Chiari Malformations Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Information

What is Chiari Malformations? (Definition)

(Symptoms, Causes & Treatment)

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Chiari malformations (CMs) are identified as structural defects in the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance. Normally the cerebellum and parts of the brain stem sit in an indented space at the lower rear of the skull, above the foramen magnum. When part of the cerebellum is located below the foramen magnum, it is referred to as a Chiari malformation.

Chiari Malformations may develop when the bony space is smaller than normal, causing the cerebellum and brain stem to be pushed downward into the foramen magnum and into the upper spinal canal. The resulting pressure on the cerebellum and brain stem may affect functions controlled by these areas and block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)— the clear liquid that surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord—to and from the brain.


Signs and Symptoms

People with Chiari Malformations may experience neck pain, balance problems, muscle weakness, numbness or other abnormal feelings in the arms or legs, dizziness, vision problems, difficulty swallowing, ringing or buzzing in the ears, hearing loss, vomiting, insomnia, depression, or headache made worse by coughing or straining. Hand coordination and fine motor skills may be affected.


See below for updated news and information regarding Chiari Malformations including new medical research, treatment options and advancements. 

Health Watch: Chiari Malformation: Not Just a Headache

KFSN-TVJan 30, 2016
Many patients with Chiari malformations have no signs or symptoms and do not require treatment for the condition. Typical symptoms of the …

The MRI in Arnold-Chiari Syndrome I and Idiopathic Syringomyelia

Rare Disease ReportDec 16, 2016
… Syringobulbia, Chiari Malformation, Scoliosis, and additional related … treatment and specialists needed in the ongoing care of the patient.

Chiari survivors: Brain malformation causes ‘neverending headaches’

KLTVSep 20, 2016
Chiari brain malformation affects approximately 1 in 1,000 people, but doctors say it can often get diagnosed as something else. Amanda Cobb …

Latest Chiari Malformations Research – Treatment News, Discoveries and Findings

No recent news regarding Chiari Malformations is available. 

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Clinical Trials – Investigational Therapies

For information on current clinical trials, visit This is a searchable registry and results database of federally and privately supported clinical trials taking place in the U.S and abroad. provides information about a trial’s purpose, who may participate, locations, and phone numbers. This information should be used in conjunction with advice from health care professionals.

For information about clinical trials being conducted at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD, contact the NIH Patient Recruitment Office:

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For information about clinical trials conducted in Europe, visit:

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