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Medical Marijuana and Arnold-Chiari Malformation

What Is Arnold-Chiari Malformation?

Chiari Malformation, also known as Arnold-Chiari Malformation is a condition in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal. Though Chiari Malformation is not a particularly common disease, more improved imaging scans have led to more frequent diagnoses. The condition is characterized by symptoms of headaches, migraines, fatigue, weak muscles in the head and face, dizziness, nausea, impaired coordination, difficulty swallowing and in more extreme cases, paralysis.

Medical Marijuana and Arnold-Chiari Malformation

These malformations show up as structural defects within the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that controls balance. The pressure on the cerebellum can work to block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, which normally protects and surrounds the brain and spinal cord. As a result - loss of balance, disorientation, vision problems, lack of coordination and frequent numbness can occur. The most commonly recognized form of CM is Type I, which can be asymptomatic and is often uncovered incidentally during routine examinations for other conditions. Type II is often accompanied by a form of spina bifida, causing the spinal cord to protrude from an opening in the back. Type III is the most severe form of CM which causes severe neurological defects.

As far as treatment is concerned, decompressive surgery can be utilized for more extreme cases, removing the second and third cervical vertebrae.  Additionally, the stopping of spinal fluids may be aided by an implanted shunt. For patients seeking a far less invasive treament plan, medical-grade marijuana is recommended for immediate pain relief specifically targeting chronic muscle pain, weakness, headaches and fatigue. Sativa-dominant strains work best to reduce nausea, reduce and relieve pain and increase muscle capability. 

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