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What does parenchymal volume loss in an MRI scan indicate?

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Posted on Fri, 29 Jul 2016
Question: What causes and the meaning moderate diffuse brain parenchyma volume loss?
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

However there is not much to worry about in that sentence. It shows simply a mild shrinking of the brain mass. It is a finding which is to be interpreted according to the context, in particular the age of the patient.

Everyone of us after our twenties or beginning of thirties starts to lose some brain cells, every one. It is a very gradual process, it is part of aging. The younger the less noticeable, but as decades pass and more cells are lost, that starts to become visible on imaging, the brain of the same individual of an old age seems smaller, shrinked compared to his scan at a young age, as I said it’s part of aging. Of course there may be normal variations in the progress rate of this process among individuals.

So as I said that result is to be interpreted according to the patient. If there was such mild volume loss in say a 20 year old it might be a little worrying. If your age is 68 as you have stated though, I would say mild loss is to be considered normal. Had it been marked loss and you had deterioration of higher mental functions might have been an indication of dementia, but as it is only mild I would consider it normal for the age. The fact that it is diffuse is alright as well, means that there is no tendency of involving particular areas which might be indicative of some types of dementia (in Alzheimer’s disease for example some areas are much more shrinked than others).

I hope to have helped in easing your concerns. Let me know if I can further assist you.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Olsi Taka

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Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3674 Questions

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What does parenchymal volume loss in an MRI scan indicate?

Brief Answer: Read below. Detailed Answer: I read your question carefully and I understand your concern. However there is not much to worry about in that sentence. It shows simply a mild shrinking of the brain mass. It is a finding which is to be interpreted according to the context, in particular the age of the patient. Everyone of us after our twenties or beginning of thirties starts to lose some brain cells, every one. It is a very gradual process, it is part of aging. The younger the less noticeable, but as decades pass and more cells are lost, that starts to become visible on imaging, the brain of the same individual of an old age seems smaller, shrinked compared to his scan at a young age, as I said it’s part of aging. Of course there may be normal variations in the progress rate of this process among individuals. So as I said that result is to be interpreted according to the patient. If there was such mild volume loss in say a 20 year old it might be a little worrying. If your age is 68 as you have stated though, I would say mild loss is to be considered normal. Had it been marked loss and you had deterioration of higher mental functions might have been an indication of dementia, but as it is only mild I would consider it normal for the age. The fact that it is diffuse is alright as well, means that there is no tendency of involving particular areas which might be indicative of some types of dementia (in Alzheimer’s disease for example some areas are much more shrinked than others). I hope to have helped in easing your concerns. Let me know if I can further assist you.