Q:

What is chronic ischemic gliosis?

A:

Quick Answer

Although it can be caused by several medical conditions, a diagnosis of chronic ischemic gliosis means that there are scars along the central nervous system that are impeding blood flow to the surrounding nerves, tissues and organs. Scars such as these, which are also called lesions, are present in many conditions such as multiple sclerosis and are often found after a stroke.

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The scarring process called gliosis occurs after neurons are damaged and die as a result of some sort of disease or traumatic event. After death, neurons are replaced with a dense fibrous network of neuroglia or supporting cells. The condition is chronic, meaning that it does not go away and continues to cause impairment over a long period of time.

Made up of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves, the central nervous system is extremely complex and does not heal very well, which often results in chronic conditions. This means that once damage occurs, it rarely becomes better on its own. Fortunately, many ongoing studies hope to shed some light on the matter and lead to breakthroughs that will allow doctors to heal lesions that occur in debilitating diseases such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, ALS and others.

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