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White Matter Disease??? Memory and Balance Issues

After a car accident in 2008, I have had severe headaches, migraines, memory loss, and my balance is horrible. If I were pulled over and asked to "walk the line" I would fail.

My pain clinic doctor ordered a MRI of the brain due to my ongoing headaches (5 years after accident). I saw a neurologist for the results and he told me that I have white matter changes, but he didn't really explain it. I did my own research and found that my symptoms match white matter disease. White matter disease can be caused by a head injury or trauma such as an auto accident, and can result in total loss of balance and memory. There is no cure, but there are things that can be done to help.

So far my neurologist has only recommended giving up everything that might be causing the headaches; caffeine, Excedrin, Vicodin, ect.

Does anyone have any experience with this?
Julie Crawford


  • but I'm sure that you can do some research on the condition you mentioned on the internet......None of us are familiar with that condition.

    5.12 You agree that any information, opinions or other content provided by doctors or patients on Spine-health.com forums is for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical diagnoses or treatment. Always consult with a physician for any health problem or medical condition.
  • White matter disease is caused by trauma and goes hand in hand with chronic pain, migraines and neck injuries. Thank you for replying for everyone.
    Julie Crawford
  • It may have multiple causes but none of us are doctors and as far I can recall, no one has ever posted regarding it......that's why I suggested that searching on the internet might be helpful. We can not provide diagnosis or medical information unless it is something related to our own experience.....
  • Is MS considered a white matter disease? I also believe and know I have read that chronic pain can cause changes in the brain's white matter. Has anyone else read about that?
    Cervical Laminectomy and fusion C2 to T1 June 2012, Anterior Hip Replacement November 2012, Laminectomy, Discectomy Foriminotomy, L3 to L5, February 2014, evacuation of Hematoma April 2014.
    Cervical Myopathy, DDD, Spinal Stenosis, osteoarthritis
  • I've read about gray matter increasing & causing more pain! I'm yet to investigate this. Thank you for sharing, from all of us dealing with 'weird' symptoms! It's frightening to consider the changes that can come with chronic pain.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • EnglishGirlEEnglishGirl Posts: 1,825
    edited 04/13/2014 - 12:13 PM
    I'll try to find the article again. It was a recent study that didn't have anything positive to offer..just pain begets pain! Ugh!
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • as it were........if effects the "white matter " areas of the brain if I recall correctly.
  • EnglishGirlEEnglishGirl Posts: 1,825
    edited 04/13/2014 - 1:47 PM
    You're right, I was the wrong way around with grey matter..it's the meditation, visualization & fantasy that increase the grey matter in the areas of the brain that control sensitivity to pain.

    "individuals who do meditate long-term have been shown to have more grey matter in those areas of the brain associated with sensitivity to pain."

    ..it's the pain that reduces grey matter causing more pain.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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