Imaging agent for Parkinsonian Syndromes approved
January 24, 2018
CHALFONT ST. GILES, UK – GE Healthcare announced the approval in Canada of DaTscan (Ioflupane I 123 Injection), the first Health Canada approved radiopharmaceutical adjunct imaging agent to help physicians evaluate patients with a suspected parkinsonian syndrome (PS) such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), multiple system atrophy (MSA) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP).
DaTscan is unable to discriminate between PD, MSA and PSP. Timely diagnosis can be instrumental in making the most of advances in therapeutic options that can help manage the disease’s progression.
PD is a neurodegenerative disease that today affects an estimated 100,000 people in Canada and more than five million people worldwide. It causes a progressive loss of dopamine in the brain, which can cause symptoms that include, among others, resting tremor, slowness of movement, stiffness or rigidity of muscles, difficulty with balance and walking, difficulty with fine motor movements.
Doctors primarily rely on clinical assessments to diagnose PD. However, clinical assessments, particularly early in the disease, can be inconclusive and may result in misdiagnosis. DaTscan, when used as an adjunct to clinical assessment, can help physicians differentiate parkinsonian syndromes from essential tremor (ET), that may present with similar clinical symptoms. While the symptoms are similar, treatment and prognosis differ. Having another diagnostic tool for uncertain or challenging cases may help lead to a more timely and appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
“The timely and accurate diagnosis of PD is the first step toward optimal patient management and treatment,” said Marco Campione (pictured), core imaging general manager of Americas at GE Healthcare. “We are glad to bring to physicians in Canada an additional tool that can help them address the challenges of PD diagnosis, and help patients get an earlier diagnosis.”
DaTscan is a radioactive drug that is injected into the bloodstream to image a specific area of the brain (the striatum) using a SPECT camera. For an adult with a suspected PS, a doctor may decide to conduct SPECT imaging using DaTscan to aid in establishing a diagnosis between PS and ET. PS include, but are not limited to, PD, MSA, and PSP. DaTscan was not designed to differentiate among different forms of PS. DaTscan will be commercially available in Canada in early 2018.
About GE Healthcare
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