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New imaging technique to improve Parkinson's diagnosis?

New imaging technique to improve Parkinson's diagnosis?
26th August 2011

A novel diagnostic imaging technique could better diagnose Parkinson's disease, according to scientists.

The DaTscan, currently employed at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, is the only Food and Drugs Association-approved imaging agent for assessment of movement disorders.

Tanya Simuni, a neurologist at the institution, explained that the scan alone does not make the diagnosis of Parkinson's, but identifies patients who have experienced dopamine loss and those who have no dopamine deficiency.

"This is a very important step in being able to accurately identify and treat movement disorders and hopefully allow us to better understand these diseases over time," she said.

In other news, traumatic brain injury has been identified as a risk factor for Parkinson's disease, according to a University of California Los Angeles study.

A 15 per cent drop in nigrostiatal dopaminergic neurons was seen directly after a traumatic brain injury occurred.

Previous research showed that a lack of these neurons triggered symptoms characteristic of Parkinson's disease.

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