All of us has had a headache in our lifetime. It could be a signal of stress, lack of sleep, hunger, or other medical health conditions such as the Arnold Chiari Malformation. Some of us may be clueless of this condition as we don’t even know it existed. The symptoms could be mistaken for other medical conditions, and the only way to identify it accurately is by seeking a professional opinion.
What Is Arnold Chiari Malformation?
Arnold Chiari is a defect of the brain particularly the cerebellum. This part of the brain is responsible for our balance. Experts conclude that the pregnancy of the mother has a significant contribution in acquiring this defect. They believe that it could be due to the maternal diet lacking essential nutrients which are needed to form the brain. As a result, the indented space at the skull’s base is unnaturally small. The cerebellum then receives the pressure which blocks the normal flow of the cerebrospinal fluid.
What Is The Role Of The Cerebellum In Arnold Chiari Malformation?
The cerebellum is easily identifiable in the brain because of its shape and location. It is responsible for our balance which then has a direct impact on how we function in our everyday lives. We all need to walk, and most of the activities we do require balance. Arnold Chiari Malformation is a condition which hinders a person from functioning well and maintaining proper muscle coordination.
An Arnold Chiari malformation can be congenital, or it could also occur later in life. The symptoms are not noticeable until the age of 20 onwards. It can be a tricky condition as it is only recognizable using diagnostic tests. Nonetheless, the signs that appear during adulthood are typical that we often see them as a common sickness.
There are three types of Arnold Chiari Malformation being Type I, Type II, and Type III. They could produce symptoms identifiable from the other.
What Is Arnold Chiari Malformation Type I?
A headache is the most common symptom of Arnold Chiari malformation. It happens when sneezing, straining, or coughing. There are also other symptoms of Type I Chiari malformation such as:
- Poor hand movements
- Neck pain
- Unsteady gait
- Tingling and numbness particularly in the hands and feet
- Feeling dizzy
- Trouble swallowing
- Vision problems
- Speech problems
- Buzzing or ringing in the ears
- Decreased heart rhythm
- Difficulty breathing
What Is Arnold Chiari Malformation Type II?
The second type of malformation differs from the first as there is more tissue seen extending into the spinal canal. Because of this, the symptoms consist of those related to myelomeningocele which often associates with Chiari malformation type II. The spinal canal and the backbone were unable to close accurately before birth in myelomeningocele. Symptoms of this type of Chiari malformation may include:
- Change in breathing pattern
- Difficulty swallowing
- Abnormal eye movements
What Is Arnold Chiari Malformation Type III?
Type III is the most serious type, as a fraction of the brainstem or cerebellum extends through an abnormal cavity in the back of the skull. This type of malformation is identifiable at birth or during pregnancy by using an ultrasound. It may also result in neurological problems (read more about in Baby Center).
Arnold Chiari Malformation is a condition in the brain; therefore, it is essential that you have it checked. Seeing a doctor is a must to identify the proper treatment and relief, and an MRI might be necessary to distinguish or rule out Arnold Chiari Malformation. Mindfulness is crucial, and it is vital that you get an expert opinion regarding this condition. Ultimately, it could affect how you function daily, and it could lead to other medical health complications.