I was advised yesterday that my DATSCAN has been booked at Charing Cross Hospital the day after Boxing Day. All I have to hope for now is that the weather holds up.

Not looking forward to it because I have been needle phobic all my life, but I feel that this man needs to deal with this mouse to get this done. Last year I persuaded myself to let the nurse in our GP's practice take a blood sample, and I lived through it. And I'm quite happy for the dentist to jab me in the mouth, so I'm probably the reverse of most people.

However I have a question. The covering letter makes no mention of me leaving out my Senimet before/during the scan, so it's business as normal for medication. I have some Potassium Iodide tablets - 2x day before, 2x on the day, 2x the next day.

Given the fact that the DATSCAN is going to be looking at the quantity of dopamine flowing upstairs, wouldn't it be expected that they'd want to remove stuff which is helping to generate dopamine?

Can't wait to get this over so I can stop fretting about it.
datscan is a radioactive chemical that binds to the neuron not dopamine, so it measures the number if active dopamine transporters not the amount of dopamine
Hi KazMax,

I did my DaTSCAN last year and have no special negative memories of the needles part (and I'm no needle fan either).

In what regards your question on meds interactions, you may want to look at the following link, which provides an interesting overview of DatScan: http://www.datscan.cz/files/firemni/003009_low_res.pdf

As you'll see, page 17 says (after INTERACTIONS): "Drugs shown during clinical trials not to interfere with DaTSCAN imaging include amantadine, trihexyphenidyl, budipine, levodopa, metoprolol, primidone, propranolol and selegiline. Dopamine agonists and antagonists acting on the postsynaptic dopamine receptors are not expected to interfere with DaTSCAN imaging and can therefore be
continued if desired."... which is consistent with turnip's explanation.

I guess you should, of course, tell the doctors that do the scan about your meds... and if you prefer to play it safe anyway, maybe still worth calling them in advance and just ask their views.


Hi Parkies,
My DAT scan report said,
" His DAT scan was abnormal."
I later asked the neuro to enlarge on this and explain the detail in the report and he avoided my question and changed the subject.
So, what DAT mean?
Hi Arsene,

The following link shows a presentation on DatScans with a bunch of medical perspectives on it: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AdvisoryCommittees/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/Drugs/PeripheralandCentralNervousSystemDrugsAdvisoryCommittee/UCM186404.pdf

My understanding of it (as a non-medically trained person) is as follows: A DaTscan shows the dopamine activity in the areas of the brain that matter for PD. When a DaTscan shows a low dopamine activity, doctors will take that as indication that you have PD (or one of the other medical conditions that may also result in the low dopamine activity).

I don't know if saying that a DaTscan is "abnormal" means that there is a lower-than-normal level of dopamine activity (which would be "normal" for someone with PD) or if it means something else. DaTscans produce results in the form of pictures with zones that are brighter than others (the ones showing the activity) and the doctor that runs them has to interpret what they really mean based on his/her experience and by looking at the differences between the right/left parts of the brain. One could easily speculate that perhaps there are a number of scans which they just can't tell much visually. I wouldn't be surprised if they called that "abnormal".

If you want to know for sure, consider asking a written report of your DaTscan results. Mine used very factual wording ("lower level of activing in the left putamen") and nothing like "normal" or "abnormal".

Hope this helps and warm regards,

Thank you for your reply.
I will follow the link you gave to further my knowledge!