Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Racoon | 2011/08/04


Protruding tongue

Dear Prof

Our 2.5 year old''s (who has Chiari 1) tongue has recently started protruding, mainly while sleeping. As the tongue is innervated by cranial nerve XII which originates where his cerebellar tonsils are impressing on the cord, we are concerned this might have something to do with it. He isn''t yet speaking clearly, but ofcourse that could simply be his age. He isn''t choking or anything else involved in eating or drinking, but he is waking often at night. Are there other signs regarding the functioning of his tongue that we can look out for that might indicate that the nerve is affected?

Many thanks.

Expert's Reply



Children with the Arnold-Chiari syndrome are known to be prone to develop obstructive sleep disorders.It apppears that this may be due to both actual enlargement of the tongue and also to a problem with the nerve control of the tongue. It would be a good idea at this stage to speak to your paediatric neurologist.

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