Cerebrospinal fluid dynamics in the human cranial subarachnoid space – An overlooked mediator of cerebral disease. Part I: Computational model.
Abnormal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow is suspected to be a contributor to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s through the accumulation of toxic metabolites, and to the malfunction of intracranial pressure regulation, possibly through disruption of neuroendocrine communication. For the understanding of transport processes involved in either, knowledge of in vivo CSF dynamics is important. We present a three-dimensional, transient, subject-specific computational analysis of CSF flow in the human cranial subarachnoid space (SAS) based on in vivo magnetic resonance imaging. We observed large variations in the spatial distribution of flow velocities with a temporal peak of 5 cm/s in the anterior SAS and less than 4 mm/s in the superior part. This could reflect dissimilar flushing requirements of brain areas that may show differences in susceptibility to pathological CSF flow. Our methods can be used to compare the transport of metabolites and neuroendocrine substances in healthy and diseased brains.Download Article