Faculty Advisor(s)

Lorie Zelna



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The purpose of this project is to help provide clinical information for Parkinson’s disease (PD) diagnosis. The project will further explore the advantages of Dopamine Transporter Scan (DaTscan) in Nuclear Medicine as a diagnostic tool for the evaluation of Parkinson’s disease. Nuclear Medicine is a specialized area of radiology that uses radioactive pharmaceuticals to examine organ function and to diagnose and/or treat conditions or diseases. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder that affects the nervous system and the parts of the body controlled by the nerves that causes uncontrollable movements that worsen overtime. Parkinsonian Syndromes such as Parkinson’s disease are difficult to accurately diagnose and distinguish from other neurological processes diseases. The DaTscan images demonstrate changes in brain chemistry to differentiate various Parkinsonism syndromes. With the use of DaTscan, physicians' ability to confirm a Parkinson’s diagnosis is greatly improved. Accurately diagnosing Parkinson’s disease is important because treatments can help manage symptoms and early intervention can prevent unnecessary procedures and medication. Medications can improve day-to-day function. In cases where medication does not provide a sustained benefit or has significant side effects, treatments like deep brain stimulation result in improved quality of life.

Publication Date


Document Type



Medical Imaging


DaTscan, Parkinson's Disease


Medicine and Health Sciences

Dopamine Transporter Scan (DaTscan) for Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease