Chiari Malformation

Below you will find more information about Chiari Malformation from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Chiari Malformation it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Chiari Malformation and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Chiari Malformation comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Chiari malformation is the displacement of brain tissue into the spinal canal.

Diagnosis

Since most symptoms of the condition may be associated with other disorders, the patient is referred to specialists to undergo thorough and appropriate tests. The patient's medical history is recorded and a complete physical examination is conducted. Doctors assess the patient's symptoms by asking the patient to describe them and, may conduct a magnetic resonance imaging scan of the skull if the cause is not apparent. MRI is the definitive diagnostic tool for the condition.

Treatment

The condition is treated depending on the severity and symptoms of the condition. If there are no symptoms, the doctor may only regularly examine the patient's condition. For primary symptoms such as headaches, pain medications may be prescribed. Patients with symptomatic Chiari malformation undergo surgery to relieve pressure on the cerebellum and the spinal cord as well as to restore the normal flow of spinal fluid.

Symptoms and Signs

Signs and symptoms depend on the type and severity of condition and may occur only in adulthood. However, they usually occur during infancy. affected persons may experience headaches. Severe types of the condition can also include myelomeningocele. Affected individuals with a very severe form of Chiari malformation, usually die in infancy. In such cases, the brain has no normal development.

Causes

A very small or deformed section of the skull that contains the cerebellum causes chiari malformation. This puts pressure on, and crowds the brain interfering with the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid that protects the brain and spinal cord. Studies show evidence that the condition is hereditary. However, research is still on its early stage.

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