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Is delayed myelination the same as immature folding of the brain?

(4 Posts)
mumgoingcrazy Thu 17-Sep-09 21:12:01

When I spoke to the geneticist who organised DD2's MRI she told me about the delayed myelination, but when I received her report in writing there was no mention of it at all and just talked about the immature folding of the brain. I'm now wondering if she got me mixed up with someone else when I called her (as I did catch her off guard).

Thanks in advance

r3dh3d Thu 17-Sep-09 22:36:05

Not afaik. Myelination is the process of putting insulation on all the neurones and will be seen across the brain, so I imagine the scan would look a different "shade" all over due to diff composition, but it wouldn't affect shape; immature folding means that the surface is smoother and less walnut-like than would be expected for that age. Though they're both developmental/delay problems, I can't see how you could get them confused. hmm

The only thing I can think (other than what you have suggested) is that because myelination is a process which goes on for ages in the typically developing brain, they've revised their ideas of what "delayed" means and that a second look at the same scan made them think that the myelination progress could be within the range of normal, actually, and the real problem was the folding.

Do you have copy of the actual report from the scan, written up by the radiologist? We got several radically different interpretations of the same scan. The people who turned out to be right also turned out to have the best reputations in the field. The radiologist from Atkinson Morley was right. As was the Prof from GOSH (JKS's prof, as it happens). Everyone else was talking out of their bums.

feelingbetter Thu 17-Sep-09 22:43:43

I don't think so, but I may be wrong.
I think myelination refers to the development of each individual neuron (the myelin sheath aiding electrical transmission down each neural pathway, at a cellular level) and I think the folding of the brain they refer to is the mass structure, or general appearance of the brain, rather than at the cellular level.

Don't hold me to any of this, my biology degree was a worryingly long time ago, but wanted to answer and give you a bump for those more knowledgable x

mumgoingcrazy Fri 18-Sep-09 19:40:11

Thanks for your replies.

I never got to see a report, I phoned the geneticist (as she requested the MRI) and she told me over the phone about the delayed myelination. I asked her then if I could have a copy of the report and she said yes definately, she was speaking to the radiologist that week about DD2 and would get back to me. 3 weeks later, I get a letter (quite brief) saying that there was no more to say other than she has immature folding of the brain.

That's why I'm so confused. I googled myelination like you wouldn't believe and thought I understood it, then read 3 weeks later it's not that.

The geneticist consulted with the radiologist at Atkinson Morley too!

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