Week 3: December Annals, part 3

#8: Are acute infarcts the cause of leukoaraiosis? Brain mapping for 16 consecutive weeks

Okay, this one is a little easier to follow than yesterday’s article. Basically, quite a bit is known about this white matter disease that so many of our patients have: it’s associated with vascular risk factors, cognitive decline and so on. But although it’s thought to be related to small vessel disease, it’s unclear exactly what the pathology is: chronic hypoperfusion vs accumulation of acute infarcts. This study took 5 patients with pre-existing white matter disease and had them do serial MRIs for 16 weeks. During the study period, there were a total of 9 new infarcts on MRI, all clinically asymptomatic (albeit without formal cognitive testing). As the lesions aged, they blended in with the existing leukoaraiosis.

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This is a nice, tidy article that provides some good evidence for the underlying pathology of WM disease. It’s a tiny sample, but on the other hand it’s really hard to recruit people to do MRIs every single week, so…

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