DaT scan confusion

Hi, I have recently been diagnosed with idiopathic parkinsons at aged 35 and just started on a low dose of Meds building up over the next few weeks. My neurologist seems certain I have PD based on his clinical assessment but when giving me this news mentioned a DaT scan as an option if we wanted it which my partner pushed for in our daze of taking in his diagnosis. Now I have had some time to think and look into it I am confused as to whether it is worth having the scan at all??? I don't have a tremor so know my symptoms are not being confused with ET, I have already had a brain and spine MRI and an electronic muscle testing plus numerous blood tests which were all normal I have slow movement, ridgity, restricted use of my right hand side, balance problems, constipation, sleep problems ect ect Do I cancel the scan appt when it arrives? Thoughts please Xx

I had a DAT scan in 2011 which confirmed my diagnosis as far as I was concerned.  I seen the images that were produced from my scan and the depletion in cells was completely evident and left no doubt in my mind, nor that of my neurologist.

you have nothing to lose in having the scan, and do ask to see the images produced.

kind regards



Hi Chenna


It seems standard fair too have the blood tests, the mri , and the nerve conduction testing, I had them all and many others have too to discount other illness's to arrive at where we are saying they are normal and a diagnosis we receive, the dat scan is the next tool to aid that diagnosis, 30% don't have a tremor.

​Would you still have Questions in your mind un-answered if you don't have a dat scan? the scan itself is quite a simple affair a simple injection of an isotope, some waiting around away from pregnant mothers, and the scan not the same as a noisy MRI, I fell asleep during mine almost, the result will show the dopamine uptake into the brain, a lack of dopamine is what we suffer from and the result will be normal or abnormal.


I Saw mine briefly too Ali it looked abnormal to the eye and that was enough for me as well.

But as I am already taking the Meds won't it impact the scan results? As I read on one site that it can improve the part of the brain affected and make the scan look normal??? Thanks for your replies just really confused about this, don't know why am so worried about it, think it is because I am in the process of accepting the diagnosis and treatment, what if it is normal? What then? Do I still have PD? X

Hi Chenna,

I don't know about meds affecting the datscan. I phoned the helpline before mine because I had some questions I needed answering about it and they were very patient and helpful. So please don't be hesitant about phoning the helpline, they are very good.

My datscan seemed normal but the movementent disorder specialist hasn't given up on me, my symptoms have been steadily growing worse and there is something clearly wrong so they are going to admit me into hospital for a few days (at some time still to be determined) to see if they can work it out. So try not to panic about results, you won't be cast aside if they are not as expected. 

If your meds are helping your symptoms, then the neurologist must be on the right track. You will find a lot of people will advise worry and stress will make symptoms worse, so try not to worry too much, easier said than done, I know.

All the best