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Abnormal Datscan but not Parkinson's?
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wescot posted:
I'm 38 yrs old and have had tremors, loss of coordination and balance since Aug. 2012. All tests were normal (nerve conduction studies, metabollic testing, and CT) MRI showed unnatural ridging in the cervical spine. Datscan was abmormal with prominent low dopamine in the basal ganglia. But I don't have rigidity.
Can stress induced tremors cause prominent low dopamine levels on a Datscan? Or does early onset and being a woman change the presentation in any way of Parkinson's?
Thanks
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DUKE MEDICINE
Mark A Stacy, MD responded:
Dear wescot
Thank you for your note. It would be unusual for a DatSCAN to be abnormal, and I would encourage you to talk to your neurologist, and actually look at the scan. Here is a link to a presentation to the FDA, but the first slide shows the difference between a normal and abnormal:

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AdvisoryCommittees/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/Drugs/PeripheralandCentralNervousSystemDrugsAdvisoryCommittee/UCM186404.pdf

If your scan looks abnormal, and your neurologist does not think this is parkinsonism, consider asking for a scan to be repeated - perhaps you are the "one in a million" that had a false positive result and the next will be ok.

If your neurologist does not think you have PD, ask him about other conditions that can produce this result, and if one of these could be the diagnosis. Please know, I am not sure I would have the answers to these questions in an office visit, and would likely suggest watching to see how this evolves. Do not give up on your doctor, if this is the response.


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