DaTscan is a cutting-edge modality of nuclear medicine, one that Medical Imaging of Grapevine is one of the only independent imaging facilities in the DFW Metroplex to offer.

As a privately operated, radiologist-owned facility offering a wide variety of imaging modalities, Medical Imaging of Grapevine is at the forefront of our industry in using our advanced technology to give patients world-class care and peace of mind about their health at a fraction of the cost that a hospital-run imaging center can offer.

What is DaTscan?

In the early stages of Parkinson's and similar conditions, patients experience symptoms that are commonly grouped together to fit a state called Bradykinesia. These symptoms may manifest themselves as a dysfunction of limb control, gait, speech, swallowing, facial expressivity or posture. One of the earliest symptoms and signs may be a barely noticeable tremor. These symptoms and signs are attributed to the loss of dopaminergic neurons. Parkinsonian syndromes include Idiopathic Parkinson's disease, multiple system atrophy and supranuclear palsy.

DaTscan's role in the process is that doctors can use the results to confirm or refute a Parkinsonian syndrome. This test prevents Parkinsonian syndrome to be misdiagnosed as an essential tremor.

How Does it Work?

DaTscan uses a radioactive drug combined with single photon emission computed tomography scanner (SPECT) to produce an image of the dopamine present in a person's brain. The drug, combines with dopamine to allow it to show up on a SPECT scanner, and the shapes are read by a team of radiologists to provide a clear picture of whether or not dopamine activity is normal in the brain.

DaTscan results are read as follows: if the brain shows two comma shaped clusters of dopamine, the tests are regarded to be negative for a Parkinsonian condition. If the clusters are more rounded, results suggest that a Parkinsonian condition is present, and while the test doesn't differentiate between Parkinson's and similar conditions like Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) it provides medical teams with key insights that are used to provide a more accurate diagnosis in the short term. At Medical Imaging of Grapevine we use DatQUANT analysis, which assists in the detection and quantification of the loss of functional striatal dopaminergic neuron terminals, a loss correlated with Parkinson's disease.

When Should You Get a DaTscan?

If you find yourself experiencing any of the symptoms of Parkinsion conditions like Bradykinesia or tremors of varying severity, it's not likely your doctor will order a DaTscan due simply to the fact that the test can't make a diagnosis. However, if you've recently been diagnosed with Parkinson's or an essential tremor, this is generally when physician's will turn to state-of-the-art nuclear medicine like DaTscan to confirm or refute the diagnosis, giving you the best odds for accurate and precise treatment for your condition as possible.

DaTscan is a major step forward in identifying cases of Parkinson's and ansuring that treatment for it is as focused and effective as possible. Many imaging centers in the region don't offer complex, innovate procedures like the DaTscan, which is why it's so crucial that we not only offer the test, but offer it at a price that is only a fraction of what you'd pay at a hospital-affiliated imaging center.

For more information on DaTscan and how it can help patients with Parkinson's and similar conditions, contact Medical Imaging of Grapevine today.

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