Cerebrospinal fluid is one that surrounds the spinal cord and brain. It is a clear fluid which is around 150 milliliters inside the cerebral cavity which lets the brain float. These fluids serve as a shock absorber thus protects the brain from any injury or sudden physical jerk.
Cerebrospinal Fluid Functions
As mentioned above the major function of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is to protect the brain by serving as shock absorber whenever there is a sudden physical jerk or any injury that occurs. The CSF lets the brain literally float so that whenever there is a sudden jerk of the head or neck or a mild blow the brain will just move with the skull and will not collide with the skull. However for severe blows, the brain might collide with the skull but the impact may not be that hard because of the presence of CSF.
Cerebrospinal fluid is also use to diagnose various diseases or disorders. Through the use of spinal tap procedure the sample cerebrospinal fluid is then analyze for viral or bacterial infections. Another type of disorder or diseases which is diagnosed through abnormality in the cerebrospinal fluid is hydrocephalus. In this condition one of the ventricles in the brain is blocked thus cerebrospinal fluid is accumulated in the brain resulting to chronic edema. The number of people who are affected is hard to establish since there is no database for people who has this condition however experts have estimated that around one in every five hundred children is affected of hydrocephalus (NINDS).
Another function of cerebrospinal fluid is something to do with metabolism. It is a fact that there are no lymphatic within the central nervous system thus the CSF do the responsibility of lymph in other tissue. CSF plays important role in the elimination of the waste products cerebral metabolism which is the excess H+ ions, lactate and CO2. CSF also functions as path for transmission of hormones and neuron-active peptides. It also aids in providing a stable and balance chemical environment for both spinal and cerebral neurons. It helps regulates the intracranial pressure.