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MRI scan "is OK but shows reduced white matter"

(9 Posts)
IndiaBound Tue 04-Feb-14 13:38:45

Hi all,

Our DD (10mo but born 2mo prematurely) developed a squint at about 3mo old. Various tests, etc. later and the eye expert we saw (privately!) referred us to Moorfields and also to a neurologist for an MRI scan.

We had the scan last week and talked to the neurologist for about 5 minutes this morning.

She said, much to our relief, that there was nothing major of concern, the squint is just a muscle imbalance (so an op is needed) but that the scan had shown "reduced white matter".

She went on to say this means the brain has less neurons than normal, and that our DD would need to be "taught" to use her spare ones (apparently most of us don't use anywhere near what we have).

She couldn't be more specific but said this was in line with what I told her when we first met - although our DD was 2mo premature, she seems 3mo behind the higher range of all milestones (she is sitting aided, rolling, babbling, etc.) but not yet pushing up on her arms (just her elbows) or finger feeding, etc.

We're going to push for a full debrief but Google is useless as it seems reduced white matter can be many things or nothing much.

Does anyone have any experience, any advice, any knowledge they would care to share?



Twighlightsparkle Tue 04-Feb-14 18:26:12

I have through work and as far as I know it's an incidental finding.

I think it's one of these things that really do not mean anything.

I may be wrong but I think it's one of these things which will improve with time.

Best wishes

cestlavielife Wed 05-Feb-14 22:56:47

My son has thin white matter and a chromosome micro deletion. lots of issues but in your dd case it doesn't have to mean broader issues...
You just have to wait and see if it means anything.
As was said, it could be incidental.

If she simply three months behind with everything due to prematurity that won't mean much when she is ten years old ....

however you might want to get a full developmental check now or in couple months time eg bayley scale of infant development
To see if she could benefit from input eg physio therapy etc
Is she playful, communicative etc ? Teach her some simple baby signs have a look online or go on a course .

Antidote Wed 05-Feb-14 23:03:55

The phrase reduced white matter might mean a few things. I report these scans in real life. PM me if you want to talk more.

IndiaBound Fri 07-Feb-14 00:45:34

An update.

I spoke to the neurologist today who explained it was a significant amount of reduction and stated that although DD will definitely walk and talk, there is no way at present to be sure she will be able to attend normal school.

Obviously this is very concerning

autumnsmum Fri 07-Feb-14 11:27:08

Hi maybe try a post on the sn boards they can be very helpful .

cestlavielife Fri 07-Feb-14 13:27:59

neurologist cannot make such a prediction - best you pursue developmental check and see which if any areas she falling behind in and address those.

ask gp or health visitor for referral to developmental paediatrician and full assessment. eg Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development covers Age Range
1 month to 42 months

get her into pre school developmental playgroups now - there are usually drop in ones in any area - on top of regular playgroups etc.

if there are any delays - and you have idenitifed them and related them to prematurity - then early intervention is key. if she catches up then fine you will quickly graduate out of those classes but if she does need longer term input you will have got a head start.

sometimes what ever has caused the premature birth may be underlying and lead to some issues. ie the underlying issues are linked with the prem birth rather than prem birth itself being cause of any poss delay.

cestlavielife Fri 07-Feb-14 13:30:58

also the neurologist statement on "normal" school is old fashioned and odd - many children with special needs and disabilities attend regular mainstream schools especially primary. it's far too early to talk about school.... you will have an idea when she is three or four if she has long terms needs or not but even then you will have choice of schools.

some may need to attend a special school - it's still a "normal" school...just caters for special needs...

autumnsmum Fri 07-Feb-14 13:56:33

C,est la vie my dd attends a special school and they do the same lessons as any other primary just individualised to each child you described a special school perfectly

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