology interpretation and send the critical results to the physician or other medical/health provider.

Capitol Imaging Services also works to lower out of pocket costs for patients by performing exams at lower fees. For people with unfulfilled health insurance deductibles, this can result in substantial savings in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. And, while potentially achieving these savings, people know they are not sacrificing quality for cost.

Click the green REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT button (above right) to send us an email requesting assistance. A Capitol Imaging Services associate will be happy to assist in arranging your visit.

Click here to learn more about DaTscan.