What is DaTscan?

DaTscan is a drug used in combination with brain scans to help doctors diagnose Parkinson's disease in people who have tremors that could be caused by other conditions.

DaTscan is a combination of iodine and a radiation-emitting compound called ioflupane I 123. It allows doctors to track the transfer of dopamine (a neurotransmitter) in the brain during single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans. SPECT scans are similar to computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in that they can record a three-dimensional image of internal organs -- in this case, of the brain.

People with Parkinson's disease have a reduced number of dopamine-producing cells in their brains, which causes them to have tremors and difficulty controlling muscle movements.

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