University of Jersey Shore Medical Center Adds Cutting-Edge Technology to Detect Movement Disorders


Newswise – Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center Neuroscience Institute recently added a new state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging system to its nuclear medicine program. GE Healthcare’s DaTscantm camera is one of the most advanced diagnostic imaging technologies available, using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) to visualize dopamine transporter levels in the brain. It allows clinicians to visualize the brain with exceptional clarity while using a low dose of radiation.

“In Parkinson’s disease, there is a constant loss of dopamine transporters in the brain. Dopamine transporters (DaT) mediate the flow of the neurotransmitter dopamine between nerve cells,” said Alan Colicchio, MD, chair of neurology, Jersey Shore University Medical Center and medical director, Neuroscience Care Transformation Service, Hackensack Meridian Health, South Market. “Loss of DaT disrupts the communication between nerve cells and the transport of information from the brain to the muscles causing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.”

“DaTscan allows us to understand dopamine metabolism deep in the brain, which can help diagnose certain neurological diseases,” said Shabbar F. Danish, MD, FAANS, chair of neurosurgery, Jersey Shore University Medical Center. “It’s a great tool for our clinicians and a game-changer for the care of our patients.”

Dr. Danish directs the Surgical Movement Disorders Program at the University Medical Center. Movement disorders refer to a group of neurological disorders that cause abnormal, increased, or reduced body movements that are usually involuntary. Three of the main disorders are Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and dystonia. The program’s multidisciplinary team of experts, including neurologists, nurse practitioners, neuropsychologists, and neurorehabilitation specialists, offers a range of medical and surgical treatments to specifically treat and manage movement disorders. They include complex medical management, botulinum therapy, deep brain stimulation (DBS), MRI-guided laser therapy, physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy, and nutritional counseling.

“This is a great example of how we are arming all of our clinical specialists with the tools and resources they need to provide our patients with the best care and treatment,” said Vito Buccellato, MPA, LNHA, president and director. General Hospital, Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

The Neuroscience Institute offers patients a full range of services for spinal injuries, concussions, epilepsy, MS, ALS, brain tumors, memory, etc., as well as the only center area stroke relief. Jersey Shore University Medical Center has been recognized by Health levels as one of America’s Top 100 Hospitals for Stroke Care and with Excellence in Neuroscience Awards in 2020, 2021, and 2022 as well as the new Excellence in Cranial Neurosurgery Award in 2022.

“We continue to expand our Neuroscience Institute with new patient services, cutting-edge technology and highly skilled clinicians, as well as finalize construction of a new centralized and highly accessible patient location in Jersey Shore for many of our neuroscience services,” said Kenneth N. Sable, MD, MBA, FACEP, Regional President, Southern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health.

To make an appointment with specialists in the Movement Disorders Program at Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s HOPE Tower, 19 Davis Ave., Neptune, NJ, call 732-974-0003. For more information, visit


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