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What does "small vein disease" indicate?

Nov 2013
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Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 5569 Questions
I have recently had an MRI scan for ear problems. All was clear but my doctor said I had some 'mild wear and tear' in the brain - 'nothing serious' and he suggested managing cholesterol and exercise etc. He used the term 'small vein disease' and i realised I know nothing about this and its making me anxious. Is this normal fro a person my age ;I am 62. Can I help the condition my taking statins and exercising and doing brain work?
Posted Mon, 24 Feb 2014 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 9 hours later
Brief Answer: My reply is below. Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for posting your query. First of all, I would like to reassure you that there is no need to worry about the MRI findings. Small vessel disease refers to mild lack of blood flow to the brain. This finding should prompt you to check any underlying risk factors in your case, such as high BP, sugar, cholesterol and homocysteine. If any of them are high, they need to be lowered. Depending on the severity of MRI findings, statins and aspirin may be taken to stop the disease progression. I hope my answer helps. Please get back if you have any follow up queries or if you require any additional information. Wishing you good health, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Internal Medicine), DM (Neurology) XXXXXXX Consultant Neurologist Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, India Click on this link to ask me a DIRECT QUERY: My BLOG:
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What does "small vein disease" indicate? 7 hours later
Is this fairly common in people over 60. If I have no signs of cognitve impairment l does this suggest i am getting no symptoms and if I keeo cholesterol down, it will not advance? What is the outlook? My doctor referred to it as 'mild' symptoms. He suggested statins for cholesterol although my levels are within the normal. Thank you for you attention.
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 4 hours later
Brief Answer: Thank you for getting back. Detailed Answer: Yes, it is common in people above 60 to have mild small vessel disease. Having no cognitive impairment or other symptoms is a good sign, and keeping cholesterol and BP within normal limits would ensure that it does not advance in future. I agree with your doctor's approach of starting statins to prevent the disease progression even with normal cholesterol levels (pleiotropic effects of statins). Best wishes, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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