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Christopher S. Burton Syringomyelia Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 100335
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33310-0335
The Christopher S. Burton Syringomyelia Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is to raise and distribute funds to those who are recently diagnosed with syringomyelia and can demonstrate a financial and medical need; assist with short or long term financial assistance while social services are pending or insufficient; educate the medical community; and raise awareness in the general public in hopes of finding a cure someday soon. Syringomyelia is a neurological disorder characterized by the formation of a fluid-filled cyst (syrinx) within the spinal cord. This cyst may, for unknown reasons, expand during adolescence or the young adult years, destroying the center of the spinal cord as it does. As the syrinx expands, it affects the nerves that stimulate the patient’s legs, arms, back and shoulders. In turn, the affected individual may feel considerable pain and weakness, and may lose the ability to distinguish hot from cold objects. The combination of symptoms and signs may vary considerably from person to person, depending on where in the spine the syrinx is located and how much it expands over time. Often, the symptoms develop slowly. Unless the condition is treated surgically, it may lead to neurological deficits and chronic, intense pain. In most cases, syringomyelia is a congenital (present at birth) abnormality of the brain called a Chiari I malformation. The malformation occurs during the development of the fetus, for reasons that aren’t well understood yet. Syringomyelia may also occur as a complication of trauma, spinal cord injury, meningitis, hemorrhage, or a tumor. Symptoms may not appear until years after the initial injury. In rare cases, syringomyelia appears to be familial or genetically transmitted.
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