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Alzheimer's Disease

What is Ischemic White Matter Disease?

01/30/2008

Question:

I had a MRI and the results were "mimimal ischemic white matter disease". Does this put me at a future risk of Alzheimer`s dimentia or stroke?

Answer:

Ischemic white matter disease refers to small blood vessels in the brain that are clogging up a bit. This is usually not a serious condition unless the amount of small vessel disease gets to a moderate or severe degree. It is often caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or smoking. It is more common to be seen the older you get. It may indicate a higher risk for strokes but if it is just minimal, this may not be a significant finding. It is not associated with Alzheimer's disease although individuals with stroke risk factors as listed above do have a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Related Resources:

What Does Small Vessel Ischemic Disease Mean on My MRI?

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Response by:

Douglas W Scharre, MD Douglas W Scharre, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology
Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University