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Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892
Textbook Problem

Discuss Concepts Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. Diagnosis involves using a needle to obtain a sample of cerebrospinal fluid to analyze for signs of infection. Why analyze this fluid and not blood?

Summary Introduction

To review:

The reason behind cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) being analyzed instead of blood during meningitis condition.

Introduction:

Meninges are the connective tissues that encircle the brain and the spinal cord. The cranial meninges are present surrounding the brain and the spinal meninges are present surrounding the spinal cord. There are total three meninges that are common in the spinal cord as well as the brain, namely, dura mater, pia mater, and arachnoid mater. The infection of these meninges leads to their inflammation, which is known as meningitis.

Explanation

The spinal cord and the brain are covered with dura mater, which is the outermost meninx, arachnoid mater that forms the middle meninx, and the arachnoid mater that forms the innermost meninx. The space present between the pia mater and arachnoid mater is called the subarachnoid space and it contains the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The CSF acts as the suspension system for the brain as well as the spinal cord or as the shock absorber.

Meningitis is an inflammation of meninges which may be caused due to either bacterial infection or viral infection. The brain is protected from the virus and bacteria by the blood-brain barrier, which is formed due to tight junctions of endothelial cells. Thus, the brain mostly floats in the cerebrospinal fluid...

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