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Having memory problems. Have crohns disease. MRI showed multiple white leisons on my white matter. Could depression and anxiety cause this?

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Hi I have been having memory problems I am 53 and thought maybe it was age related and I have been under extreme stress lately, husband just had surgery for prostate cancer, ect. I do have crohns disease. My Dr. ordered an MRI and it showed multiple white leisons on my white matter along with a benign mass behind my right ear 4x5 millimeteres. I have appointments later this month but could depression and anxiety cause these lesions or could they be related to the mass? I am really frightened.
Posted Tue, 25 Jun 2013 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar 1 hour later
Dear patient,

Thanks for your health concerns. It would be highly unexpected for depression or anxiety to cause structural white matter lesions, but the opposite is true: white matter lesions could be associated with mood disorders, so seeing a neurologist specialist is definitely in order. Furthermore, severe depression or anxiety symptoms are known to impair cognitive function, so much that in the elderly patients (older than 75) we have to be careful with diagnosing dementia if the patient has evidence of depression (pseudodementia) as it can profoundly impair mini-mental scores and cognitive performance

Hope this information is useful, wish you the best,

Dr Brenes-Salazar MD
Mayo Clinic MN
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