In this article, the role of the Dopamine Active Transporter (DAT) scan, and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan along with the role of α-synuclein with regards to Parkinson’s disease will be discussed. Furthermore, their applications and dependence as diagnostic techniques, as well as biomarkers, are also reviewed. In short, DAT-SPECT and PET scans can be used well to differentiate between Parkinson’s and other Parkinsonian syndromes but it takes experts with many years of experience to help with diagnosis. Ɑ-synuclein on the other hand may not serve as a good biomarker but it does have potential in therapeutic treatments. Furthermore, a few common diseases that are most often misdiagnosed with Parkinson’s are also discussed. They include Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. MS deals with the degeneration of the myelin sheath which PSP deals with the build-up of a certain protein in the brain called tau. In both cases, neuronal degeneration occurs, similar to what happens with respect to Parkinson’s. Unfortunately, there is no current cure for Parkinson’s, PSP, or MS. Lastly, this paper also reviews the author's future plans with regard to Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases in general. There is a dire need for biomarkers and/or a concrete diagnostic technique that can detect Parkinson’s earlier such that progression is either delayed or treatment is developed based on this.
Research Paper by Pranav Vijay Kumar
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