Lumbar Puncture: This (Really) Is Spinal Tap

Written by Gary Cordingley

I couldn't resistrepparttar title's corny riff onrepparttar 148658 name ofrepparttar 148659 rock band and their movie, butrepparttar 148660 kind of spinal tap featured in this article was a spinal tap before Spinal Tap was Spinal Tap. (Does that make any sense?)

Known more formally as a lumbar puncture, this kind of spinal tap is a valuable medical test with an interesting history. In 1891 Heinrich Quincke, of Kiel, Germany, introduced this procedure as we know it today. His original intent was to help babies suffering from hydrocephalus (water onrepparttar 148661 brain) by draining away excess fluid, but fromrepparttar 148662 outset he was also interested in lumbar puncture's use as a diagnostic tool.

To understandrepparttar 148663 usefulness of this test and why you might someday need to have one, a little background is helpful. The brain and spinal cord are wrapped in a membrane calledrepparttar 148664 meninges. Withinrepparttar 148665 meninges, a watery fluid calledrepparttar 148666 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) bathesrepparttar 148667 inside and outside ofrepparttar 148668 brain andrepparttar 148669 outside ofrepparttar 148670 spinal cord. Withinrepparttar 148671 brain's fluid chambers (ventricles),repparttar 148672 body perpetually manufactures new CSF from constituents ofrepparttar 148673 bloodstream. Oncerepparttar 148674 CSF has percolated through openings to get outsiderepparttar 148675 brain, it is reabsorbed and recycled intorepparttar 148676 bloodstream. The entire volume of CSF—about 150 milliliters or five ounces—is made and reabsorbed several times per day.

Dr. Quincke understood that analyzingrepparttar 148677 CSF's makeup could be useful in diagnosing infections and other diseases affectingrepparttar 148678 central nervous system (brain plus spinal cord). Measuringrepparttar 148679 CSF's protein and glucose (sugar) content along with inspecting a sample of CSF under a microscope to count red and white blood-corpuscles soon became standard practices.

The premier use of lumbar puncture in both Quincke's time and ours has been to diagnose meningitis. The suffix "-itis" signifies inflammation, so meningitis means inflammation ofrepparttar 148680 meninges. Most, but not all, instances of meningitis are due to infections, butrepparttar 148681 kinds of infections seen have evolved overrepparttar 148682 years. In Quincke's lifetime tuberculosis and syphilis germs were common causes of meningitis, but presently, in developed countries these are uncommon. Nowadays,repparttar 148683 usual causes of meningitis are other bacteria, viruses or even funguses. In cases of suspected infection, CSF protein, glucose and blood-corpuscle measurements are supplemented by other tests onrepparttar 148684 fluid that can track downrepparttar 148685 specific, infecting organisms.

Another important use of lumbar puncture is to diagnose subarachnoid hemorrhage, an abrupt, devastating, and potentially lethal bleed intorepparttar 148686 CSF space caused by rupture of an aneurysm or other abnormal blood vessel. In suspected cases—classically presenting with "the worst headache of my life"—a computed tomographic (CT) scan is usually performed first. While very sensitive in detecting subarachnoid hemorrhages, CT scans can still miss cases. So ifrepparttar 148687 doctor is still suspicious that a bleed occurred,repparttar 148688 next step is to do a lumbar puncture which is 100% sensitive in detecting this condition. That is, it never misses.

Lumbar puncture with CSF analysis can also help inrepparttar 148689 diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, a disease in whichrepparttar 148690 patient's own immune system attacksrepparttar 148691 central nervous system. In this conditionrepparttar 148692 immune reaction produces abnormal proteins that can be detected and measured inrepparttar 148693 CSF.

How isrepparttar 148694 test performed? Well,repparttar 148695 first step, of course, isrepparttar 148696 informed consent process in which your doctor explainsrepparttar 148697 risks and benefits ofrepparttar 148698 test and you sign a permission form. In this author's opinion, lumbar puncture isrepparttar 148699 most benign test for which written permission is traditionally required and is less risky than some other procedures—like drawing blood from a high-pressure artery—for which written permission is traditionally omitted.

How to stop stuttering

Written by Stephen Hill

Author Stephen Hill

I am Stephen Hill from Birmingham in England. I started to stuttering in childhood atrepparttar age of four or five. I attend a lot of different types of speech therapy, some in groups, some on a one to one basis. I have had had lots of stuttering advice on how to stop stuttering. These are some: slowing down my breath costal breathing prolonged speech taking a deep breath before I spoke

I had began inrepparttar 148657 class called, preschool stuttering. This term is labelled byrepparttar 148658 stuttering speech therapist orrepparttar 148659 stuttering speech pathologist. My parents were reasured that most people who stutter in childhood soon grow out of it. Well I was one of those who didn't.

I then joinedrepparttar 148660 class called, childhood stuttering. I continued to attend speech therapy and joining in with their speech therapy activities and their speech therapy games.

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