Cerebrospinal fluid, an important fluid in the brain and spine

Do you know what cerebrospinal fluid is? This fluid is very important because it serves to protect the brain. Therefore, disturbances in this fluid can cause disturbances in brain function as well.

The composition of normal cerebrospinal fluid is 99 percent water, the remainder consists of. proteins, mononuclear cell glucose, electrolytes, enzymes, and white blood cells (leukocytes). Since most of it is water, this liquid has a clear or translucent color.

Cerebrospinal Fluid Function

Cerebrospinal fluid flows in the ventricles of the brain, brainstem, and around the spinal cord. This liquid has antibacterial properties that inhibit the growth and development of bacteria.

Cerebrospinal fluid has three main functions, namely:

  • Keeps brain tissue in position and provides a cushion to protect the brain from injury.
  • As a medium to deliver nutrients to brain tissue and remove waste from the brain
  • Maintain the balance of intracranial pressure, along with blood and brain tissue.

The production of cerebrospinal fluid in adults is about 500 ml per day. Whereas in children aged 4-13 years, the production is around 65-150 ml per day. This fluid will be absorbed and replaced with a new one every 6-8 hours.

Abnormalities in the cerebrospinal fluid

If there is an infection in the brain or spinal cord, the cerebrospinal fluid may change color and become cloudy. This can indicate an infection or a buildup of white blood cells and protein.

In addition to the content in it, the balance between the production and absorption of cerebrospinal fluid is important. Because cerebrospinal fluid is constantly being produced, if its absorption and flow is obstructed, it can accumulate in the brain cavities and eventually cause hydrocephalus.

In infants and children, hydrocephalus is usually characterized by an increase in the size of the head circumference.

Treatment of Cerebrospinal Fluid Disorders

Cerebrospinal fluid abnormalities will be treated according to the cause. If the cause is an infection, the doctor will provide treatment according to the type of infection. To prevent infection, you can vaccinate.

If the cerebrospinal fluid abnormality is a production and flow disturbance, as occurs in hydrocephalus, surgery may be required. The two most common surgical methods are shunt insertion and endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV).

Cerebrospinal fluid has a very important function for the work of the brain. Therefore, if there are complaints that could indicate a disturbance in this fluid, such as headaches that are getting worse over time, vomiting, and decreased consciousness, immediately consult a doctor to get the right treatment.

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