Cerebral meninges

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Cerebral Meninges

The cerebral meninges are a system of membranes that envelop the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain and spinal cord. These membranes provide a protective barrier between the CNS and the rest of the body, and also serve to contain the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that bathes the CNS.

Structure[edit | edit source]

The cerebral meninges consist of three layers: the dura mater, the arachnoid mater, and the pia mater. Each layer has a unique structure and function.

Dura Mater[edit | edit source]

The dura mater is the outermost layer of the cerebral meninges. It is a thick, durable membrane that is tightly adhered to the inside of the skull. The dura mater also contains several large, blood-filled spaces known as dural sinuses.

Arachnoid Mater[edit | edit source]

The arachnoid mater is the middle layer of the cerebral meninges. It is a thin, delicate membrane that is loosely attached to the dura mater. The space between the arachnoid mater and the pia mater is filled with CSF and is known as the subarachnoid space.

Pia Mater[edit | edit source]

The pia mater is the innermost layer of the cerebral meninges. It is a very thin, delicate membrane that is tightly adhered to the surface of the brain and spinal cord.

Function[edit | edit source]

The primary function of the cerebral meninges is to protect the CNS. They provide a physical barrier against injury, and also help to contain the CSF, which provides additional protection by cushioning the brain and spinal cord.

In addition, the cerebral meninges play a role in the immune response of the CNS. They contain immune cells that can respond to infections or injuries, and they also serve as a barrier to prevent the spread of infections from the rest of the body to the CNS.

Clinical Significance[edit | edit source]

Inflammation of the cerebral meninges, known as meningitis, is a serious medical condition that can lead to severe neurological damage or death if not treated promptly. Symptoms of meningitis can include headache, fever, neck stiffness, and altered mental status.


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD