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BARC devises quick method to detect Parkinson's and other neurological disorders using radiopharmaceuticals!

The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre has devised a way to detect Parkinson's and similar neurological disorders quickly and at a lower cost. BARC has started producing radiopharmaceuticals which are used as tracers to track several diseases.

Bombay Hospital in collaboration with BARC announced two new scanning procedures, Dopomine Trans-porter System (DaT Scan) and HYNIC TOC Scan that will use indigenously produced tracers. "The scans can detect tumours at an early stage and we can provide targeted treatment to the patient," said Dr BA Krishna, head of the department of nuclear medicine, Bombay Hospital. The cost of the diagnostic tests will be reduced from Rs28,000 to Rs8,000 at the hospital.

In the past three months, nine patients suffering from Parkinson's disease and eight from neuroendocrine cancers have been scanned successfully at Bombay Hospital. "It took us almost two years to develop these products and get clearances. We plan to produce them on a larger scale and make them available to all nuclear medicine departments," said Dr MRA Pillai, head, radiopharmaceuticals division, BARC.

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The patient is given an intravenous injection of the radiopharmaceutical four hours before the scan and the isotope attaches itself to the affected part and this exact position gets reflected in the scan which can help trace the disease at an early stage which is simply not possible with an MRI or CT scan.

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