Research Review: The Possible Role of Cranio-Cervical Trauma and Abnormal CSF Hydrodynamics in the Genesis of Multiple Sclerosis
What is this research about?
This research paper focuses on how Cranio-Cervical (head and neck) trauma can cause Multiple Sclerosis due to abnormal CSF hydrodynamics. The eight MS patients studied in this article had two things in common: 1. Abnormal CSF flow shown in upright MRI studies 2. A history of Cranio-Cervical Trauma.
What is the science behind this research?
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a clear, colorless liquid that bathes the brain and spinal cord. While the primary function of CSF is to cushion the brain within the skull and serve as a shock absorber for the central nervous system, CSF also circulates nutrients and chemicals filtered from the blood and removes waste products from the brain.
Cerebrospinal Fluid flow can be altered in the neck due to abnormal shifts of the cervical spine which leads to lesions of the spinal cord and brain. Altered CSF flow create abnormal hydrostatic pressure in the skull that pushes CSF into the brain tissue. Additionally, the turbulent flow of the CSF can also wear on the sensitive neurological tissues of the brain and spinal cord.
NORMAL CSF FLOW
ABNORMAL CSF FLOW
Why is this important?
This is important for ALL patients, not just those diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. This study indicates that unresolved head and neck trauma can cause neurological damage that can lead to MS but also a myriad of other secondary conditions.
What does it mean for me?
If you’ve had trauma to your head and neck, it is important to get checked in our office for abnormal shifts in the cervical spine. You may also need an upright MRI study to observe the abnormal CSF flow.
After a head or neck trauma, most of us are more concerned with the immediate effects of the injury. However, this study shows that we should also be concerned with prolonged periods of abnormal CSF hydrodynamics and the subsequent neurological deficits.