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Diagnosed with hemochromatosis. MRI showed moderate diffuse cerebral volumn loss. What is the cause?

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My 34 yr old son has been diagnosed with hemochromocytosis. He also had a MRI done W/WO contrast which showed moderate diffuse cerebral volumn loss with mild prominence of ventricles. Is the hemochromocytosis causing the cerebral volumn loss>
Posted Mon, 19 Nov 2012 in Brain and Spine
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 4 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for posting your query on Healthcare magic.

First of all, let me reassure you that there is no relationship between the brain volume and brain functions. This means, a person can have very good brain functions, despite having a volume loss in the brain.

In hemochromatosis, there is an excess deposition of iron in different parts of body, mostly in liver and skin.

Brain volume loss is not usually seen in patients with hemochromatosis.

Your son could get the blood tests for vitamin B12 level and thyroid hormones, which could be treated if there is any deficiency.

I hope it clarifies. Please get back if you have any more queries.

Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Internal Medicine), DM (Neurology) XXXXXXX consultant Neurologist



Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Diagnosed with hemochromatosis. MRI showed moderate diffuse cerebral volumn loss. What is the cause? 37 hours later
So has the hemochromatosis or alcohol caused the mental decline ?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 17 minutes later
Hi,

Thank you for getting back.

The mental decline is most likely related to alcohol abuse.

Alcohol is neuro-toxic and leads to injury to various parts of brain, including cerebral and cerebellar cortex. This can lead to volume loss of brain and memory impairment. Alcohol abuse over long time can lead to imbalance of gait and walk, due to volume loss in cerebellum.

Please get back if you have any more queries.

Best wishes,

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Medicine) DM (Neurology)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Diagnosed with hemochromatosis. MRI showed moderate diffuse cerebral volumn loss. What is the cause? 1 hour later
Can the mental impairment be reversed if he stops drinking?
Besides having blood draws for the hemocromacytosis, are they more immediate ways to reduce the iron in his system?
Thanks for your help.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 9 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for getting back.

Mental impairment would improve if he stops drinking. In addition, vitamin supplements such as vitamin B12 and thiamine would also help in regaining brain functions.

The best method to remove excess iron in hemochromatosis is phlebotomy (blood letting) at periodic intervals. In addition, chelation therapy with deferasirox is also useful.

Best wishes,

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Internal Medicine) DM (Neurology)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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