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Had MRI done. Had scattered area of high signal intensity in deep white matter. What is microvascular leukoencephalopthy?

What is microvascular leukoencephalopathy? Is it pre-Alzheimers? Dementia? I am 65 years young but an MRI 2 years ago showed this along with "scattered areas of high signal intensity in the deep white matter, particularly at the gray-white matter junction and centrum semiovale". It also said I had "mild age-related atrophy.
Asked On : Sat, 27 Apr 2013
Answers:  2 Views:  65
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Neurologist 's  Response
Nov 2013

Thank you for posting your query.

Your MRI brain findings are suggestive of ischemia (lack of blood flow to the brain). The common underlying risk factors for the same include high BP, sugar and cholesterol. There is a slightly higher risk of dementia, but not Alzheimer's disease.

Treatment would involve using aspirin and controlling any risk factors.

Please get back if you require any additional information.

Best wishes,

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Internal Medicine), DM (Neurology)

Senior Consultant Neurologist

Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad,

My personal URL on this website:

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Answered: Sat, 27 Apr 2013
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Radiologist Dr. Vamshi Kotha's  Response

Microvascular leukoencephalopathy means damage to the brain tissue due to problems with small arteries supplying the brain. These may occur in elderly patients and people with hypertension, diabetes, etc are more prone to develop this early. Some syndromes may also be associated and a genetic link has also been proposed. Alzheimer's disease is a totally different entity. Microvascular leucoencephalopathy is also a cause of dementia when severe.

However, the description of the white matter signal abnormalities in your scan fits that of Fazekas Grade 1 changes which are of no significance or worry, especially at your age. Age related atrophy just refers to mild volume loss of your brain matter which is also usually normal at your age.

Overall, you probably do not have anything to worry about as far as your scan goes.

Answered: Sat, 27 Apr 2013
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