Sunday, June 13, 2010

Some basic Chari info...

A number of people have been asking a bit about Chiari (kee ARE ee), so here's some basic info.

  • Chiari Malformation (or a subtype) affects less than 200,000 people in the US population (found here)
  • Malformations may occur in the lower portion of the brain or in the brain stem
  • Chari Malformation is diagnosed by an MRI, the most common symptom is headaches
  • Chiari malformation (CM) includes a complex group of disorders characterized by herniation of the cerebellum through the large opening in the base of the skull (foramen magnum) into the spinal canal. The herniated tissue blocks the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain and can lead to the formation of a cavity (syrinx) within the spinal cord. There are three main types of CM. CM1, the simplest and most prevalent form, is generally considered to be a congenital malformation, although acquired cases are recognized. (See diagrams below.) It is rarely apparent at birth. CM2 and CM3 are more severe congenital malformations that are apparent at birth and associated with complex defects of the brain and spinal cord.  (Found here, at times looks like the image below)

    want more info?  try these sites:

    WI Chiari Center (this is where I will have my surgery)
    The Chiari Foundation on Facebook  (I check in here every once in a while - a great meeting place for real people with Chari or loved ones with Chiari)

    Please note, these are resources available on the internet, and if you think you have Chari don't just trust the websites!  Make sure you find a specialist in your area.  Obviously.  

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