Chiari Malformation Type 2

Hannah Collier

Causes

Chiari is a condition where the brain tissue extends into the spinal canal. It happens when a part of your skull is too small or misshapen and it pushes the brain down.

In Chiari type 2, it can include having myelomeningocele, a condition where the backbone and spinal canal have not closed properly before birth.

Symptoms

  • Changes in breathing patterns
  • Swallowing problems such as gagging.
  • Quick downward eye movements
  • Weakness in arms

Treatment

If you do not show any symptoms, your doctor will recommend monitoring with regular MRIs and examinations.


If you suffer from headaches or any other type of primary pain, your doctor can prescribe pain medication.


Symptomatic Chiari can be treated with surgery, In the surgery they will reduce pressure on your cerebellum and spinal canal and restore the flow of spinal fluid. The surgeon will remove a small section from the back of the skull to relieve pressure on the brain.


The surgery can reduce symptoms in most people, but if nerve damage has already occurred in the spinal canal, the procedure won't reverse the damage.

Life Expectancy

Depending on the severity of the symptoms will determine the life expectancy of someone with Chiari.

3 Important Facts

A Chiari gene has not yet been identified, so there is currently no genetic test.


With the increased use of MRI's Chiari is found more frequently.


Children can develop Chiari while they are in the womb due to a lack of vitamins and minerals during pregnancy.

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