What Does It Mean When You Have White Matter On The Brain?

Does everyone have white matter in the brain?

R.

Douglas Fields.

“Gray matter” is only one of two types of brain tissue; the other “white matter” is rarely mentioned.

Yet white matter makes up half the human brain and has not been thought to be important in cognition or learning outside the context of pathology..

Does white matter disease cause headaches?

Patients with extensive white matter hyperintensities are likely to have tension-type headaches or to have headaches develop during middle age, according to results published in Cephalagia. Currently, there are no established treatments or strategies for managing white matter hyperintensities.

Does white matter disease lead to dementia?

Brain scientists have found that white matter disease chips away at memory by shrinking the brain, and contributing to dementia more than initially thought.

What is the life expectancy of someone with white matter disease?

It is not possible to stop disease progression, and it is typically fatal within 6 months to 4 years of symptom onset. People with the juvenile form of metachromatic leukodystrophy, which develops between the age of 4 and adolescence, may live for many years after diagnosis.

What is white matter in the brain called?

White matter is tissue in the brain composed of nerve fibers. The fibers (called axons) connect nerve cells and are covered by myelin (a type of fat). The myelin is what gives white matter its white color. Myelin speeds up the signals between the cells, enabling the brain cells to quickly send and receive messages.

Do brain lesions always mean MS?

An “average” number of lesions on the initial brain MRI is between 10 and 15. However, even a few lesions are considered significant because even this small number of spots allows us to predict a diagnosis of MS and start treatment.

Can white spots on brain be normal?

The list of differential diagnoses is long. ‘The reasons for white matter range from the normal, human aging process to very rare diseases,’ Fesl explains. The older we become, the more of these white spots can be seen on the brain. ‘The transitions from normal aging to disease are smooth,’ he adds.

Are white spots normal on brain MRI?

It allows researchers to “map” pathways in our brain with great accuracy. The finding of a “white matter lesion” in the brain during an MRI is quite common.

Can white matter disease cause dizziness?

Recent studies showed a link between cerebral small vessel white matter disease (SVD) and dizziness: patients whose dizziness cannot be explained by vestibular disease show severe SVD and gait abnormalities; however, little is still known about how SVD can cause this symptom.

How serious is white matter disease?

Summary: More evidence has been accumulated that damage to cognitive areas is widespread from white matter disease. White matter disease is responsible for about a fifth of all strokes worldwide, more than doubles the future risk of stroke, and is a contributing factor in up to 45% of dementias.

What does white matter on a brain MRI mean?

White matter disease is commonly detected on brain MRI of aging individuals as white matter hyperintensities (WMH), or ‘leukoaraiosis.” Over the years it has become increasingly clear that the presence and extent of WMH is a radiographic marker of small cerebral vessel disease and an important predictor of the life- …

Can white matter lesions in the brain be nothing?

White matter lesions observed on brain MRI are usually characteristic and occur in specific areas including the corpus callosum and pons. “However, in many cases, the white matter lesions as isolated observations are nonspecific” and could be due to MS or another cause, explained Drs Lange and Melisaratos.

Is white matter disease the same as MS?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic condition of the central nervous system, which includes the brain. Experts have long known that MS affects white matter in the brain, but recent research suggests that it affects gray matter, too.

Is white matter disease normal?

Originally, white matter disease was considered a normal, age-related change. But over the last decade, medical experts have come to understand that the presence of large areas of disease in the white matter of the brain are associated with cognitive decline and dementia in patients.

What are the symptoms of white matter on the brain?

Symptoms of white matter disease may include:issues with balance.walking slow.more frequent falls.unable to do more than one thing at a time, like talking while walking.depression.unusual mood changes.

What does it mean to have white matter on the brain?

In contrast to gray matter, in which the cell bodies of neurons predominate, the term white matter refers to areas of the brain where there is a preponderance of axons coated with myelin. (Axons, which can be up to three feet long, are the longest projections of brain cells and carry a cell’s signal to other cells.)

How is white matter disease diagnosed?

Advances in medical imaging have made white matter disease easier to spot. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test, which takes pictures of the inside of your brain, can show any damage. Changes to white matter will show up super-bright white (your doctor may call this “hyperintense”) on an MRI scan.