DMH News

DaTscan™ Now Available At Decatur Memorial Hospital To Help Doctors Differentiate Parkinson's Disease From Essential Tremors


DaTscan™ is the first FDA-approved diagnostic imaging agent of its kind in the United States to help doctors evaluate patients with suspected Parkinson’s Disease and is available for the first time in Decatur, only at Decatur Memorial Hospital.

DaTscan™ gives doctors added diagnostic capability that may help lead to timely and appropriate diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s Disease.

“DaTscan™ is a step in the right direction for patients with Parkinson’s like syndromes, which includes Parkinson’s Disease,” said Mark Muscato, M.D., DMH Radiologist. “The challenge for doctors is how to differentiate Parkinson’s Disease 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 is tremendously helpful in reaching an appropriate and timely diagnosis for patients.”

Before the development of DaTscan™, an accurate diagnosis for patients with movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s Disease, could take up to six years. Parkinson’s Disease, which currently affects one million people in the US, is one of several types of movement disorders.i

Movement disorders are primarily diagnosed through clinical examinations. Clinical exams alone, particularly early in the disease, are often inconclusive and can result in misdiagnosis.

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.ii 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.iii,iv

i Statistics on Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s Disease Foundation Web site. Accessed August 25, 2010.
ii Statistics on Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s Disease Foundation Web site. Accessed August 25, 2010.
iii Emotional Responses to PD. National Parkinson Foundation Web site. Accessed March 7, 2011.

iv What Does "Newly Diagnosed" Mean? Multiple Sclerosis Association of America Web site. Accessed March 8, 2011.