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Mom went into the hospital Christmas Day with dizziness. They suspected a TIA, so did a CT scan, and were going to do an MRI, but couldn't when they found out she had a spinal cord stimulator to help with her back pain.

Today, TODAY, when we went to her regular doctor, we found out that her CT scan showed she not only had an acute infection of her sinus, for which she should have been getting antibiotics, but Dr. Morgan handed me the report (not Mom), which had the following information on it:

IMPRESSION: Moderate atrophy. Moderate chronic white matter small vessel ischemic changes.

Isn't this what they would find with dementia?

Mom's never been diagnosed. All of her problems have been pain related, with occassional memory lapses that we can put onto pills. Now I'm concerned we have other issues to deal with.

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Good luck equillot. It is a hard job and you're doing it well.
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Thank you. I'm going to contact the doctor, and I'll also make an appointment with her neurologist. I'm surprised Mom hasn't asked me for the report. I supposed when she does I'll have to give it to her and then we'll have a discussion about what "moderate atrophy" might mean. Not looking forward to this. I sure wish our house deal hadn't fallen through and that we were living around the rest of our family up north.
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"Moderate atrophy" describes a level of dementia.. "Ischemic changes" confirms the TIA's are happening and it won't get better. You ascribe her memory losses to pills, but the CT says otherwise. The MD is trying to tell you without saying it out loud to her. They never want to say the D word in front of the patient.
So you get the sinus infection cleared up, and see if the dizziness goes away.
She may never need long term care, but plan for it anyway.
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I agree. I would call to see how they interpret the results.

My cousin had an MRI ordered by a neurologist and we knew she had significant dementia when she had her test. I'm not sure about a CT scan. Certainly someone can give you some answers. I'd be upset about it. I would get that information before I made any assumptions though.
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You need to call the doctor who handed this to you and find out what s/he believes it means and what your next steps should be. " doctor, can you let us know in simple terms what this report means and what do you think appropriate treatment and followup should be?"
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