How to Treat Chiari Malformation?

  • October 10, 2023
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How to Treat Chiari Malformation?

What is Chiari Malformation?

Chiari malformation is a structural defect in the base of the skull and cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance. In individuals with this condition, the lower part of the cerebellum, called the cerebellar tonsils, extends into the upper spinal canal. This can lead to compression of the brainstem and spinal cord, causing a range of symptoms. Chiari malformation is an anatomical irregularity in the skull where a portion of the brain extends into the spinal canal. Symptoms can range from mild to severe or be entirely absent. Typically associated with headaches, it may also impact balance and coordination due to its effect on the cerebellum.

Why Does Chiari Malformation Occur?

The exact cause of Chiari malformation is not always clear, but it is believed to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some cases may be congenital, meaning present at birth, while others may develop later in life due to factors such as injury, infection, or complications from surgery.

How Does Chiari Malformation Manifest?

Chiari malformation can present with various symptoms, including:

  1. Headaches: Often severe and may worsen with coughing or straining.
  2. Neck Pain: Pain at the base of the skull or neck.
  3. Balance and Coordination Issues: Difficulty with balance and fine motor skills.
  4. Vision Problems: Blurred or double vision, sensitivity to light.
  5. Difficulty Swallowing: Impaired ability to swallow.