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Have memory problem. MRI showed periventricular and subcortical hypodensities combatible with chronic ischemic change

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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I had an MRI that showed periventricular and subcortical hypodensity combatible with chronic ischemic change and have memory problems especially with proper nouns and organizing paper work. What does this mean and what is the prognosis??? I am going on 71 years old, am not overweight and have low blood pressure and have worked all my adult life as a mental health counselor. Doctors keep telling me different things

Posted Thu, 28 Mar 2013 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 1 hour later
Hello and welcome to XXXXXXX

Thank you for writing to us.

I understand you have lived a healthy lifestyle and are thus worried about the change in memory strength. Let me try to interpret your reports so you can best understand your condition and accordingly go about it.

'Periventricular and subcortical hypodensities combatible with chronic ischemic change' noticed on an MRI interprets small areas of the brain tissue which have been deprived of sufficient amount of blood (and oxygen in the blood), either for a short period, or continuously since a while. This should have happened at least once in the past. This finding is usually seen in individuals above the age of 60 years.

Now let us come to the details, the significance of this finding is to prevent further progression of this condition. Do not worry about it, as we can simply prevent further progression and you should not have any more problems. Prevention is usually done with the help of blood thinning medication (eg. aspirin), which will ensure proper and sufficient blood supply to those parts of the brain that are slightly deprived of it. This will surely prevent further progression. Please consult your doctor regarding the same.

You will also have to check your cholesterol levels and blood pressure. If they are abnormal, you will have to start taking medications to keep these under control. These are all precautions, do not be alarmed if you find these levels to be abnormal, as one of these conditions could have resulted in the changes seen in your MRI.

These findings are just a warning sign, and as we have been warned, taking care and precaution will surely help in managing your condition successfully. Thus, prognosis for life and work is good, if the condition is well monitored and controlled. Do not worry.

I hope you found my response to be helpful and informative. Do write back to me for any further clarifications. I would be happy to help.

Best wishes.
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