Dopamine Scan: Good grief......I'm under a... - Anxiety Support

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Dopamine Scan


Good grief......I'm under a neurologist for chronic daily migraine (diagnosed 2 months ago) and following my latest Neuro. exam, my Consultant has decided to schedule a SPECT DAT scan to measure dopamine levels in the brain.

Now I must admit that my anxiety is REALLY high over this one. I've had a lot of tests in the last 12 months and a couple of new diagnosis (one cardio, one neuro). I really was expecting to find that all would be clear with those but am now thinking - what if this throws up something too?

This scan is very expensive - about £2,500 if undertaken privately (mine is being done via the NHS). As I understand it from my research, it's primarily to help diagnose Parkinson's disease. I'm probably reading a lot into this but thinking, why would my Consultant order such an expensive scan unless he had a high suspicion that I might indeed have Parkinson's?

I'm just waiting for my scan date to come through, but I'm in pieces already tbh. I'm only 49, so feel too young for any of this!

5 Replies

Hi Tempestteapot.

I think it is a process of elimination a lot of times with physicians. This test to rule one thing out and another test to rule another thing out. Sometimes expense doesn’t enter their minds I’m sure. Of course with anxiety it is easy to read something big into anything!!! That’s what we do well. Anyway I hope you can try to relax about it. He is probably just being on the safe side. My sister in law went thru every test under the rainbow because of her headaches but she’s fine. Sending you some peace.....

Tempestteapot in reply to Hidden

Thank you so much for your kind and reassuring words, Glendajean. I'm so glad everything turned out ok for your sister in law!☺ xxx

Hidden in reply to Tempestteapot

It will for you too!!!

It seems very unlikely that your doctor is doing this scan to check for Parkinsons, you're far too young for that. He's doing it as part of resolving your chronic daily migraine, checking to see if this scan can throw any light on it. Prepare to hear that they found nothing of any significance.

I wonder if migraines can be caused by anxiety? Ordinary headaches can I'm sure. I never get migraines or headaches but I do get migraine aura/scintilating scotomata, the 25 minute visual disturbance, that precedes an attack for people with migraine. And I know for sure my migraine aura responds to stress and anxiety.

So if migraine aura is anxiety related maybe so is migraine itself. It's only a suggestion.

Ah, Jeff! Thank you so much for your balanced words of wisdom! Yes - aura can show up on it's own and migraine is most definitely triggered by stress! I shall hold onto these thoughts and try not to get into a tizz about it. Thank you!☺ xxx

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