Should I Get a Datscan?

Dear Dr. Rodgers, I have just listened to your radio programs like 5 of them. Got your large book…halfway through.

You are my hero. I am totally alternative…never really do meds. pills, drugs unless I am very sick, which is rarely.

Have in the last year developed symptoms like right hand tremor…lower jaw tremor…stiffness in knees…balance issues and the odd thing called ‘frozen’. So went to a neurologist and said it was essential tremors. Then for a 2nd opinion, I went to the head of the Movement Disorder Dept at Cedars Sinai here in Los Angeles. He said he suspected PD however, to make sure, he wants me to take the DaTscan test with radioactive iodine iv…

So…my question…after listening to you…do I take the test, or just continue learning about the symptoms, and work with all these modalities, including a consult with you… to become symptom free? The test is in 2 weeks. I have to cancel like in a day or two. I’m sure the doc will want me to go on those dopa meds. I’d be a dopa to take them honestly, which to me are a nightmare. What you say resonates with me as the TRUTH!! So do I need the test?

Thank you, and blessings…Marsha 

Hi Marsha:

Thanks for the kind words about the work I do through Parkinsons Recovery. They certainly made my day!

I have two reactions for you to consider. First, when it comes to making decisions like having medical diagnostic tests or taking prescription medications, I believe you and only you can make this determination. It doesn’t matter what I or anyone else thinks or might advise. Why do I say this? The most important factor in the recovery process is to take full control over every decision you make. What does your own intuition tell you?

Second, I suggest you may have asked the wrong question. I believe the issue sorts on a choice. Do you want to suppress the symptoms through medications (whether they are prescription medications or herbs), do you want to find the cause of the symptoms and treat the cause, or do you want to pursue  both strategies? If you decide to take the prescription medications, you will have to tie up with a neurologist or other medical doctor who will need to do a diagnosis. That is the reason for the test that is suggested. Doctors cannot prescribe medications until they have a diagnosis. Some prefer to require a number of tests to confirm the diagnosis. Keep in mind that in the end, any diagnosis is the opinion of one person, so many people like to get second and third opinions – which has been your strategy too!

Robert Rodgers PhD
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease


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