Diagnosing Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders
Accuracy and efficiency are our top priorities when diagnosing movement disorders. Whenever possible, our physicians coordinate testing in a one-day outpatient visit.
At the first appointment, our specialists administer thorough testing procedures that may include a comprehensive assessment of your:
- Medical history
- Physical exam
- Neurological exam
- Imaging tests (as needed)
- Genetic tests (as needed)
- Lifestyle and behaviors
- Family history of movement disorders
It can be difficult to pinpoint a diagnosis among the many types of movement disorders. For example, several disorders have symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease, but may require different treatment.
Our team is proficient in the use of DaTscan imaging to help accurately diagnose movement disorders. DaTscan is a molecular imaging method that helps physicians detect levels of the protein in the brain that transports dopamine to cells. DaTscan requires the use of a radiotracer chemical with single-photon emission computer tomography (SPECT) to create a detailed, clear image highlighting activity of the dopamine transporter protein in parts of the brain. This imaging technique also allows physicians to understand the density of dopamine in the brain and the how much neurodegeneration has occurred.
Following evaluation and testing, our physician team collectively reviews results and determines the diagnosis. In some cases, we may observe a patient’s response to medication in order to confirm the diagnosis.