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Ischemic
My 60 year old brother has had an MRI scan which showed "cronic extensive ischemic damage bilaterally".  What does this mean please?  Has he had a stroke or strokes?  He has weakness down his left side and frequently falls over as he leg and foot lose feeling.  He is a smoker and has had a very bad diet.  He also has kidney/bladder stones and frequently bleeds when passing urine.  Any help with clarifying what all of this means would be greatly appreciated.

Regards

Aileen
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You are going to have to specifically ask the doctor what this means, Keep asking until the answer is in layman terms. That may take 15-20 minutes and dozens of questions but the doctor is working for you so keep asking until you are satisfied. Also ask what functionality was damaged by this. He/she should be able to map the damage to a 3d representation of the brain and descibe the motor and sensory homunculus maps affected. Keep asking questions, they will say they don't know, but ask them why they don't know. You may hear the statement, 'All strokes are different, all stroke recoveries are different', challenge that statement and ask for research to back it up.
Dean
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I very much appreciate your taking the time to advise me.  Unfortunately, my brother lives a long way away from me and so I am not able to ask his doctor any questions.  My brother can't seem to understand what little information he is given, so I guess that the part of the brain responsible for memory and cognitive function has been damaged.  I spoke by phone to a help line and was told that my brother is in a bad way.  Your information has been the most helpful I have been able to access, so, thanks again.
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Aileen
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