Originally Posted by Dianna_Wood
No, DAT scans do not quantify Parkinson's disease. It would confirm the Movement Disorder's suggestion that there is dopamine loss. Several other problems also cause loss of Dopamine pproducing neurons. Dopa responsive dystonia, Mulriple system atrophey, and brain damage from a hard hit to the back of the head. Possibly even envirenmental exposure to a toxin. Parkinson's disease is basically a set of symptoms noticed by a Dr. James Parkinson. Any disease or brain dysfunction that causes death of Dopamine neurons is classified under the name of Parkinson's disease.
Wow! Kudos Dianna for telling it like it is; the only thing we likely have in common is brain trauma resulting in selective loss of neurons. I too think it merits talking further to your neurologist; there are so many genetic disorders that look like PD that might be causing your symptoms.
I do want to say that needing to increase your meds more quickly is not necessarily a sign of rapid progression. I never had than 3 hours of relief with Sinemet and/or agonist, so the whole honeymoon thing is iffy at best. We build up a tolerance to the drugs; some more quickly than others.
Finally, another reason that you may get less than optimal control may b e because we lose more types of neurotransmitters than just dopamine. Current research indicates that loss of noradrenalin (norepinephrine) may actually be more responsible for our symptoms than dopamine. Crazy!? it seems but would explain the growing number of young onset people I encounter who end up with normal DAT scans but still have levodopa response to their symptoms. It is maddening how we have all this technology and we still have no real scientific measure of anything.
Facing Up to the ‘New Face’ of Parkinson’s Disease