Role of dopamine transporter imaging in the diagnosis of atypical tremor disorders

Mov Disord. 2003 Oct;18 Suppl 7:S22-7. doi: 10.1002/mds.10574.


Dopamine transporter (DAT) imaging detects presynaptic dopamine neuronal dysfunction and thereby assists differentiation of conditions with and without dopamine deficit. In atypical tremor disorders, DAT imaging can differentiate between Parkinson's disease (PD), where dopamine deficit is demonstrated on DAT imaging, and essential tremor, where no dopamine deficit is found. DAT imaging may be particularly informative in monosymptomatic rest tremors, benign tremulous Parkinson's syndrome, and in the elderly in whom essential tremor may be accompanied by pseudoparkinsonism.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Caudate Nucleus / diagnostic imaging
  • Corpus Striatum / diagnostic imaging
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Dopamine / analysis*
  • Essential Tremor / diagnostic imaging*
  • Essential Tremor / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Pathways / diagnostic imaging
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Putamen / diagnostic imaging
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spinocerebellar Degenerations / diagnostic imaging
  • Substantia Nigra / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*


  • Dopamine