Friends and Colleagues,
As some of you are aware, our Vice President, Craig Stewart's wife, Andrea, was diagnosed with a Chiari malformation and Syringomyelia last summer. This was discovered after she did not acheive the expected rehabilitation from a bad car accident in late 2018. Some of her aliments were caused by her Chiari malformation becoming symptomatic after trauma from the car accident. The diagnosis gave her some answers as to why her body was not responding to her physiotherapy treatments as expected, and some other symptoms were getting worse.
Chiari Malformation is when the brain tissue extends into the spinal canal. In Andrea's case, it created a syrinx in her spinal cord also called Syringomyelia. This causes pressure on the spinal cord or lower brainstem and can cause neurological symptoms. She has since had brain and spinal surgery to fix the malformation and is currently on the road to a long recovery with a positive outlook.
The condition can be asymptomatic from birth and unknown for years, resulting in patients with Chiari malformations having a delay in their diagnosis. The symptoms they suffer include disabling dizziness and headaches, pain in the neck and upper back, muscle weakness in the arms and legs, lack of concentration and fatigue. Overall, Chiari has been insufficiently studied as a neurosurgical condition.
Dr. Mojgan Hodaie from the University Health Network's Toronto Western Hospital, who diagnosed and operated on Andrea, has treated a large number of patients with Chiari malformations since 2004. Her clinical work has been deeply intertwined with research in an attempt to understand the condition and improve ways in which to identify the best type of treatment for each patient. She has focused on the role of advanced brain imaging techniques to understand what happens to the brain in Chiari malformations. The goal is to develop techniques to better individualize patient treatment.
Screenco is asking for your support in Dr. Hodaie's research. With your help, Toronto Western Hospital and its team can become the world center of Chiari malformation treatement and care directly impacting patients such as Andrea Stewart.
Please make a gift today!
The Screenco Team