Catching the diagnosis: A peculiar presentation of Chiari malformation type I

Austin C Rezigh, Alec B Rezigh


Chiari I malformation is a congenital anatomic anomaly of the cerebellar tonsils resulting in their downward displacement through the foramen magnum. While often incidentally discovered on imaging with no attributable symptoms, the most common symptomatic presentation is non-specific headache. Herein, we describe a case of symptomatic Chiari I malformation in a woman with psychiatric comorbidities manifesting as a sensation of brain catching. While a peculiar description easily misconstrued by her mental health history, clinicians should consider this diagnosis in those describing symptoms compatible with headaches or occiput pain related to meningeal irritation.


Chiari I malformation; Headache; Mental health; Adult; Diagnosis; MRI

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Copyright (c) 2023 Austin C Rezigh, Alec B Rezigh

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