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What are the different forms of Syringomyelia?
03-30-2011, 12:46 PM
Post: #1
What are the different forms of Syringomyelia?
There is no clarity as to what exactly causes syringomyelia. However, some of the main syringomyelia causes include congenial development problems related to the brain and/or spinal cord. The majority of syringomyelia cases are related to a condition called Chiari-I malformation where the brain tissue juts out into your spinal cord. Due to this, a syrinx sometimes develops in the cervical area of the spinal cord. This type of syringomyelia is sometimes referred to by doctors as communicating syringomyelia. In this form, the symptoms usually start sometime around the age of 25 to 40 years and generally worsen when there is some activity that causes a sudden fluctuation in the cerebrospinal fluid pressure. In some patients the periods of stability are long. In some cases it is found that there is an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the skull. This is known as hydrocephalus. In a few cases it is found that the arachnoid membrane, which is a covering of the spinal cord, is inflamed. This condition is known as arachnoiditis.

Any trauma caused to the spinal cord such as a severe fall or accident might manifest a couple of years later as another form of syringomyelia. This form of syringomyelia occurs due to complications caused by conditions such as arachnoiditis, meningitis, and a tumor. Such conditions cause damage to a certain segment of the spinal cord and it is here that a cyst or syrinx develops. Doctors sometimes refer to this condition as noncommunicating syringomyelia. The symptoms here include weakness, pain, and sensory impairment which originate at the point of trauma.

In both cases of syringomyelia, we find that there are chances that the problem is undetected for years until you may get bothered by a symptom that requires medical attention. Syringomyelia sometimes remains undetected till you reach midlife. Very often some medical conditions may obstruct the regular flow of cerebrospinal fluid and it gets redirected to the spinal cord. This leads to the formation of a cyst, the further development of which causes damage to your spinal cord.

Pain is the primary symptom of post-traumatic syringomyelia, and it is found that this pain moves upward from the point where it originates. It is found that symptoms such as weakness, pain, and numbness are usually limited to one side of the body. In rare cases, it is found that certain cases of syringomyelia are hereditary. In one particular form of syringomyelia, a section of the brain is involved. This section, called the brainstem, is responsible for controlling many crucial functions such as heartbeat and respiration. When the brainstem gets affected by syrinxes the condition is known as syringobulbia.

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