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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can mild white matter disease lead to multiple sclerosis?

Ok I had my first MRI done in April because I blew a pupil ( it turned out to be related to adrenal failur) anyway my MRI showed mils micro vascular disease and mild white matter disease I love my neurologist but when I asked about ms he said he would have caught it yrs ago. But I m not so sure because he is a family friend who I ve known for 20 yrs in other words he is to close to the situation . I do have chronic migraines that have gotten worse . I also have adrenal insufficency . But I know my bodyim a disability attorney and I was cracker jack winning 90& of my cases. I say was because I am forgetting things and it s getting worse I actually blurted out in court( hold on I ve lost my place) my friends have to remind me were I am in conversations and I trip and lose my balance a lot . My endocrinologist gave me a balance test and I flunked she said oh oh nota good sign. I m getting my MRI read by a new dr .. But something is wrong could this mild white matter be the beginning of MS I also have the dtsiminlation ( sorry can t spell it) with it what is your opinion?
Wed, 19 Oct 2016
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Neurologist 's  Response
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

White matter disease has different mechanisms from multiple sclerosis. One is narrowing and closing of small blood vessels while the other is due to an exaggerated immune response, with inflammation, which means actually increase in blood flow. So they are completely different from each other and there is no relation between the two, one can't evolve into the other. Also they are found in people of different ages, MS is found in young people while white matter disease is found much later in life.

However white matter disease should be taken seriously because when advanced it can cause cognitive damage on its own. So it is important to identify risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes etc and address them to slow progression in time.

I hope to have been of help.
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