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Whether Arnold Chiari Type 1 is a disease or disorder ?
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Whether Arnold Chiari Type 1 is a disease or disorder ?

Please let me know that whether Arnold Chiari Type 1 is a genetic disease or a congenital disease.  I have tried to view web-sites in medical dictionaries.  But, some sites mention it as 'defect' and some mention it as 'malformation'.

However, at one place, I have observed that cause of Arnold Chiari Type 1 is stated as under :

Cause of Arnold Chiari Type 1 :

Although the exact cause of Chiari Malformation is unknown, it is thougt that a problem during fetal development may cause the abnormal brain formation.  Chiari malformation may be caused by exposure to harmful substances during fetal development or associated with genetic problems or syndromes that may have a tendency to run in families.

Theories suggest that the following may predispose the fetus to problems that affect the normal development of the head during pregnancy :

* Exposure to hazardous chemicals/substances
* lack of proper vitamins and nutrients in the diet
* infection
* prescription or illegal drug and alcohol consumption
From the above, I feel that a Arnold Chiari Type 1, is a congenital disease sustained in course of pregnancy, at the time of birth by a human due to above referred problems encountered by the mother.

Thus, I feel Arnold Chiari Type 1 is a 'Congenital disease' and not a 'Genetic Disorder'.  Disease is something, which is encountered accidentally, whereas Disorder is a hereditarily sustained defect in the body.  For eg. obesity, lucoderma, specs, etc. are instances of genetic disorder.

Whereas my colleagues differ in view and feel it to be a genetic disorder.  I request you to kindly enlighten whether Arnold Chiari Type 1 is a Congenital Disease or a Genetic Disorder.



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It sounds as though you are looking for a scientific answer rather than the opinion of Chiari patients. This list is not made up of Doctors per sey.

However, due to the difficulty in finding adequate treatment many on this list have done more research than you will find flrom most doctors. That being said I'll give you my hypothosis. This is based on what I"ve read and my family history. Since the year 1912 there have been 4 members of my fathers family who showed signs of the malformation. Only two of us have ever met each other and we live in totally differenent areas at birth. To me that screams genetic malformation just my HO though.

I spoke with my first ns about this last spring.  He conducts seminars as well as teaches chiari surgery.  He indicated that he does not consider Arnold Chiari Malformation as genitic since a gene has not yet been identified nor is it a disease.  He considers chiari a 'hereditary disorder' since it runs in families and is a brain defect.

Research has not ruled out environmental factors, nor, ruled them in.  However, since there are hundreds of thousands of people world wide with this condition - all under different environmental circumstances - I am skeptical to believe that the environment alone plays a factor in this.

Does anyone else out there have a dr that ever mentioned this and what did they say???

I'm sure that we will get many different answers since there is not enough research being done.  

I am not inclined to comment as I have no idea......but do have question to the u have chiari?
That's a med student trying to get us to answer his/her homework questions.  :-)

My advice and request would be for you to learn a lot about Chiari - Whatever you decide it should be termed and help the people who have it.   Don't be "just another doctor" who doesn't know 1) how to pronounce it. 2) What the symptoms are.  Or 3) How to help.

Be willing to have an open mind because the symptoms are many and can vary from patient to patient.

Good luck in school and with your career.  :-)
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