MRI shows subcortical vessel disease (SVD), is this vascular dementia and what does this mean?

My mom recently had an MRI done to check for inner ear issues. Nothing was found…..with that. However, the MRI showed “mild to moderate subcortical vessel disease (SVD)”. What does this mean? I’ve tried to do some reading online. Does this mean she has vascular dementia? Or any kind of dementia? She has symptoms of, mood changes, saying inappropriate things (like just coming across as rude), repeating the same story 2 or 3 times within a 48 hour period, gait changes…smaller stride, urinary incontinence, dizziness like feel all of the time.She’s healthy otherwise no diabetes, she did have a slightly high blood pressure but has been on medication for years. So, does she only have SVD? From the way I read it online, because she has those symptoms, she has the type of dementia that goes with SVD. I can’t get her to a neurologist until late February and I am very worried about her. Please help.

Mom’s age is 76
Medications: None

4 Comments on “MRI shows subcortical vessel disease (SVD), is this vascular dementia and what does this mean?

  1. Hello, subcortical vessel disease or small vessel disease is due to narrowing or blockage of small blood vessels in the brain. The symptoms that you are mentioning may or may not be attributed to that. The symptoms are more in favour of normal pressure Hydrocephalus. I would recommend you to get CSF flow study or drainage lp done to see the response of decompression on the symptoms.

  2. Hi.The symptoms she is having could probably be related to Subcortical disease but it may be difficult to differentiate normal dementia from Subcortical dementia without a detailed history and clinical examination..At the moment unless you see a Nneurologist no active intervention can be done.Try seeking an earlier appointment.

  3. Hi..
    Subcortical small vessel disease can cause cognitive impairment and can be related to dementia..

    But for a better diagnosis a co-relation of clinical symptoms and the investigation has to be done..

    You should look for another Neurologist who is available early so that appropriate treatment can be done..

    Hope this helps..


  4. Followup question: she has subcortical vessel disease…..can she have those symptoms without having the related dementia or are those symptoms of the dementia part only?

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