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Arnold Chiari is defined as:

Chiari malformation (also called Arnold-Chiari malformation) is a rare congenital anomaly in which two parts of the brain, the brainstem and the cerebellum, are longer than normal and protrude down into the spinal canal. Chiari malformation may be associated with many other anomalies including myelomeningocele, syringomyelia, and spina bifida. Hydrocephalus (increased intracranial pressure) may also occur. In most cases, symptoms begin during infancy, however onset of symptoms may be delayed until adolescence or adulthood. Symptoms usually include vomiting, muscle weakness in the head and face, difficulty swallowing, and varying degrees of mental impairment. Paralysis of the arms and legs may also occur.

Adults and adolescents with Chiari malformation who previously were asymptomatic may show signs of progressive brain impairment as they grow older, such as involuntary, rapid, downward eye movements. Other symptoms include dizziness, headache, double vision, deafness, an impaired ability to coordinate movement, and episodes of acute pain in and around the eyes. (thanks WACMA for the definition)

My Non clinical definition-I have a brain that is sagging lower than usual, constricting the cerebral spinal fluid. This sometimes can cause symptoms, some not. The symptoms can vary from individual to individual as well. To be accurately diagnosed, you need to get an MRI of the brain. Full spine MRI is also suggested.




I have a rare condition called Arnold Chiari Malformation(ACM). I have other neurological problems that were found when I was younger (hydrocephalus and spina bifida). Some people are not diagnosed until they experience trauma (such as a bad accident), most of them have Chiari type 1 (I have type 2). Chiari type 1 is harder to pinpoint and misdiagnosis does happen. In most cases, the onset is due to a car accident or chiropractic adjustment. In 1998, even though I was having *little pains here and there*, the pain set in due to going in the shower and turning the water on...that's it. Not, I fell in the shower, burned myself in the shower or anything more dramatic, I just went into the shower and as soon as the water trickled on my body I was ready to down.

I have been asked to set up this page to spread the awareness for those who are diagnosed to find help and for more medical research to assist in finding a treatment for ACM. I had a bad time when the pain was excruciating (the typical electrical shock pain that started in my neck and shoulders and went down my arms) and I went and had decompression surgery in 1998 in New York, at the time Dr. Thomas Milhorat was located at the Long Island College Hospital. He is now head of of the Chiari Center ready to open in Manhasset New York (North Shore