Newswise — Red Bank, NJ – April 16, 2018 – Hackensack Meridian Health Riverview Medical Center is pleased to introduce DaTscan™, a tool to help physicians diagnose patients exhibiting the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and other Parksinsonian syndromes, particularly those that cause tremors. The test is another approach for physicians to accurately identify a disease that can be challenging to diagnose, particularly in its early stages.
“Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that primarily impacts dopamine-producing neurons in the brain,” says Nicholas Perosi, M.D., medical director of diagnostic imaging at Riverview Medical Center. “Symptoms of the disease occur when the brain is not getting enough of the dopamine it needs to perform certain functions. DaTscan can help physicians make the proper diagnosis by assessing the dopamine transporters in the brain.”
Performed in Riverview Medical Center’s Nuclear Medicine department, the test captures detailed pictures of the brain’s dopamine system and provides visual evidence of the presence of dopamine transporters. During the procedure, patients are given a small dose of radioactive material, called a tracer, through an intravenous (IV) line. The tracer collects in parts of the brain and gives off gamma rays. A special camera, called a gamma camera, will then use those rays to produce pictures and measurements of the brain. The results of the scan can allow physicians to provide accurate clinical management of the patient and prevention of unnecessary medication and procedures.
“Prior to DaTscan, movement disorders were diagnosed by blood tests, neuropsychological evaluations and clinical exams, which were inconclusive,” says Dr. Perosi. “While DaTscan does not by itself diagnose a Parkinsonian disease, it is another tool we can use to aid in our diagnosis.”
Between 50,000 and 60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s disease are diagnosed in the United States every year. Symptoms can include the following:
- Slowness of movement
- Difficulty with balance
- Stiff facial expression
- Shuffling walk
- Muffled speech or soft voice
“Riverview Medical Center is so fortunate to have such talented physicians who work to adapt new methods, procedures and breakthroughs as quickly as possible for our community,” says Timothy J. Hogan, FACHE, president of Riverview Medical Center and Hackensack Meridian Health Bayshore Medical Center. “This procedure is going to help a lot of people in our community and I am proud that we will be one of the few medical centers in our area to offer it to those in need.”
For more information about DaTscan, or other services offered within the Nuclear Medicine Department at Riverview Medical Center, please call 732-530-2407.
About Hackensack Meridian Health Riverview Medical Center
Riverview Medical Center is a 468-bed not-for-profit community hospital located on the Navesink River in Red Bank, New Jersey. Riverview Medical Center provides health care programs and services in all major medical disciplines including: maternity, surgical services, emergency and critical cancer services. Riverview’s Cancer Care Center offers comprehensive cancer services close to home, while Riverview’s Jane H. Booker Women and Children’s Center combines expertise and convenience to address preventative health, diagnosis, treatment, and support for women of all ages. Riverview Rehabilitation Center is Monmouth County’s only fully-accredited inpatient rehabilitation facility, and Riverview Medical Center is a designated Primary Stroke Center and has also maintained prestigious Magnet designation for Nursing Excellence since 1998. Riverview Medical Center is the only hospital in the region with the groundbreaking CyberKnife® system, offering new hope for patients with inaccessible or inoperable tumors. For more information about Riverview Medical Center and Hackensack Meridian Health, please call 1-800-DOCTORS or visit www.riverviewmedicalcenter.com.