What is CSF?

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What is CSF?
CSF or cerebrospinal fluid is the fluid that occupies the subarachnoid space and ventricular system in which the human brain and spinal cord is located. One of its main functions is involved in the transfer of substances in and around the central nervous system. Particularly, it is through the cerebrospinal fluid that various nutrients are circulated in the nervous system. Waste materials are also washed away through the function of the CSF. And since this fluid surrounds the brain and spinal cord, it also serves as a shock-absorber” in times of trauma and/or direct blows to the skull and spine area.

Majority of CSF or cerebrospinal fluid is formed inside the choroid plexus of the brain through the ependymal cells. Some are produced through the blood vessels that are present in the ventricular walls. As much as 500 ml of CSF is produced by the body every single day. Most of this circulates around the brain and spinal cord areas with the excess drained away through the bloodstream.

Literally, the brain floats in cerebrospinal fluid. This is important because the brain itself is too heavy to “carry itself”. If it subjected to its own weight, blood supply to vital organs may be impeded and loss of important bodily functions may result. With the help of CSF, the brain will be protected from its sheer weight. The CSF also acts like a shield and protection for the brain during accidents and direct blows to the head. And since CSF is involved in circulating nutrients and wastes, it is an important part in maintaining proper chemical balance in the body. The cerebrospinal fluid also aids in the prevention of a condition called ischemia to the brain. By lowering the amount of CSF in the brain area, intracranial pressure will also be lowered and thereby facilitating the perfusion of blood.

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