Research: The Fluctuation of the Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)
Movement of the Cerebro-Spinal Fluid (CSF) is a well-established phenomenon. CSF flows through the ventricles of the brain and within the spaces around the brain and spinal cord. Sutherland described this motion as fluctuant in nature.
- Much of the research regarding the motion of CSF has already been cited in the previous section The Inherent Rhythmic Motion of the Brain and Spinal Cord.
- DuBolay et al.1 summarized over a century of research, stating that the rise in CSF pressure, measured in parts of the brain and low back, is caused by the pulsatile nature of blood flow to the head.
- O‘Connell3 also referred to a “CSF pump.”
The spinal dural membranes have a notable effect on the flow of CSF.
- Levy et al.4 studied spinal CSF flow rates and brain pulsations in healthy patients and those with certain spinal conditions. They concluded that spinal cord pulsations are directly related to brain pulsations, stating “The origin of cord pulsations is compatible with a direct transfer of motion from brain pulsations.”
Decades of research provide abundant evidence for the fluctuant flow of Cerebro-Spinal Fluid .
- DuBolay GH, O’Connell J, Currie J, et al. Further investigations on pulsatile movements in the cerebrospinal fluid pathways. Acta Radiol Diagnost 1971;13:496-523.
- Becher E. Untersuchen über die Dynamic der “Cerebospinalis.” Mitt Grenzgeb Med Chir. 1922;35:329.
- O’Connell JAE. Vascular factor in intracranial pressure and maintenance of cerebro-spinal fluid circulation. Brain. 1943;66:204-228.
- Levy LM, DiChiro GD, McCollough DC, et al. Fixed spinal cord: Diagnosis with MR imaging. Radiology 1988;169:773-778.