Dat scan

Hi, my husband was diagnosed in 2017. He’s 69 and been retired for a year. He’s coping quite well considering. Unfortunately my son was diagnosed last year aged 43 and his symptoms are quite aggressive. The deterioration has been very quick. He is stubborn which doesn’t help but I am curious about the dat scan. His neurologist said it was a waste of time. Continually increases his medication (sinemet) with no improvement. In addition he’s in a toxic work environment with a management team who show little regard for health and I believe this is exacerbating his symptoms. I am really concerned as I don’t believe he is on the right path. I do think the dat scan would help identify the type of Parkinson’s and assist in the prescription? Or am I being too hopeful? Thank you :blush:

Good morning LuWil … I had a DATscan about 6 months ago. The scan was positive, showing a lack of Dopamine in my brain. The positive scan showed that I had one of the many “Parkinson’s”.

Sadly the positive scan can not tell me which Parkinson’s I have or what treatment would work. It is one of many diagnostic tools that your Neurologist uses.

Hope the above helps.
Best wishes


If there is no reaction to Levodopa then it is likely that he has Atypical Parkinson’s. The various conditions that are included in Atypical Parkinson’s (or Parkinson’s +) can be more aggressive. This might help: What are Parkinson-Plus Syndromes? | Cambridge Centre for Parkinson-Plus

Thank you Steve. All the best L

That’s helpful, thank you :blush:

Hi LuWil,

Yes Datscans are definitely useful in diagnosing PD, however they are not always correct and you do get positive and negative results that are incorrect.
Your neuro should have a much better analysis.
It may also be advisable to get a second opinion, if you have doubts about the neuro you are seeing.
But please not a GP they are great for your standard infections etc, but really know very little about things like PD MS etc.

All a DAT scan does is identify whether there are reduced dopamine producing cells in the basal ganglia in the brain. They are most useful when trying to rule out disorders such as essential tremor from early parkinsonism. Parkinsonism and Parkinson’s disease are a clinical diagnosis based on certain characteristics which presumably your husband has. A DAT scan won’t add anything new in this situation I’m afraid.

You sounds like you are both having a difficlut time at the moment. I hope your husband finds a dose of drugs that works for him and that everything settles.