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  • Gray matter heterotopia

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    MRI of a child experiencing seizures. There are small foci of grey matter heterotopia in the corpus callosum, deep to the dysplastic cortex (double arrows)Gray matter heterotopia (singular heterotopion) is a neurological disorder caused by clumps of grey matter (ectopic nodules of neurons) located in the wrong part of the brain. It is characterized as a type of cortical dysplasia. The neurons in heterotopia appear to be normal, except for their mislocation; nuclear studies have shown glucose metabolism equal to that of normally positioned gray matter. The condition causes a variety of symptoms, but usually includes some degree of epilepsy or recurring seizures, and often affects the brain's ability to function on higher levels. Symptoms range from nonexistent to profound; the condition is occasionally discovered by brain imaging performed for an unrelated problem and has no apparent ill effect on the patient. At the other extreme, heterotopia can result in severe seizure disorder, loss of motor skills, and mental retardation. Fatalities are practically unknown, other than the death of unborn male fetuses with a specific genetic defect.

  • Primary familial brain calcification

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  • White matter

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    White matter structure of human brain (taken by MRI).White matter refers to areas of the central nervous system (CNS) that are mainly made up of myelinated axons, also called tracts. Long thought to be passive tissue, white matter affects learning and brain functions, modulating the distribution of action potentials, acting as a relay and coordinating communication between different brain regions. White matter is named for its relatively light appearance resulting from the lipid content of myelin. However, the tissue of the freshly cut brain appears pinkish white to the naked eye because myelin is composed largely of lipid tissue veined with capillaries. Its white color in prepared specimens is due to its usual preservation in formaldehyde.

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