How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Anthony Bray, MD Your Own Question
Anthony Bray, MD
Anthony Bray, MD, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10341
Experience:  14 years as clinician in the field of Family Practice
Type Your Health Question Here...
Anthony Bray, MD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What dies mild scattered puntate foci of matter signal

Customer Question

What dies mild scattered puntate foci of white matter signal abnormality throughout the cerebral hemispheres mean in layman terms?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 2 years ago.


These type of findings basically are showing small spots within the brain tissue that are not normal. One possible concern that can cause these abnormal looking spots in the brain tissue on MRI is the disease of MS ( multiple sclerosis) Another possibility is that very small vascular events may cause abnormal looking spots. I don't have the detailed report but it sounds from this description that they are probably referring to spots smaller I would guess than size of a BB.. ..

Such can be a forerunner warning sign of vascular disease. If you had the presence of vascular disease as may occur with high blood pressure , high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes >> these risk factors along with age and family history could indicate more relative concern for risk of larger vascular events or stroke or heart attack risk. That is one major split that may be associated with this type of finding.

So these punctate foci are meaning small focal areas of abnormal signal. The other major split as to a possible cause would be a demyelinating disease and MS is the major culprit there.

You should have your MRI result(actual copy as on a disk with copies of the actual study) reviewed by a neurologist. They will probably review your findings carefully and decide what type of problem has led to the abnormals on the MRI>

This will help to decide what type (if any) may be indicated that may help to lower your risk of neurological symptoms due to possible progression of either type of process going forward in time...

I hope that this is helpful and makes sense. Let me know if you have further questions. I will be happy to get back with you. If my answer has been helpful and to your satisfaction then please remember to leave positive feedback. Thank You and Best Regards,

Anthony Bray MD

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thx Anthony. If there r no other risk factors it sounds like MS is a string possibility. Am i reading that right?
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 2 years ago.


Yes MS is a possibility BUT keep in mind that I can't diagnose you but only inform you that such a description may often fit with the diagnosis of MS. This very much needs the review of a neurologist . The similar description is also often attributed to microvascular changes. So there is significant potential range with this description.

I hope that this makes sense and is helpful for you. Let me know if I may be of further help to you. Best Regards,

Anthony Bray MD