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Chiari Malformation and EDS/HSD

Updated: Feb 5

Chiari Malformation and EDS/HSD

Chiari Malformation I, also referred to as Chiari, is a condition that has been associated with EDS/HSD. Chiari is a disorder that affects the tissue around the brainstem, in which the lack of space causes obstruction of the normal movement around the brain.

This obstruction of movement of fluid can cause a flattening of the pituitary gland, which can lead to hormonal changes and abnormalities.It also can cause the brain tissue to extend into your spinal canal.

Chiari I is more commonly diagnosed in those with EDS/HSD, and is also diagnosed more often in adults and adolescents. Symptoms include severe neck and head pain, occipital headache, loss of pain and temperature sensation to upper torso and arms, loss of muscle strength, dizziness, balance problems, double or blurred vision, hypersensitivity to bright lights, and spasticity.

This malformation happens during fetal development, and is characterized by a downward displacement of the cerebellum by at least 4mm. This displacement causes an abnormal flow of cerebrospinal fluid between the spinal canal and intracranial space, causing the list of symptoms listed above.

Treatment for Chiari depends on the type of malformation, and is unique in each patient. If surgery is recommended, the goal is to relieve the symptoms or stop the progression of symptoms by decompressing the cerebellum.

Actify Physiotherapy does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products or physicians referenced in these patient fact sheets. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific neurosurgical advice or assistance should consult his or her neurosurgeon or primary care physician.

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