Influence of Chiari Malformation I on Affective and Cognitive Performance.


2014 Conquer Chiari Research Conference


Dr. Phil Allen, from the University of Akron and the Conquer Chiari Research Center (CCRC), decided to conduct an ongoing study which measures the cognitive functions of Chiari I patients. He was ultimately interested in determining whether the cerebellum had sustained damage even after decompression surgery was performed. Twenty-four post-op, opiate free individuals were contacted to participate in this evaluation which measured the management, regulation, and control of their executive functions— working memory, reasoning, task processing, and problem solving abilities.

Although the Chiari I patients had no memory difficulties or delayed recall, they had problems with responding to and managing changing situations, environment, and other forms of stimuli compared to those without Chiari. Dr. Allen found that many of the individuals in his study with Chiari I suffered from executive dysfunctions which prohibits them from self- regulating their own behavior (e.g. keeping track of time, finishing work on time, inability to reflect on past knowledge, multitasking). 


Philip A. Allen, James R. Houston, Mark G. Luciano