Chiari-Budd Syndrome: An In-Depth Look

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Chiari-Budd Syndrome: An Overview

Chiari-Budd syndrome (CBS) is a rare congenital disorder characterized by a combination of structural abnormalities in the brain and spine. It was first described in 1959 by Hans Chiari and Charles Budd. CBS is most commonly diagnosed in childhood, but it can also occur in adulthood.

Key Features

The main features of CBS include:

  • Chiari malformation: This refers to a condition in which part of the cerebellum (the back part of the brain) protrudes through the opening in the skull at the base of the brain.
  • Hydrocephalus: This is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles of the brain, which can lead to increased pressure on the brain.
  • Spina bifida: This is a birth defect that occurs when the spinal cord does not close properly during fetal development.


The symptoms of CBS can vary depending on the severity of the malformations. In some cases, individuals may have only mild symptoms, while in others, the symptoms can be more severe and debilitating.

Common symptoms include:

  • Headaches, especially in the back of the head
  • Neck pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness and tingling in the arms and legs
  • Balance problems
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Speech problems
  • Visual problems
  • Seizures


CBS is typically diagnosed based on a combination of clinical symptoms and medical imaging tests. The diagnosis may be confirmed with an MRI of the brain and spine, which can show the structural abnormalities associated with the disorder.


The treatment for CBS depends on the severity of the symptoms. In some cases, no treatment may be necessary. For more severe cases, treatment may include:

  • Surgery: Surgery may be performed to correct the Chiari malformation and/or spina bifida.
  • Medication: Medications can be used to manage symptoms such as pain, headaches, and seizures.
  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help to improve muscle strength and range of motion.
  • Occupational therapy: Occupational therapy can help individuals to learn how to perform daily activities with the limitations imposed by their condition.


The prognosis for individuals with CBS depends on the severity of the malformations and the timeliness of treatment. With early diagnosis and treatment, many individuals with CBS are able to live full and active lives. However, some individuals may experience ongoing symptoms and complications throughout their lives.

Additional Information


CBS is a rare condition, affecting approximately 1 in every 100,000 people.


CBS is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. In some cases, the condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, meaning that only one copy of the affected gene is needed to cause the disorder.

Associated Conditions

CBS is often associated with other conditions, such as:

  • Syringomyelia (a cyst that forms in the spinal cord)
  • Scoliosis (a curvature of the spine)
  • Klippel-Feil syndrome (a rare disorder that affects the neck and spine)

Support and Resources

There are a number of organizations that provide support and resources to individuals with CBS and their families. These organizations can provide information about the condition, treatment options, and support groups.

Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation (CSF)

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)

International Chiari Malformation Alliance (ICMA)

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