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Cerebrospinal fluid, low-frequency oscillations, respiration, neck fMRI scans, hemodynamics


Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) movement through the pathways within the central nervous system is of high significance for maintaining normal brain health and function. Low frequency hemodynamics and respiration have been shown to drive CSF in humans independently. Here, we hypothesize that CSF movement may be driven simultaneously (and in synchrony) by both mechanisms and study their independent and coupled effects on CSF movement using novel neck fMRI scans. Caudad CSF movement at the fourth ventricle and hemodynamics of the major neck blood vessels (internal carotid arteries and internal jugular veins) was measured from 11 young, healthy volunteers using novel neck fMRI scans with simultaneous measurement of respiration. Two distinct models of CSF movement (1. Low-frequency hemodynamics and 2. Respiration) and possible coupling between them were investigated. We show that the dynamics of brain fluids can be assessed from the neck by studying the interrelationships between major neck blood vessels and the CSF movement in the fourth ventricle. We also demonstrate that there exists a cross-frequency coupling between these two separable mechanisms. The human CSF system can respond to multiple coupled physiological forces at the same time. This information may help inform the pathological mechanisms behind CSF movement-related disorders.


This is the publisher's version of Vijayakrishnan Nair V, Kish BR, Inglis B, Yang H-CS, Wright AM, Wu Y-C, Zhou X, Schwichtenberg AJ and Tong Y (2022), Human CSF movement influenced by vascular low frequency oscillations and respiration. Front. Physiol. 13:940140. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2022.940140