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foci

I had an MRI and the results were and I did not get a straight answer from the Neurologist.  There are multiple tiny scattered FLAIR/T2 signal in subcortical white matter of both hemispheres; the largest is in the right frontal lobe and measures 5mm.

What does this all mean?  Is this a serious matter I should look into or is it normal for a 58 year old going on 59 this coming April?

Denise


This discussion is related to Multiple Small Foci in the Subcortical White Matter.
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Hi Denise,

In general, brain cells cannot be regenerated. (though recent studies indicate some amount of regeneration possible) So, whenever some cells are destroyed, fibrosis-like changes take place, known as gliosis. This is commonly due to ischemia in areas supplied by small blood vessels. These areas of gliosis show up as diffuse foci of subcortical white matter changes. Ischemia is common in old age, persons with diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, smokers. A person with these risk factors is also predisposed to stroke, but there is no connection between these changes and stroke. These changes have not yet been related to any other disease.

As far as your case is concerned, it is more important to know why you went for an MRI. The changes that were found in your MRI are non-specific at your age. But you need to be careful, stop smoking, reduce cholesterol and get treated for diabetes and hypertension, if you have these issues. Other than that, there is no specific treatment, (though some doctors prescribe blood thinners- efficacy not proven) except that you follow a healthy lifestyle.

Do keep me posted and get back with any other queries that you have.

Regards
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