San Marcos Hospital adds new test to diagnose Parkinson’s disease and dementia

SAN MARCOS, TX (KXAN) – CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital San Marcos announced the addition of a new non-invasive imaging modality for diagnosing Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

This is called a dopamine transporter scan (DaTscan). According to a hospital press release, the drug is injected into the bloodstream and used to evaluate dopamine-containing neurons.

“These neurons are involved in the control of movement. The injection of the radioisotope circulates throughout the body, reaching the brain. The nuclear medicine camera is then used to capture images of the patient’s brain. The radiologist will examine these images and determine if Parkinson’s disease or dementia is detected and see if the injection of the radioisotope into the brain can be seen.”

CHRIST Santa Rosa Hospital

According to the hospital, the test goes beyond a routine MRI. While an MRI may appear normal and not confirm the diagnosis, DaTscan can confirm the diagnosis when examined by a neurologist.

“This cutting-edge technology now allows us to offer a new, innovative and non-invasive approach to diagnosis that will be life-changing for our patients,” said Shane Music, director of radiology at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital San Marcos.

Sarah Al Sheikh of KXAN will talk more about this story. You can watch KXAN news at 17:00.

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