Monday, October 03, 2005

More details on Connor's tests

1. MRI - Changes
There were some white matter changes. (note - white matter v. gray matter: Gray matter represents information processing centers in the brain, and white matter represents the network or connections between those processing centers.) These changes are referred to as Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL). I've looked up PVL on WebMD and this is part of the description: PVL is a condition in which the brain tissue around the ventricles is damaged, possibly from decreased oxygen or blood flow to the brain that may have occurred before, during, or after delivery. I literally just looked this up and am now quite concerned. We put off delivering him for hours after a heart rate decrease while I was in labor. Anyway, back to the report. Dr. Fox's interpretation of the PVL change is that it is likely that Connor will have significant delays his whole life. Dr. McClintock's interpretation is that the PVL is not consistent with "white matter issues" and thought that the new situation was unrelated to his IS. He wants to repeat the MRI next September to see if there are further changes.

2. Corpus Calossum (Connects right and left hemisphere to allow for communication between the hemispheres. Forms roof of the lateral and third ventricles.)

Dr. Fox spoke to us of seeing some "hypoplasia" which is defined thusly: "A medical condition where an organ or tissue has less than the normal amount of cells that it needs to fully develop. Such an organ or tissue is smaller in size than normal. Destruction of part of an organ or tissue which results in its becoming atrophied. Any plant disease which results in lower than normal numbers of cells being produced, so that the plant is unable to fully develop its organs and/or tissues." He said it appears only on one part of Connor's Corpus Colossum, and had no interpretation. Dr. McClintock did not mention this at all, and I can only assume because he doesn't think it's related?

3. MECP2 Gene mapping
Dr. McClintock had a blood test run to check the MCEP2 gene for Connor. Apparently it's related to Rett Syndrome, which we have heard from the neurogeneticist. You can learn more about Rett Syndrome here: It's something that normally affects females, and he tested completely clear there. Dr. McClintock seemed to think that this would give us an indiction of his finer motor skills with his hands. I can't figure out why. I'll ask the neurogeneticist.


meeegan said...

Thank you for the further info and the links, Colleen. Are you planning to go forward with the second MRI?

Colleen said...

I'm sure we will, in a year or so. Of course, if he really breaks through this year, the doctor may revise the timing...