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I can't seem to remember things and sometimes forget where I am.
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by attheendofmyrope, Mar 31, 2006
I am a 45 year old female with a previous diagnosis of fibromyalgia, migraines, arthritis, vertigo, hot spots, and IBS along with several other things that go along with fibromyalgia. I also have very hyper reflexis. I have had them since I was young, but they seem to be getting stronger. I am now having problems with my short term memory, confusion and feeling dizzy. It has happened a few times that while riding in the car or driving the car I become disoriented and don't know where I am. Normally it doesn't last long, but once it lasted about 30 minutes and I was driving alone.

On a MRI I recently had done (with and without contrast) they found a questionable area, 2mm in size, of increased signaling in the subcortical white matter of the anterior right parietal lobe. They said it was best seen on FLAIR images. What is a FLAIR image?

I would like to know what this means. Does it mean there is a mass/tumor or a blood clot? They plan on redoing the MRI in 3 months, but that doesn't help me in the mean time.

The report says that the finding is nonspecific in nature and can be seen with small vessel ischemic changes; changes from hypertension, diabetes, demyelinating process as well as others. I know I do not suffer from either diabetes or hypertension and my cholesterol has just been checked and the good and bad are all in the prefered range, although they could still be improved.

Can you give me any idea what they are talking about here? I am not overly concerned, I would just like an idea of what this means. Thanks! <'o'>  

Answer:
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by CCF-Neuro-M.D.-PW, Apr 08, 2006
A FLAIR image is a specific type of MRI image (there are different ways of showing the MRI images that show different things better). A FLAIR image is good at showing abnormalities within brain tissue - which show up as brght spots. FLAIR imaging is now included in most routine MRI scans. In the FLAIR image the bright signal of the cerebrospinal fluid is 'subtracted' out from the image so you can see other bright signals more easily

However, a few bright spots in the white matter are quite common in the asymptomatic general population, particularly as we get older. The most common causes are hardening of the arteries, and migraine. Much more rarely they can be caused by inflammation such as demyelinating disorders or vasculitis. Demyelinating spots usually have a charactgeristic appearance which allow differentiation from the usual 'bright spot'
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Member Comments (24)
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by heart2heart, Mar 31, 2006
Ah....small vessel disease. I had a finding like that on one of my MRI's too. Doc said people with migraines have findings like that..or it could be from hypertension or diabetes. In small vessel disease the tiny arteries in the brain close off. Don't worry unless you have a lot of them. However your memory loss and fog is so typical for fibro...plus it may also be a feature of migraines.  I have both and my fog gets really baaaad. Welcome to Fibroland.
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by Dee28, Apr 01, 2006
I had the exact same symptoms 2 yrs ago, only I drove for close to 2 yrs, only I was aware, but had no idea where I was going & was driving on & off the road and almost hitting trucks, etc.  I was diagnosed with having complex partial siezures and have been being treated since. However, I was diagnosed by Janet Travell with Fibromyalgia in '87 and have been well aware of all the symptoms that go along with this lovely illness.  Close to 1 1/2 yrs ago, I was told I have an airway blockage and the reason for my daytime "fog" is becaue I am struggling to receive oxygen to my brain because I was lacking sleep throughout the night - I would fall asleep & then 2 hrs later, wake up. I can fall back asleep, but wake up again n 2 hrs, sometimes very thristy.  All signs that my airway was blocked and my body woke me up because I quit breathing.  Fibromyaglgia patients, as we are all well aware, need our sleep, and without sleep for a few days, tend to drift during the day by going into a fog.  Due to the airway blockage, this is why our muscles spasm so severely in our neck, shoulders, etc - struggling during the night for the air - this is my story & I wear an appliance all day & during the night to pull my tongue away from my throat to clear my throat so I can breath without obtrusion.  I go back to my saviour in May for a new appliance because I am drifting again & I am in pain - I know when it is time.  That is my story - it may not be the same, but if you wake up after a few hours of sleep, etc. It is something to look at
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by Citizen T, Apr 01, 2006
I'm not trying to sound "confrontational", but why is it that you think almost everyone with unexplained neuro symptoms has Lyme?  You respond in many many postings with this same fear-mongering rhetoric.  There is unwarranted hype on the web that the ELISA Lyme titer is highly innacurate.  This is untrue.  It it simply more likely to be a false positive, NOT a false negative.  Imagine if you are running through a field with a butterfly net.  The ELISA Lyme titer is a very wide net, and you may catch things other than butterflies.  The Westerblot simply is a more expensive, narrow net to detect Lyme antibodies.    Good luck to you all
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by Citizen T, Apr 01, 2006
The ELISA test detects ANTIBODIES, not Lyme its self.  Your body takes a few weeks to develop anti-bodies to Lyme disease, and similar to HIV anti-body test, it can and will be detected in the high 90 percentile range after several weeks of being infected.   But ELISA can also detect other non-Lyme anti bodies, and the WB, a more expensive test narrows it down if there is a positive.
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by malden, Apr 02, 2006
are your memory problems constant, i.e always apparent,or waxing and waning? The reason I ask is because i too have had memory problems since Jan but mine has remained constant and I feel as if I have a permanent deficit. Along with the memory problems I have also found my speed of thinking and information proccessing to be quite reduced. Symptoms also appear worse when I am tired. I have other neurological symptoms but the memory problem is the most alarming as I am 34. I keep thinking that if I am getting this at 34 what will I be like at age 50 or 60. My dad is 73 (i am the last of 4 children) and in superb health physically and mentally (mum also and she is 68). I am awaiting the result of a CT scan and detailed blood testing. Will keep updates of my situation on this forum.
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by attheendofmyrope, Apr 04, 2006
My memory lapses are fairly often, but not constant. I can deal with most as they last short periods or I can sometimes talk myself through them by repeating something I should know. However, it is when they last for an extended period of time and nothing I do seems to help bring me back. I do have problems sleeping. I either wake up a lot just because or sometimes I have dreams that I talk myself awake in. Often I can't tell my dreams from reality which is very uncomfortable also as I don't know the real life from the dreams and vise versa.

I do feel, at many times, like I am not getting enough air to my brain. I feel like I am going to pass out or at least fall down, but I just keep talking to myself hoping I can keep it from happening. Most times it works if I can sit down or find a place where I can lean against something for support. Mostly I am just very scared.

As for the fibromyalgia, I have been dealing with this for many years and am used to the fog that goes along with it. THIS HOWEVER, IS NOT THE NORMAL FOG. I am affraid this is going to cost me my job or even my life if it happens at the wrong time or in the wrong place.
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by graham, Apr 05, 2006
Hi, sorry you seem to have been having such a hard time.

I can't say I know what your problems is, there may be a few, but one thing I would definitely have checked is your vitamin b12 level.

It can cause many of the symptoms you mention, from fatigue to dizziness and poor memory. I had them all, and neurological symptoms, before they discovered I was b12 deficient. It is also very common to have stomach/bowel problems, as both you and I have, which can be the cause of the deficiency

Definitely get this checked, and even if you are not deficient, if you are near the low end of the scale, make sure they do other tests to either identify it, or dismiss it.

You wouldn't believe how many people with b12 deficiency go undetected, like me, until they end up with so many problems.

Good luck
Graham