The Cerebrospinal Fluid Network
Researchers publishing findings in PLOS Biology proposed to identify mechanisms directing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow in order to better understand impacts on the brain’s health and cognition, and potential biomarkers of Alzheimer’s and other disorders. Via scans and MRIs, researchers “manipulated neural activity with a flickering checkerboard visual stimulus and found that we could drive macroscopic CSF flow in the human brain.”
This research is just the beginning. Coauthor Stephanie Williams of Boston University, stated, “It’s still an open question whether the fluid goes directly into the brain tissue or if it sloshes around in the ventricle. But we definitely think that it has an effect on fluid in the rest of the brain.” The study concluded that “these results demonstrate that CSF flow can be driven by inducing high-intensity visually evoked neural activity during the awake state in humans. …neural activity and neurovascular coupling is an additional contributing mechanism that can drive fast, large-scale changes in CSF flow. Furthermore, our noninvasive approach provides an avenue to now test the integrity of this mechanism in clinical populations, to ultimately understand its consequences for brain function.”
Read the press release.