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Is it possible to feel or hear the Cerebrospinal fluid circulatingaround the brain and spinal cord?

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Is it possible to feel or even slightly hear the Cerebrospinal fluid circulating or passing around the brain and spinal cord? Or possible it's the Cerebrospinal fluid in the inner ear I'm hearing? The sensation is felt where the brain stem is connected at the back of my head.I generally feel it when I'm sitting still. The sensation and sound lasts about 1.5sec I have experienced this my entire life but never asked about it till now.
Posted Tue, 8 Oct 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 25 minutes later
Brief Answer:
CSF pulsations may be felt.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for your query.

1. The CSF system is a low flow system. Unlike blood flow which is a relatively high flow high pressure system. Turbulent blood flow in the inner ear and head may be heard as a Bruit or Tinnitus. There is about 150 cc of CSF normally present and it is replenished up to 3 to 5 times a day.

2. The CSF pulsates in sync with the blood flow through the brain and is capable of thinning bone and even breaching it. It is usually evenly distributed and will not splash around to hear. However you may feel the pulsation.

3. There are no receptors for pain or pressure in the brain itself. Stretching of the linings of the brain is what you may be feeling.

4. If you have no severe symptoms, there is no need to investigate. Ideally, a normal CT , Cisternography MRI Brain (No XXXXXXX Chiari Malformation, Spinal Stenosis, Disc bulge and so on), an Eye (Fundus) examination, a CSF manometry and examination and lack of any other symptoms would settle the issue.

I hope that I have answered your query. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Is it possible to feel or hear the Cerebrospinal fluid circulatingaround the brain and spinal cord? 45 minutes later
Thank you for your reply.
I am not concerned with this phenomin which is why I hv never asked b4.I am merely curious about it now. I can describe the feeling as this;squeezing fluid from a plastic bottle with a pin size opening very hard into another container.That is what I feel and (must think I hear.)The sensation travels a very short distance from the hollow spot at the very top of my neck (I refered as the brain stem connection not sure if thats correct) down what feels an inch or 2 Im just reclarifying.My questions are these. Can this sensation be the pulsating you referred to? And when it pulsates that stretches the linings? Can it pulsate in that area of the head & spinal column in the neck? Or could it be something else entirely?There seems to be a much faster flow than was suggested. Any other thoughts you have that could be giving that sensation I would appreciate hearing.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 11 hours later
Brief Answer:
Yes, pulsations stretch the linings. MRI Scan.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. Yes, you are probably feeling (and hearing) the pulsations.

2. The pulsations stretch the linings which is why you can feel them.

3. There is a narrowing and flow of CSF through small foramina ( the aqueduct of Sylvius / Cerebral aqueduct, Fourth ventricle, median foramen of Magendie and lateral foramina of Luschka, the subarachnoid space over brain and spinal cord) in the area of the brainstem and from the skull into the spinal column.

4. Since you are feeling something not normally felt by most people, you are justified in getting investigations such as an MRI Brain + Cervical Spine done. This is a non invasive imaging that will help rule out any anatomical abnormalities such as a syrinx and other rare conditions. Of course, I must emphasize that all of these do not require treatment if they are asymptomatic.

I hope that I have answered your query. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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