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Stroke

Moderate to severe periventricular white matt

10/31/2007

Question:

MODERATE TO SEVERE PERIVENTRICULAR WHITE MATTER, SMALL VESSEL ISCHEMIC CHANGES IS SYMMETRIC.....JUST WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? MRI WAS DONE ON MY MOTHER -BEACUSE OF MEMORY LOSS AND FAMILY HISTORY OF DEMENTIA- NOT SURE WHAT THIS MEANS CAN YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN? or tell me where to look for additional information? THANK YOU.

Answer:

White matter changes is a common finding in elderly patients with hypertension. It is mainly secondary to small vessel disease from chronic hypertension. If severe enough, it can be associated with dementia. The main treatment is control of hypertension. Aspirin, once daily, is sometimes recommended especially if the patient experienced symptoms of stroke. It is always advisable to also asses for other risk factors like diabetes and high cholesterol. Other risk factors modifications include: low fat diet, exercise, weight loss, hydration, healthy diet (vegetable and fruits), sleep hygiene, and cessation of smoking.

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Response by:

Yousef  Mohammad, MD, MSc Yousef Mohammad, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor
Director, Stroke Fellowship Program
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University