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Chiari Malformation

Also called: Arnold-Chiari Malformation

Summary

Chiari malformations (CMs) are structural defects in the cerebellum. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that controls balance. With CM, brain tissue extends into the spinal canal. It can happen when part of the skull is too small, which pushes the brain tissue down. There are several types of CM. One type often happens in children who have neural tube defects. Some types cause no symptoms and don't need treatment. If you have symptoms, they may include

  • Neck pain
  • Balance problems
  • Numbness or other abnormal feelings in the arms or legs
  • Dizziness
  • Vision problems
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Poor hand coordination

Doctors diagnose CM using imaging tests. Medicines may ease some symptoms, such as pain. Surgery is the only treatment available to correct or stop the progression of nerve damage.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Resources

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Also in
  • (C&S Patient Education Foundation) - PDF
  • (C&S Patient Education Foundation) - PDF
  • (C&S Patient Education Foundation) - PDF
  • (C&S Patient Education Foundation) - PDF
  • (C&S Patient Education Foundation) - PDF

Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

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