Chiari Malformation

“Chiari malformations are structural defects in the base of the skull and cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance.  Normally the cerebellum and parts of the brain stem sit above an opening in the skull that allows the spinal cord to pass through it (called the foramen magnum).  When part of the cerebellum extends below the foramen magnum and into the upper spinal canal, it is called a Chiari malformation (CM).

Chiari malformations may develop when part of the skull is smaller than normal or misshapen, which presses on the brain and forces the cerebellum to be pushed down into the spinal canal.  The pressure on the cerebellum and brain stem  may affect functions controlled by these areas and block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)—the clear liquid that surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord.” Read More


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