Cerebral Spinal Fluid: Definition, Locations, Flow, Function, and Formation Process – Do you know what cerebrospinal fluid is? This fluid is very important because it serves to protect the brain. Therefore, this disruption of fluid can cause disruption to brain function as well.
The normal composition of cerebrospinal fluid is 99 percent of water, the rest consists of. proteins, mononuclear cell glucose, electrolytes, enzymes, and white blood cells (leukocytes). Since most of them are water, this liquid has a clear or translucent color.
Cerebral Spinal Fluid Definition
Cerebrospinal fluid is a clear fluid located in the brain and sterna as well as subrachnoid space that surrounds the brain and medulla spinalis “spinal cord”. This fluid has a constant pressure and has rooms that are interconnected with each other.
Cerebrospinal fluid is produced by the choroid plexus of the lateral ventricles, a chamber located inside the human brain where the resulting fluid is then flowed to the lateral ventricle. Cerebrospinal fluid serves as a mechanical damper against shock.
It also provides lubrication between the bone and its surroundings and the brain with the spinal cord. When a person has a head injury, this fluid acts as a pillow that will minimize or reduce the effect of the injury.
Cerebral Spinal Fluid Location
Anatomically, cerebrospinal fluid is found in the ventricles of the brain, namely in:
- Subarachnoid space
- Ventricles of the brain
- Central canal of the spinal cord
This fluid is produced in the choroid plexus located above the “roof” of the third and fourth ventricles and on the middle wall of the lateral ventricle. This liquid is produced continuously which is offset by the process of re-absorption into the blood.
Cerebral Spinal Fluid Flow
The flow of cerebrospinal fluid is as follows: from the lateral ventricle the cerebrospinal fluid flows into the third ventricle and here the amount of cerebrospinal fluid will increase more. From ventricle III cerebrospinal fluid flows through Sylvii aqueduct into the fourth ventricle, which also produces cerebrospinal fluid.
Cerebrospinal fluid then exits through the Magendie foramen and Luschka enters the subarachnoid space. In the cerebrospinal subarachnoid space flows into the cranial venous sinus through the arachnoid villi which is a bundle of the arachnoid pia that penetrates the dura mater to then be located in the cranial venous sinus and down around the spinal medulla.
If one of the brain’s ventricular foramen experiences a blockage then the cerebro-spinal fluid will continue to increase, as a result of which the brain ventricle enlarges due to cerebrospinal fluid pressure. Enlargement of the ventricle of the brain will suppress the nerve elements around the ventricle. As a result brain function is impaired. If this happens to a newborn (neonatal), then the baby’s head becomes very large. This pathological state is called hydrocephalus.
Cerebrospinal fluid function
Cerebrospinal fluid flows in the ventricles of the brain, the 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:
- Keeping brain tissue in position and as a cushion to protect the brain from injury.
- As a medium to deliver nutrients to brain tissue and remove residual substances from
- Maintains an intracranial pressure balance, along with blood and brain tissue.
The production of the older person’s cerebrospinal fluid is about 500 ml per day. While in children aged 4-13 years, the production is about 65-150 ml per day. This liquid will be absorbed and replaced with a new liquid every 6-8 hours.
Most cerebrospinal fluid (as much as 2/3 or more) is produced inside the choroid plexus of the cerebral ventricles. A small amount of this cerebrospinal fluid is formed by ependymal cells that restrict the ventricles as well as the arachnoid membranes, and also the rest is formed from fluid leaking into the perivascular chamber around the blood vessels of the brain (leakage of the blood vessels of the brain).
In normal older persons, the volume of cerebrospinal fluid is about 21 ml/h or also 500 ml/day. In total it’s only about 150 ml.
- Image: Mark D. Shen, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
- Video: Bristol Neuroscientists
Last Updated on June 8, 2021 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team