DaTscan: Advancing Parkinsonian Syndrome Diagnosis and Safety Precautions
DaTscan is a radiopharmaceutical instrument for assessing adults suspected of Parkinsonian syndrome (PS). Phillip Kuo MD, PhD and Scott Sherman, MD, Phd sheds some light on this tool. DaTscan is proficient in distinguishing essential tremors from those induced by PS, including idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD), multiple system atrophy (MSA), and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). However, it doesn’t discern between PD, MSA, and PSP, and its role as a screening, confirmatory test or in monitoring disease progression or response to therapy remains unestablished.
Its use is not recommended for individuals with known hypersensitivity to the active substance or iodine due to reported hypersensitivity reactions. Pre-administration thyroid blocking is crucial to minimize thyroid accumulation of I123 and the subsequent risk of thyroid neoplasia.
Adverse reactions such as headache, nausea, vertigo, dry mouth, and mild to moderate autosinus have been reported in clinical trials, with hypersensitivity reactions and injection site pain arising in the post-marketing stage. The impact of drugs that bind significantly to the dopamine transporter on DaTscan imaging results is uncertain, as is the effect of dopamine agonists and antagonists. Pregnant women should avoid DaTscan due to potential harm to the fetus.
By providing a powerful tool to detect Parkinsonian syndrome, DaTscan has the potential to transform how we understand and approach these complex neurological conditions.
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