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PET Scans May Help Diagnose Movement Disorders
Date:1/12/2010

Can brain scans help diagnosis Parkinson’s disease at the onset of symptoms? One clever way to know for sure is to take snapshots of the brain at the time of the first symptoms of tremor or rigidity, and follow the patients over the years to see whether the diagnosis was correct. About 10 to 20 percent of patients initially thought to have Parkinson’s suffer from another movement disorder.

Manhasset, NY (Vocus) January 12, 2010 -- Can brain scans help diagnosis Parkinson’s disease at the onset of symptoms? One clever way to know for sure is to take snapshots of the brain at the time of the first symptoms of tremor or rigidity, and follow the patients over the years to see whether the diagnosis was correct. About 10 to 20 percent of patients initially thought to have Parkinson’s suffer from another movement disorder.

“This is a big problem for physicians,” said David Eidelberg, MD, head of the Center for Neurosciences at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, NY. “The treatments for Parkinson’s will not work for these patients and they can cause their own side effects.”

Dr. Eidelberg and his colleagues have used brain scans to identify the networks involved with three different neurological conditions – Parkinson’s, multiple system atrophy (MSA) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). They designed a study to follow 167 patients over three years to figure out whether the initial brain scan could be used to accurately predict the cause of the symptoms. This information is critical in making treatment decisions.

The researchers calculated the odds of having each of the three diseases based on the findings from fluoro-deoxy-glucos
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