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Hattiesburg Clinic pioneers new diagnostic scanning procedure

HATTIESBURG — Hattiesburg Clinic Neurology is the first in Mississippi to perform the recently FDA-approved DaTscan test, which helps physicians differentiate between essential tremor and parkinsonian syndromes, according to the clinic.

After the FDA approved DaTscan in May 2011, Hattiesburg Clinic Neurology performed the diagnostic imaging modality just two months later. On July 14, Wendell R. Helveston, M.D., and Ronald L. Schwartz, M.D., CPI, ordered the first DaTscans in Mississippi. Since this initial step, the clinic has successfully performed over 100 DaTscan tests.

“The test is a significant step forward in physician’s abilities to effectively diagnose and provide treatment to their patient with these symptoms,” Helveston said. “Currently, we diagnose these disorders based on clinical examinations, MRI and neuropsychological evaluations, but lacked a method that was specific and sensitive in the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. This differentiation is paramount because the various disorders are treated differently.”

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