WHAT IS A NUCLEAR MEDICINE DATSCAN?
The DaTscan is a safe nuclear medicine study used to evaluate the brain for tremors and/or Parkinson’s Disease. It utilizes the injection of a material called Ioflupane I123 into the bloodstream, where it travels to the brain and highlights the neurons responsible for controlling movement. From there an RAO imaging expert will take pictures of the affected area using a gamma camera, a device designed to capture detailed pictures of the brain and its neurons for assessment.
This revolutionary procedure is FDA approved to help your referring physician and RAO radiologist determine if you suffer from a Parkinsonian syndrome or from a relatively benign nervous system disorder known as essential tremor. Fortunately, results are available in only weeks instead of months or years, as with previous tests.
If your doctor has referred you for this test, it is because you have symptoms that suggest the possibility of a Parkinsonian syndrome. The sooner the cause has been identified, the sooner your doctor can proceed with treatment.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The DaTscan agent used to highlight the brain areas to be imaged takes roughly three to six hours to become most effective. Once it has been allowed to reach the appropriate concentration, the painless, non-invasive procedure typically takes only 30-45 minutes to complete.