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11:30 am: results of the MRI


Examination Date: 22-09-2010

Title: MRI of the Brain

Clinical findings: chronic headaches with photophobic and nausea. brain lesion

Technique: Sagittal and coronal TSE, transversal PD + T2 + DWI ep2D

Findings:
Normal appearance of both cerebral hemispheres, brain stem and cerebellum. No significant focal parenchymal abnormalities on MRI scans are identified, besides dilation of the Virchow-Robin spaces in general and some white matter, subcortical and basal ganglia T2- lesions. Ventricular system is of normal size, shape and configuration for the patient's age. Midline structures including the craniocervical junction are unremarkable. No evidence of demyelination. No evidence of cerebellar tonsillar descent. The dural venous sinuses are patent. The paranasal sinuses are clear. The orbits are normal.

Conclusion:
There is moderate patchy mainly anterior cerebral white matter T2 suggesting minor small vessel ischaemic changes. Changes could be seen in migraine, alternatively in a small vessel vasculitis. No evidence of any subdural or subarachnoid mass lesion.



So, the doctor thinks it is the small vessel vasculitis, which puts me at increased risk of stroke, and I need to improve diet, exercise, etc. I see from the Internet that it is sometimes associated with rheumatoid arthritis, which I may well also have. I'm having another blood test for that, with the promise of a referral to a rheumatologist.

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Comments

[User Picture]
From:hazyjayne
Date:September 30th, 2010 10:36 am (UTC)
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Thank goodness they have come up with something concrete, and at least you can make changes to improve your health etc.
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From:nmg
Date:September 30th, 2010 11:12 am (UTC)
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Inasmuch as it reduces the uncertainty, any diagnosis is good, particularly if there are actionable consequences.
From:thatmakesmemad
Date:September 30th, 2010 11:30 am (UTC)
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On the plus side no brain tumours or fluid on the brain.
On the negative side it looks like you're stuck with the migraines in the short term unless the blood tests indicate some suitable treatment.
Hope they come up with something to help.
From:pplfichi
Date:September 30th, 2010 11:36 am (UTC)
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Well it's good they found something and it's not the impending horrible death sort of something. I hope they can suggest things to help with the headaches, or will improved lifestyle help here?
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From:abigailb
Date:September 30th, 2010 11:40 am (UTC)
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I asked and improved lifestyle recommended only to decrease risk of stroke, rather than leading to better quality of life in meantime. :-( I may get more concrete things after more tests and I see a specialist.
From:pplfichi
Date:September 30th, 2010 11:57 am (UTC)
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:( Well at least there's hope for the future I guess and not just "go away, we can't see anything wrong with you/it can't be that bad". And not that decreasing the risk of stroke is a bad thing...
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From:supermouse
Date:October 1st, 2010 07:44 am (UTC)
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If you are stuck with the headaches, then pain management should make a hyuuuuuuuuuuge difference re: quality of life. I still get a migraine a day and I no longer mind. Meanwhile, that really sucks and I am sorry for you.
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From:spindr
Date:September 30th, 2010 11:43 am (UTC)
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I'm sorry to hear about the vasculitis, Abi.:( there's one bit I don't understand though (well,loads of bits, but...). If the conclusion states that the changes could be seen in migraine or vasculitis; what's made them say it's vasculitis rather than migraine, then (since you've been getting horrible migraines)? or am I misinterpreting?

Hope you get a good treatment strategy.x
[User Picture]
From:abigailb
Date:September 30th, 2010 11:52 am (UTC)
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I have other inflamation/rheumatoidy stuff that seems to correlate well with the vasculitis, and headaches are a symptom of vasculitis too. I'm not too sure where the photophobia fits in, mind.
[User Picture]
From:lesyeuxouverts
Date:September 30th, 2010 12:22 pm (UTC)
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Glad to hear you have a label to stick on it now - and hopefully they'll find something that'll help with the headaches *hugs*
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From:aster13
Date:September 30th, 2010 01:18 pm (UTC)
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Good that you got taken seriously and given the scan, and sorta good that you have a diagnosis that you can move forward with. Not so good that you have something that *is* diagnosable...
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From:squirmelia
Date:September 30th, 2010 01:41 pm (UTC)
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Hope they find something that helps.
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From:jisha78
Date:September 30th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
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Scary stuff. I hope htey can helpyou get better now asap or at least reduce the frequency of your headaches.
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From:ruthi
Date:September 30th, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
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Hurrah you do not the big scary Zombie brain-plague. Nor a tumor.

I'm sorry they don't have an answer that eliminates the headaches. Good luck with more treatment and such.



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From:abigailb
Date:September 30th, 2010 08:08 pm (UTC)
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How do you know that zombie plague does not take the form of rheumatoid vasculitis? It would explain much, partfularly the groans, shambling, aversion from light and the craving thr human flesh I have been exhibiting lately.

ps Earlier you suggested you might be willing to help me watch Sylvester McCoy Doctor Who stories. Does this still apply?
[User Picture]
From:ruthi
Date:September 30th, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC)
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The craving for human flesh is *natural* , I tell you.

To your ps: yes, I would be willing to help you watch Sylvester McCoy Doctor who. oscarhocklee owns some on vhs, I believe.
[User Picture]
From:abigailb
Date:September 30th, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
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Yay. When would be a convenient time for this to occur?
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From:ruthi
Date:September 30th, 2010 09:50 pm (UTC)
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I am in favour of this occuring but making a decision about when strikes me as too difficult, at the moment. Er, next week sometime?
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From:abigailb
Date:September 30th, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
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Monday? I should perhaps have asked when you were unavailable, instead.
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From:friend_of_tofu
Date:September 30th, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
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I hope that's a slight relief, at least, since it's something which can at least be tackled symptomatically.
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From:abigailb
Date:September 30th, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
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I think I agree. I'll know more in a few weeks, but it's good knowing that there's a plausible umbrella explanation for lots of my problems, even if it turns out more complicated than that...
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From:friend_of_tofu
Date:September 30th, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC)
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Fingers crossed for you.
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From:ellyll
Date:October 3rd, 2010 07:26 am (UTC)
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Glad to hear there's no major really really nasty stuff and that they've identified the probable cause. Sorry to hear that it looks like there's no real quick solution though :( More exercise is generally a good thing though and can definitely help people feel better, mentally and physically.
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