In order to study age-related differences in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) production in humans, we measured the rate of CSF production in 7 young (age 21 to 36 years) and 7 elderly (age 67 to 84 years) healthy volunteers, using a modified Masserman method. In addition, we evaluated CSF protein gradients by collecting CSF in serial fractions up to the 30th ml and assaying for total protein concentration. The mean rate of CSF production was significantly less in the elderly than in the young subjects. Mean CSF total protein concentrations were higher in the elderly than in the young, and significant rostrocaudal protein gradients with similar slopes were present in both groups. However, there was no correlation between CSF production and CSF total protein concentrations or protein gradient slopes. Age-related reductions in CSF production, together with the ventricular dilatation that occurs with aging, should presumably result in reduced CSF turnover and therefore influence measured concentrations of lumbar CSF constituents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology