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GE's DaTscan can distinguish
PS from essential tremor

Health Canada approves GE's DaTscan SPECT agent

by Lauren Dubinsky , Senior Reporter
Health Canada recently approved its first SPECT imaging agent for the evaluation of patients with suspected Parkinsonian syndrome.

GE Healthcare's DaTscan Ioflupane I 123 Injection is indicated to diagnose Parkinson's disease, multiple system atrophy and progressive supranuclear palsy, but it's not able to distinguish each condition.

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"We are glad to bring to physicians in Canada an additional tool that can help them address the challenges of [Parkinson's disease] diagnosis," Marco Campione, core imaging general manager, Americas at GE Healthcare, told HCB News. "We have received positive feedback and excitement from the nuclear medicine and neurology community so far."

The Parkinson's Foundation estimates that over 10 million people globally are living with Parkinson's. Canadians account for more than 100,000 of those cases, according to UCB Canada Inc.

The standard method for diagnosing the disease is a clinical assessment. But those can be inconclusive, especially at an early stage, and have the potential to lead to misdiagnoses.

DaTscan, in conjunction with the clinical assessment, can help physicians differentiate Parkinsonian syndromes from essential tremor. The conditions present with similar symptoms, but treatment and prognosis differ.

The DaTscan agent is injected into the patient's bloodstream before the SPECT image. A specific area of the brain called the striatum is evaluated for signs of the conditions.

The agent will be commercially available in Canada early this year.

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