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January 12, 2012

HallNathanCOLUMBUS, Ohio – A new molecular imaging agent which is the first to aid in the differentiation of Parkinson’s disease from other movement disorders is now being offered at The Ohio State University Medical Center. It is the first use of this technology in central Ohio.

This non-invasive procedure will help specialists at Ohio State determine if patients are experiencing signs of Parkinson’s syndromes (idiopathic Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy and supranuclear palsy) or of other movement disorders with similar symptoms.

“This new imaging tracer will assist doctors in directing patients to appropriate therapy earlier in their course of disease and help prevent misdiagnosis,” said Dr. Nathan Hall, section chief of Nuclear Medicine in the Department of Radiology at OSU.

When used in tandem with other tests and clinical assessment, specialists can look at brain images using this agent to help diagnose patient with early stages of the disease.  In the case of Parkinson’s disease, tremors are caused by a dopamine deficiency which causes the brain to lose control of certain movement and motor functions. The technology, called DaTscan, shows if a dopamine deficiency is occurring to help physicians make an exact diagnosis.

When diagnosed early and accurately, Parkinson’s disease can be treated with medication to help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. New treatment options that are proving effective in controlling Parkinson’s disease symptoms, including deep brain stimulation, are becoming available worldwide and are now offered at OSU. DaTscan has been used in Europe, but was only recently approved for use in the United States.

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Contact: Gina Bericchia, Medical Center Public Affairs and Media Relations, 614-293-3737, or