Arnold Chiari Syndrome – What is it, Symptoms and Treatments!

Arnold Chiari Syndrome – What is it, Symptoms and  Best Treatments for Dealing with this Condition. Furthermore, Arnold Chiari or Chiari Syndrome, described just over 100 years ago, usually refers to the herniation of the lower part of the brain, that is, of the cerebellar tonsils and the lower part of the cerebellum, through the foramen magnum into the canal vertebral.

For cases of Arnold Chiari Syndrome II and III, the explanation lies in the downward traction that affects the spinal cord, caused by various malformations of the spine, such as myelomeningocele. In relation to Arnold Chiari I Syndrome, other causes have been pointed out, such as: conflicts in the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid or the reduced size of the posterior fossa that contains the cerebellum.

Arnold Chiari Syndrome  Type 1 is a malformation of the skull that occurs at the junction between the neck and the head. It occurs when a part of the brain called the cerebellum enters the spinal canal. This deformity is related to a problem in the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid (cerebrospinal fluid).

This liquid involves the entire central nervous system, in the skull and in the vertebral canal and, when there is a disturbance in its circulation, it can cause a series of signs and symptoms. Arnold Chiari Syndrome  can also appear in people who do not have any deformity, as a result of other diseases, however, the most common form is congenital and affects mainly women.

Arnold Chiari Syndrome can also appear in people who do not have any deformity, as a result of other diseases, however, the most common form is congenital and affects mainly women.

Symptoms of Arnold Chiari Syndrome:  Symptoms of Arnold Chiari Syndrome  usually appear in adulthood between the third and fourth decades of life and the most common are: neck pain, intense headache , muscle weakness, numbness or change in sensation in the limbs and balance difficulties.

Arnold Chiari Syndrome Type I is typically asymptomatic during childhood. When symptoms are present, it is characterized by headache, sore throat , unsteady ambulation.

In  Arnold Chiari  II Syndrome, a lumbar myelomeningocele or a tonsillar herniation can be found below the foramen magnum. This can lead to paralysis below the spinal defect.

Arnold Chiari Syndrome type III is linked to an occipital encephalocele, containing a variety of abnormal neuroectodermal tissues. In this type, the symptoms described in types I and II are observed, in addition to neurological deficit.

Arnold Chiari Syndrome type IV , described later, is characterized by the absence of cerebellar development, which is incompatible with life. Two other conditions that are commonly found related to this disorder are Ehlers-Danlos and Marfan syndrome.

Arnold Chiari Syndrome Type I:  Generally, the signs can be observed during childhood, among these there are:

  • Difficulty with movement or lack of hand-eye coordination;
  • Tingling and numbness in the hands and feet;
  • A sharp pain in the neck that extends downwards along with a pain in the chest;
  • Stuttering, dizziness and blurred or double vision;
  • Difficulty swallowing that sometimes causes vomiting and choking
  • Abnormal curvature of the spine and abnormal breathing;
  • Loss of bladder control (incontinence);
  • Ringing in one or both ears.

Treatments for Arnold Chiari Syndrome:  This disease requires follow-up with a neurosurgeon, so that surgical treatment is indicated at the appropriate time, when evidence of neurological deterioration, progression of symptoms that become disabling and worsening of changes in MRI appear.

The surgery is performed through an incision in the back of the head and neck under general anesthesia and is aimed at decompressing nerve structures and restoring cerebrospinal fluid circulation. This surgery usually has great results.

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