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Stroke

Periventricular white matter disease

03/13/2007

Question:

Last week I was taken to the hospital with what they thought may be a stroke. I have had migraines but this headache was worse than ever..They performed an MRI, MRA, CAT, and EEG. The determination from the EEG was there was slow waves around the temporal lobes. The MRI showed that I had nonspecific mild periventricular white matter disease near the temporal lobes. I am seeing my doctor this week as a followup. Could the white lesions have shown up because I was experiencing the headache while they scanned me? Will the lesions go away? Show I have another MRI or a test for MS, alzhemiers,..Any assistance you can ledn would be much appreciated

Answer:

I have answered many questions previously about white matter disease.  Please refer to these for general information.

To answer a few of your specific questions, the white matter lesions do not appear and disappear with headache symptoms (there are no visible changes on MRI scan during a headache).  The lesions will almost certainly not go away, as they are likely chronic changes related to age, and other factors such as high blood pressure and/or diabetes. 

As to the possibility of other diagnoses with white matter changes, such as multiple sclerosis, this is impossible to determine without knowing your entire medical history and doing a thorough physical exam.  I would recommend that you follow up with your local doctors. 

Related Resources:

Help in understanding MRI explanation

For more information:

Go to the Stroke health topic, where you can:

Response by:

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