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Stroke

Subcortical white matter for age

11/28/2007

Question:

I had an MRI to see what might be causing my severe headaches. The MRI incl Multiplanar, multisequense MRI of the brain, without and with gadolinium. I have a family histiory of alzheimers (Maternal grandmother). I am concerned if there is any signs of alzheimers and also what does the results mean - Results on MRI - Multiple foci of T2 and FLAIR signal change within the perventricular, depp and subcortical white matter is nonspecific, but suggests mild to moderate for age microangiopathic change. I am a 45 year old female. Any assistance you can provide to help me understand what these results mean would be greatly appreciated. My family dr precribed me blood pressures med (my BP was 136/80) and Topamaz for the migranes - but I am uneasy about the MRI results statement "mild to moderate for age - What is mild to moderate? Strokes, Seizures, Alzheimers - Please help. Thank you!

Answer:

To answer your first question, there are no changes that can be seen on a MRI scan that are diagnostic of Alzheimer's disease or dementia in general. The only change, which is not diagnostic, would be atrophy and this was not commented upon.

Regarding "microangiopathic change," this is another term for white matter disease. I have already written extensively about white matter disease in the answers to previous questions and would refer you to these for more information.

For more information:

Go to the Stroke health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Brett   Kissela, MD Brett Kissela, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Director, Neurology Residency Program
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati