THE DaT SCAN - Does not diagnose Parkinson's



The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the DaTSCAN™ visual adjunct brain imaging test in 2011 to help with the diagnosis of PD or a parkinsonian syndrome. DaTSCAN™, ioflupane I 123, is a GE Healthcare trademark. It is used to detect the loss of nerve cells that release the chemical messenger dopamine in an area of the brain called the striatum.

            DaTSCAN™ is a specific type of single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging technique used to detect the presence of dopamine transporters (DaT) in the brain. DaTSCAN™ is a solution for injection that contains the synthetic cocaine analogue5 substance ioflupane 123 (a neuro-imaging radioactive form of the chemical element Iodine). 

            Because several of our constitutes happily reported that they just had their DaT Scans and it was determined they didn’t have Parkinson’s.  They don’t know what they have, but it’s not Parkinson’s we say the following:

            The short answer is that the DaT Scan was FDA approved to distinguish potential Parkinson’s disease from essential tremor. In fact, the test only tells the clinician if there is an abnormality in the dopamine transporter, and does not actually diagnose Parkinson’s disease you could have a parkinsonism.

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Updated: August 16, 2017