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Small strokes in white matter



I`m looking for info on the subject for my sister in law, but don`t know exactly what to search for. She`s been told her condition is small strokes in the white matter that will impair her motor skills but not her mental/cognitive abilities. She`s been told to take an aspirin daily and is on high blood pressure medication, she`s 62, she`s had a CT scan and is waiting for an MRI. When I searched for small strokes in white matter I linked to info on CADASIL but that seems to be very rare and now I see this term lacunar strokes? Is that what this is and where I should be searching? I would appreciate anything or anywhere you can point me as I am really in the dark here, thanks.


White matter changes on CT scan and MRI is extremely common in patients with hypertension. The MRI is much more sensitive than CT scan on showing these changes. Most patients have no subjective symptoms. In severe white matter changes there is some cognitive and memory impairments. Controlling hypertension and the intake of Aspirin is the main therapy for such a very common finding in patients with hypertension. Other recommendation, include exercise, low fat diet, Cessation of smoking, sleep hygiene and control of diabetes. I agree with you, CADASIL is a very rare disorder and doubt your sister in law has this disorder. Lacunar strokes is different and typically cause acute symptoms, such as weakness or numbness on one side, slurred speech, or ataxia. Occasionally, lacunar strokes are silent and are detected accidentally by CT or MRI. Again, white matter changes are very common in patients with hypertension and usually demonstrated accidentally on CT or MRI.

You can search the web for: "White matter changes on MRI"

For more information:

Go to the Stroke health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Yousef  Mohammad, MD, MSc Yousef Mohammad, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor
Director, Stroke Fellowship Program
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University