Nuclear medicine procedures are widely used as "in vivo" biomarkers in a large number of brain diseases, especially in the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease (PD) and of parkinsonian disorders (pD). Furthermore, nuclear medicine is used in the differential diagnosis of dementias especially Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementia with Lewy's bodies (LBD) which share many clinical symptoms and often LBD is misdiagnosed as AD. The differential diagnosis between these clinical entities is crucial for treatment since LBD also shares some clinical symptoms with parkinsonian disorders. We reviewed the most relevant papers that study the usefulness of both iodine-123-ioflupane studied by single photon emission tomography (123I-ioflupane SPET) and of 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine (123I-MIBG) cardiac scintigraphy in the diagnosis of PD and pD and in the differential diagnosis between AD and LBD in order to contribute to the clinical practice of the diseases.
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