Arnold-Chiari Malformation

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Arnold-Chiari Malformation (ACM), also known as Type II or “classic” Chiari malformation typically only appears in children born with spina bifida – a condition characterized by incomplete development of the spinal cord and/or its protective covering. In ACM, cerebellar tissue protrudes all the way into the spinal canal. Because of this symptoms may include poor balance, dizziness, muscle weakness, hydrocephalus (accumulation of fluid in the brain), vomiting, vision problems and headaches. Chiari malformations in general tend to affect females in a higher frequency than males. ACM typically results from structural defects in the brain during fetal development. Treatment for this condition depends on each case, as symptoms may vary from individual to individual. Sometimes affected individuals may need to rely on a team of specialists composed of pediatricians, neurosurgeons, neurologists, ophthalmologists and other healthcare professionals.

Organizations exist to provide support, information and resources to people experiencing rare conditions. Information provided in part by our partner NORD.

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