ENLARGED VIRCHOW-ROBIN (VR) SPACES
Widening of spaces surrounding blood vessels in the brain. They are caused by brain swelling or atrophy and are associated with age-related cognitive decline, dementia, and various brain diseases.
Loss of neurons in the cerebral cortexthe surface layer of the brain, which carries out conscious thought, physical perception, and higher-level control of body movements.
Damage to the white matter beneath the cerebral cortex. In a climber's brain, the damage is often caused by small strokesclots that form in the thickened blood, starving the surrounding tissue of oxygen. White matter is the network that transfers signals between parts of the brain, so damage causes widespread and irreversible problems.