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“But, You Don’t Look Sick…”

Sufferers of Chiari Malformation have a serious medical condition, without necessarily appearing sickly and ill.

Chiari Malformation is a congenital deformity in the cerebellum. To raise money for research, a walk will be held in Utica, New York this March.

Photo Credit: The Chiari Institute

Chiari Malformation is the herniation of the cerebellar region of the brain that causes the cerebellum to protrude downward, trying to find room outside of the skull into the spinal cord region.  There are four different types of Chiari Malformation, though Type I is most commonly diagnosed.

However, Chiari is often asymptomatic. Not every patient knows they have it until the asymptomatic Chiari is discovered accidentally during an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) for unrelated scans.  But, those who do show symptoms of a Chiari Malformation suffer many symptoms.

These symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Severe headache (often triggered by straining)
  • Neck or upper back pain
  • Balance and coordination troubles
  • Difficultly swallowing
  • Weaknesses in the hands and legs
  • Blurred vision and hypersensitivity to light

To read about more symptoms that can be attributed to Chiari Malformation, follow this link.

The knowledge of Chiari Malformation has a tendency to lack an existence and seriousness in the public eye because of its “invisibility” even though it occurs as frequently as Multiple Sclerosis in the United States.  While the cause of Chiari Malformations is currently unknown, ASAP (American Syringomyelia and Chiari Alliance Project) continually makes an effort to raise awareness in the United States.

To help spread the awareness of this serious medical condition and raise funds to support research to find a cure for Chiari Malformation, join ASAP in their “Walk and Roll for a Cure” on March 31st in Utica, New York.

Click here for more information on the event and registration on ASAP’s website.

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