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MRI results--Is it Lyme Disease?

My husband got the MRI report today: mild small vessel ischemic change with no evidence of acute infarct. Volume loss in the right temporal lobe likely representing encephalomalcia. There is mild diffuse volume loss with associated mild ventricular prominence. There is more focal prominent volume loss in the right temporal lobe with prominence of the extra-axial space and ex bacuo dilatation of the right temporal horn. There are a few scattered small foci of T2 hyperintensity in the white matter bilaterally, most likely representing mild small vessel ischemic change. There is no mass lesion, midline shift, acute infarct or intracranial hemmorrhage.

Could Lyme Disease cause this? He had the Western Blot blood test done and it came back negative. Do you think it's dementia or Alzheimer's Disease?

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Avatar universal
Welcome to medHelp!

I cannot answer you questions as I am not a doctor.  What did the doctor say about the report?  Has your husband had a full work-up to rule in or out other diseases?

There are many symptoms and problems caused by lyme, including neurological issues but I think it would take a physician to determine whether his problems are related to lyme or something else.

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428506 tn?1296557399
To clarify:  It is accepted that late-stage syphillis can cause dimentia.  MacDonald hypothesizes that Lyme can do the same.

His website looks crazy--it is very, very busy, just be warned.

"Under Our Skin" is starting to be shown in some independent theaters.  I think a pre-release copy is still available for sale through their site.  The possible link to Alzheimer's is not the main topic of the documentary, but it is discussed with MacDonald.

Does your husband now, or has he ever, had a diagnosis of Lyme?  Does he have symptoms other than his memory problems that make you suspect Lyme?  While there is a possible link between long standing infection and dimentia, there may be more conventional avenues to pursue if he doesn't show other signs of Lyme.

Take care.
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Avatar universal
My husband's report does have an impression section but it doesn't mention Lyme, even though we live in an endemic area. It mentions encephalomalacia. On the second page, which I overlooked last night (duh!), has an indication section. It reads: dementia, memory loss.
Just for clarification, are you saying that syphilis or Lyme could cause a late stage dementia 40 years after infection?
I will look up alan MacDonald's website and I will find a way to watch "Under Our Skin". Thanks for your help!
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428506 tn?1296557399
Usually, the MRI report includes an "impression" section which includes the etiologies the radiologist considers possible for the reported abnormalities.  Does your husband's report include an impressions section?  Is Lyme mentioned?

I had an abnormal brain MRI with white matter lesions, and Lyme was listed among the etiologies (which also included MS, migraines, vascular problems ...).  However, I do live in an endemic area, I can't be sure if my MRI would be read the same way by a radiologist from a non-endemic area.

There is a researcher named Alan MacDonald who hypothesized that Lyme like late stage syphilis could cause a late stage dementia 40 years after infection.  (He's featured in the Lyme documentary "Under Our Skin.")  If you are interested in the possible connection between Alzheimer's and Lyme, you may want to start by looking up his website (if you haven't already).

My best to you and your husband.
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Avatar universal
Perhaps someone else can comment, but have you seen a Lyme specialist (LLMD) for evaluation?  So sorry to hear of your husband's illness.
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