Cerebrospinal fluid

A clear, watery fluid that circulates between the ventricles (cavities) within the brain, the central canal in the spinal cord, and the space between the brain and spinal cord and their protective coverings, the meninges. Cerebrospinal fluid functions as a shockabsorber, helping to prevent or reduce damage to the brain and spinal cord after a blow to the head or back. It contains glucose, proteins, salts, and white blood cells. Examination of the fluid, usually obtained by lumbar puncture, is used to diagnose disorders such as meningitis.


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