Are Chiari I Malformation Related to Pain in FMS Patients?
Some patients with Chiari I malformation of the posterior skull have been found to have symptoms similar to FMS patients. Particularly, fatigue, memory problems, numbness of face or extremities, swallowing abnormalities, generalized body pain, and weakness have been associated with this syndrome. Chiari I malformation is a congenital abnomality of the posterior skull which results in crowding of important brainstem areas. Many patients with this abnormality are asymptomatic and only patients with extensive changes will reliably show symptoms. Interestingly, some patients with FMS and Chiari I malformation had improvement of their symptoms after skull surgery. These findings raise the important question how many FMS patients may have Chiari I malformation, which may respond to neurosurgical therapy. Preliminary results from a multi-center study of FMS patients, however, do not seem to indicate an increased incidence of Chiari I malformation in these patients. Also, case-controlled studi