Recently a system, which “cleans” the brain from potentially toxic bio-molecules has been described in mice. The system functions via flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); the so-called glymphatic system.
Our aim is to investigate basic mechanisms of sleep and the hypothesis of a functioning glymphatic system in humans. In order to achieve this goal, our study utilizes
- frequently occurring neurosurgical situations with external ventricular drainage,
- monitoring of intracranial pressure, and
- 24 hour analysis of cerebrospinal fluid degenerative proteins and metabolites coupled to polysomnographic sleep studies
in a novel multidisciplinary combination.
The project is original and relevant as little is known about this putatively important paravascular flow of CSF and its role in clearing the interstitial fluid in the brain parenchyma of waste products and potentially toxic molecules involved in neurodegenerative diseases.
This study will pioneer determinations of the importance of these factors in human subjects.