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Mild diffuse cerebral volume loss and small vessel ischemic changes in the MRI report. Does this indicate Dementia?

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I was told that I had mild diffuse cerebral volume loss and mild to moderate small vessel ischemic changes. These changes were seen on a recent MRI I had. I am 71 years old and for all intents and purposes in excellent health. Does this mean I have dementia?
Posted Thu, 3 May 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 2 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

Mild diffuse cerebral volume loss and mild to moderate small vessel ischemic changes in MRI (Magnetic Resonant Imaging) at your age are normal and expected changes.

The lesions found in your case are usually non progressive. These are more indicative of a benign chance finding. In the absence of any clinical signs and symptoms, the significance of these lesions is difficult to assess.
Such findings are more commonly seen in the MRI of patients who have cerebrovascular risk factors like hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol as well those that smoke. Their incidence increases with age.

These lesions are responsible for memory impairment (vascular dementia) in some individuals. A neurological examination to look for cognitive impairment is needed to diagnose the condition.

Hence I advise you to follow with your neurologist. He would be the best person to guide further diagnostic workup and treatment.

I hope this answers your query effectively. In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.

Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.

Wishing you good health.

Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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