DATSCAN™ NOW AVAILABLE AT ST. JOHN’S RIVERSIDE HOSPITAL TO HELP DIFFERENTIATE PARKINSONIAN SYNDROMES FROM ESSENTIAL TREMORS
10/19/2011 8:18 AM
Until now an accurate diagnosis for patients with neurodegenerative movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, can take up to six years.
“This new imaging agent is a step in the right direction for timely and accurate diagnosis for patients with parkinsonian syndromes, which includes Parkinson’s disease,” said Dr. Emad F. Soliman, Chief of Neurology at St. John’s Riverside Hospital. “The challenge for physicians is how to differentiate parkinsonian syndromes from other conditions that mimic it, such as essential tremor. While the symptoms are similar, treatment and management greatly differ. Having another diagnostic tool to help rule out one of these conditions will be tremendously helpful in reaching an appropriate and timely diagnosis for patients.”
Parkinsonian syndromes occurs when the brain does not get enough dopamine to perform certain functions. This affects the ability of the brain to control movement and other muscle functions. DaTscan is an adjunct to other diagnostic evaluations that help differentiate essential tremor (ET) – a common movement disorder – from tremors due to PS.
In the United States, 50,000 to 60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s disease are diagnosed each year. It is estimated that as many as 10 million people around the world suffer from the condition.[i] A timely and correct diagnosis will help patients and their families overcome the fears and frustrations associated with the process of getting an accurate diagnosis so they can move on with their lives.[ii],[iii]
[i] Statistics on Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s Disease Foundation Web site. http://www.pdf.org/en/parkinson_statistics. Accessed August 25, 2010.
[iii] What Does "Newly Diagnosed" Mean? Multiple Sclerosis Association of America Web site. http://www.msassociation.org/about_multiple_sclerosis/newlydiagnosed/. Accessed March 8, 2011.