Migraine Term of the Day: Cerebrospinal Fluid

Teri Robert @trobert Health Guide
  • When we're looking at Migraine and headache information, whether it's from our doctor, a book, or an online article, we sometimes come across medical terms that can be confusing.


    Sometimes, it's easy enough to substitute another word or a short phrase for the medical term. At other times, substituting just doesn't convey quite the same meaning or takes more than a few words.


    Some of you have expressed an interest in learning more of the medical terminology that comes up when discussing Migraine disease and other headache disorders. So, I'll be posting a "term of the day," probably a couple of times a week. If there are terms you'd like to have defined, please leave a comment to let me know what it is.

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    Today's term: Cerebrospinal Fluid (abbreviated CSF).


    Cerebrospinal Fluid: a serum-like fluid that circulates through the ventricles of the brain, the cavity of the spinal cord, and the subarachnoid space. It acts somewhat like a shock absorber for protection. CSF contains proteins and other important chemicals, known as biomarkers, that may indicate the existence of a disease process, such as meningitis.



    Cerebrospinal fluid pressure can impact Migraines and headaches. Most commonly, we see CSF pressure discussed in relation to pseudotumor cerebri, aka idiopathic intractranial hypertension (IIH).


    You can read more about CSF, and IIH in:

    For more terms, see our Migraine and Headache Glossary.


    Live well,



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    Medical review by John Claude Krusz, PhD, MD.


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    Last updated May 9, 2010
Published On: May 09, 2010