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On the Motion of the Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)

Dr. Juan Carlos Lasheras -Institute of Engineering in Medicine, University of California.

On the Motion of the Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) and its Role in Disease Processes of the Central Nervous System (CNS)

Radionuclide scanning images published in Nature by Di Chiro in 1964 showed a downward migration a long the spinal canal of particle tracers injected in the brain ventriles while also showing an upward flow of tracers injected in the lumbar region of the canal. However, to date, there has been no physical explanation for the mechanism responsible for the establishment of this bulk recirculating motion of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the spinal canal that is essential for the proper function of the central nervous system.

Using asymptotic analysis we show that the nonlinear term associated with the convective acceleration contributes to a second-order correction consisting of a steady streaming that generates a bulk recirculating motion of the CSF along the length of the canal with characteristic velocities two orders of magnitude smaller than the leading-order os cillatoryflow.

We demonstrate that the predictive capabilities of this bulk motion of the CSF is essential to optimize in trat he cal drug delivery systems (injection of chemot he rapy or pain medication directly into the CSF in the spinal canal), and most importantly, in the early diagnosis of idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (the only known treatable form of adult dementia).

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