Cerebrospinal fluid

From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a clear, colorless body fluid found in the brain and spinal cord. It is produced in the choroid plexus of the brain. It acts as a cushion or buffer, providing basic mechanical and immunological protection to the brain inside the skull.

Production and composition[edit | edit source]

Cerebrospinal fluid is produced by the choroid plexus, a network of blood vessels present in the walls of the ventricles of the brain. The fluid is primarily water, but it also contains a variety of substances, including glucose, proteins, and ions. The composition of CSF is maintained by the blood-brain barrier, which controls the substances that can pass from the blood into the CSF.

Functions[edit | edit source]

The primary function of the cerebrospinal fluid is to protect the brain and spinal cord from injury by providing a fluid cushion. It also helps to maintain the homeostasis of the brain environment, which is crucial for the proper functioning of the neuronal cells. In addition, CSF serves as a medium for the removal of waste products from the brain.

Clinical significance[edit | edit source]

Alterations in the composition, volume, or pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid can lead to various medical conditions. These include hydrocephalus, which is an excessive accumulation of CSF in the brain, and meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The analysis of CSF is a valuable tool in the diagnosis of many neurological diseases.

See also[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD