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Stroke

MRI results

02/13/2006

Question:

I am a 39 yr old male, I suffered a fractured skull at the age of three. Recently I had been experiencing problems with symptoms of Vertigo and short memory lapses along with day dreaming. I had an MRI and it showed focal abnormalties consistent with white matter ischemic change. In one part of the report it used the word few and another part it used the word several. My PCP said the results were nothing to worry about, and start taking an Aspirin a day if things did not take care of themselves then he would refer me to a specialist. My symtoms of Vertigo have pretty much gone and my memory lapses and day dreaming has improved much. Are these ischemic changes something that would cause the short memory loss and day dreaming, should I be concerned about them, and should I see a neuroligist who could look at the MRI images?

Answer:

It is not likely that the white matter changes (commonly referred to as ischemic changes) were in any way related to the symptoms you experienced.  In general, I suspect that your physician is correct and that you should not worry about the results. 

However, only physicians who can take a detailed history and do a detailed exam can make a final determination as to the importance of the MRI findings.  It would not be unreasonable to see a neurologist if you are concerned.

I have previously answered many questions about MRI "white matter changes", also called "ischemic changes", "periventricular white matter disease", etc.  Please refer to these previously answered questions if you would like to read more about these MRI findings. 

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Response by:

Brett   Kissela, MD Brett Kissela, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Director, Neurology Residency Program
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati