BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT CHIARI MALFORMATION, SYRINGOMYELIA, EHLERS-DANLOS SYNDROME AND OTHER RELATED DISORDERS?

Below you can find a “quick description” of some of the conditions that impact patients and families struggling with Chiari and syringomyelia. Click through to be find even more detailed information about these disorders.

Got a question? You can always contact us by phone or email!

Asymptomatic Chiari malformation. Sometimes, a Chiari malformation will show up on a person’s MRI scan, but that person has no symptoms related to that Chiari. This is a surprisingly common situation, leading to a lot of miscommunication between doctors and patients.

Chiari I malformation. Chiari I is a congenital or acquired (rare) malformation in which the back compartment of the skull is too small, resulting in crowding of neurological tissues. The lower part of the cerebellum, sometimes called the cerebellar tonsils, hangs down through the opening at the bottom of the skull (called the “foramen magnum”), which prevents the flow of cerebrospinal fluid into the spinal canal. Learn more about symptoms and what to do next here. You can also download and print out this one-page fact sheet for quick information in the doctor’s office or at an awareness event!

Syringomyelia. This disorder occurs when a cavity, sometimes called a “syrinx”, is formed inside the spinal canal. This is usually caused by a build-up of fluid, resulting from a blockage of cerebrospinal fluid. This blockage could be caused by a Chiari malformation, spinal trauma, a tumor, or another cause. It is important to learn more about syringomyelia, because it can cause injury to nerve fibers. Learn more about syringomyelia symptoms and treatment methods here and download a one-page fact sheet to bring to your doctors appointments or awareness events!

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a hereditary connective tissue disorder. It is caused by genetic changes that affect the connective tissues that are in charge of stabilizing and support the joints and organs throughout the body. There are many different types of EDS, but the most common is known as the hypermobile type. Slowly, doctors are learning more about the connections between EDS and Chiari, and how these connections may impact treatment in some patients who may be struggling.

Other related disorders may include:

  • Dysautonomia
  • Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (sometimes known as pseudotumor cerebri)
  • Tethered cord syndrome
  • Etc.