The Role of the Craniocervical Junction in Neurodegenerative

There appears to be a number of studies coming out which pronounce that perhaps CCSVI is not as successful as it appears to claim!

The Role of the Craniocervical Junction in Neurodegenerative

Postby Jencor69 » Sat, 05 Dec 2015, 7:49 pm

Review Article
The Role of the Craniocervical Junction in Craniospinal Hydrodynamics and Neurodegenerative Conditions

Michael F. Flanagan
1. Introduction
The CCJ comprises the base of the skull, atlas (C1), and axis (C2), as well as muscles and connective tissues that connect the skull to the cervical spine. It further includes the dura mater and dentate ligament attachments of the brain and cord to the foramen magnum and upper cervical spine [1– 8]. Moreover, the CCJ links the vascular and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) systems in the cranial vault to those in the spinal canal. Craniospinal hydrodynamics refer to the relationship between blood and CSF volume, pressure, and flow in the relatively closed confines of the compartments of the cranial vault and spinal canal. Malformations and misalignments of the CCJ cause deformation and obstruction of blood and CSF pathways and flow between the cranial vault and spinal canal that can result in faulty craniospinal hydrodynamics and subsequent neurological and neurodegenerative disorders.

While the exact source, such as the arteries at the base of the brain or choroidal vessels, is still debated, in either case, it is generally accepted that craniospinal hydrodynamics are primarily driven by arterial pulsations [9–19] and further modified by respiration, Valsalva maneuvers, body move-ments, upright posture, inversion, and recumbent position. The arterial pulsations pump a relatively large volume of blood into the brain and cord during systole causing a spike in intracranial pressure (ICP). To prevent damage to the brain from excess pulsatility pressure, the increase in volume must be matched by a simultaneous increase in drainage of venous blood and CSF from the cranial vault. In addition to the internal jugular veins humans developed an accessory drainage system comprising emissary veins that link the dural sinuses to the vertebral venous plexus and serve as the primary drainage routes of the brain during upright posture [20–30]. Because the dural sinuses, facial veins, and vertebral veins have no valves, the direction of venous blood flow is determined by hydrostatic pressure gradients. The pressure gradients produced by upright posture cause blood to flow preferentially from the dural sinuses into the vertebral veins. Conversely, inversion reverses the pressure gradient causing blood to flow from the vertebral veins to the dural sinuses, which increases intracranial and intraocular pressures [20– 30]. CSF flow between the subarachnoid space in the cranial vault and spinal canal is likewise determined by the same pressure gradients.

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