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"Does nonspecific white matter signify Alzheimer's?"

ZocdocAnswersDoes nonspecific white matter signify Alzheimer's?


I'm a late middle aged man and I recently had an MRI because of some issues I've been having. All they could diagnose me with was 'nonspecific white matter'. Is this a possible sign that I have an onset of Alzheimer's disease? It does run in my family.


Alzheimer's is a degenerative brain condition which is the leading cause of dementia in the world. The condition leads to progressive loss of cognitive function, coupled with loss of ability to function well socially, loss of independence, and loss of ability to perform basic personal care tasks. There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease. There are no diagnostic tests for Alzheimer's. There are no specific findings on brain MRI that suggest Alzheimer's. On the other hand, 'nonspecific white matter' changes are usually small blood vessel changes in the brain induced by high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and related chronic medical problems that lead to plaque formation and blood vessel disease throughout the body. These findings likely represent the need to control other chronic health conditions, but not related to Alzheimer's. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular concerns will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor is advised.

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