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The cerebellum, or "little brain", is divided into two hemispheres which are separated by a narrow worm-like structure in the middle called the vermis.
Directly beneath the hemispheres are two smaller lobes called cerebellar tonsils.
The cerebellum controls balance, posture, and helps to initiate as well as fine-tune voluntary motor activity - think about the fancy finger work of a piano player or the vocal cords of a singer - that’s the cerebellum in action.
Highest up, are two C-shaped lateral ventricles that lie deep in each cerebral hemisphere.
Chiari malformation is a structural defect in the brain which occurs when the cerebellum herniates in the foramen magnum due to craniovertebral junction anomalies. This can cause pressure on the spinal cord and other parts of the brain. There are different types of Chiari malformations, but the common ones are type I and II. Type I Chiari malformation occurs when there is the herniation of only the cerebellar tonsils and is associated with syringomyelia. Type II Chiari malformation (also called Arnold Chiari malformation) occurs when there is herniation of both the cerebellar tonsils and the vermis and is associated with myelomeningocele.
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