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  #1  
Old 02-22-2012, 03:41 PM
briankeys briankeys is offline
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Can I have a spinal tap now, to re-inject later if I become unhealthy?

Coworkers were discussing the topic of spinal taps.

Now, I am young, not so bright, and reasonably healthy. Is it possible to have a spinal-tap now, and then have the fluid cryogenic-ally frozen? I wonder if I become sick later in life, whether a doctor can then re-inject my spine with the healthy fluid, bringing me back into good health.

Maybe this could be the next treatment that beats stem cells?
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2012, 03:45 PM
beowulff beowulff is offline
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Why are you ascribing miraculous properties to spinal fluid? I mean, it is one of your precious bodily fluids, but it’s not a cure-all.
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  #3  
Old 02-22-2012, 03:48 PM
briankeys briankeys is offline
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Well, I am not familiar with which sorts of diseases or disorders affect your spinal fluid, but I want to be able to try to fight them later on in life. I think it would be a worthwhile procedure now that I am young.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:51 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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I have some questions here:

What illnesses are treated with (re)injections of cerebrospinal fluid? I'm not a doctor, but I'm not aware of any.

How long can CSF be preserved once extracted?

Do you realize how painful lumbar punctures are supposed to be? Here's the needle.
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  #5  
Old 02-22-2012, 04:09 PM
Nunavut Boy Nunavut Boy is offline
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CSF is water with a little bit of sugar and a little bit of protein in it. Maybe a few white cells. It's boring and empty.

Perhaps the OP is confusing a spinal tap with a bone marrow extraction? Banked bone marrow could conceivably be reintroduced into a person who later developed a leukemia. Bone marrow is much more interesting than CSF, it's basically an immune system factory that also makes blood and platelets.
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  #6  
Old 02-22-2012, 04:12 PM
briankeys briankeys is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nunavut Boy View Post
CSF is water with a little bit of sugar and a little bit of protein in it. Maybe a few white cells. It's boring and empty.

Perhaps the OP is confusing a spinal tap with a bone marrow extraction? Banked bone marrow could conceivably be reintroduced into a person who later developed a leukemia. Bone marrow is much more interesting than CSF, it's basically an immune system factory that also makes blood and platelets.
I was not confusing the two. I want to have a vial of CSF for later.

On the topic of bone marrow transplants, now that sounds like a very painful procedure. What is the shelf life of bone marrow? I would rather keep mine for later, as greedy as that sounds.
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  #7  
Old 02-22-2012, 04:15 PM
Irishman Irishman is online now
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Cerebrospinal fluid is "turned over" 3 times a day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebrospinal_fluid
Quote:
The CSF is produced at a rate of 500 ml/day. Since the brain can contain only 135 to 150 ml, large amounts are drained primarily into the blood through arachnoid granulations in the superior sagittal sinus. Thus the CSF turns over about 3.7 times a day. This continuous flow into the venous system dilutes the concentration of larger, lipid-insoluble molecules penetrating the brain and CSF.[3]
I can't imagine something that is cycled that heavily being something that is unique for preserving health.

Yes, lumbar punctures are used to check for some forms of infection, primarily nervous system infections. Doesn't mean putting in a Liter of saved spinal fluid would do anything to clear up an infection.
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  #8  
Old 02-22-2012, 04:22 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briankeys View Post
I want to have a vial of CSF for later.
What diseases or afflictions use CSF as a treatment?
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2012, 04:23 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briankeys View Post
I want to have a vial of CSF for later.
So far it sounds like you're better off saving jars of your own urine. You get the same medical benefits without the pain and the trip to the hospital.

Quote:
What is the shelf life of bone marrow? I would rather keep mine for later, as greedy as that sounds.
Again, for what? There are some bone marrow cancers where treatment involves reinjection of your own stem cells, but I don't think there is any advantage in taking out those cells now - you might as well wait and have the procedure on the off chance you contract one of those cancers.
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  #10  
Old 02-23-2012, 11:36 PM
wheresmymind wheresmymind is offline
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CSF isn't used to treat any diseases, as far as I know (IANAD). My impression is that spinal taps are used to withdrawal CSF, either for further testing or to relieve pressure, not to top you off with new brain lubricant.
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  #11  
Old 02-24-2012, 02:24 AM
Lucretia Lucretia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briankeys View Post
Is it possible to have a spinal-tap now, and then have the fluid cryogenic-ally frozen? I wonder if I become sick later in life, whether a doctor can then re-inject my spine with the healthy fluid, bringing me back into good health.

Maybe this could be the next treatment that beats stem cells?
A) Maybe, but there would be no reason to, because B)No, a doctor couldn't. Because there's no disease or condition that a re-injection of your own CSF would treat. C) No.

Last edited by Marley23; 02-24-2012 at 05:01 PM.. Reason: fixed quote tag
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  #12  
Old 02-24-2012, 03:22 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Originally Posted by Nunavut Boy View Post
CSF is water with a little bit of sugar and a little bit of protein in it. Maybe a few white cells. It's boring and empty.
So... potentially useful if at some point in the future, briankeys becomes a bit dehydrated.

But probably not close to the ideal solution to that problem.
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  #13  
Old 02-24-2012, 03:24 AM
panache45 panache45 is online now
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Have you ever actually experienced a spinal tap? I have, and it's not something you'd subject yourself to voluntarily.
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  #14  
Old 02-24-2012, 03:29 AM
Darryl Lict Darryl Lict is online now
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I'm inspired to keep my poop in jars, just in case I need it later.
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  #15  
Old 02-24-2012, 04:10 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Have you ever actually experienced a spinal tap? I have, and it's not something you'd subject yourself to voluntarily.
It goes to 11.
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  #16  
Old 02-24-2012, 04:43 AM
KarlGauss KarlGauss is offline
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When storing and re-injecting any bodily fluid, there is always the risk of infection. Well, of all such fluids/places, the likelihood and consequences of developing an infection in the CSF (i.e. meningitis) (link is gross - be forewarned) may be highest and catastrophic, respectively. So, you better have a damn good reason for carrying out such a procedure.

Last edited by KarlGauss; 02-24-2012 at 04:46 AM..
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  #17  
Old 02-25-2012, 12:02 PM
Švejk Švejk is offline
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Spinal taps are a real thing? Huh. Live and learn, I guess
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  #18  
Old 02-25-2012, 12:09 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Spinal faucets, probably.
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  #19  
Old 02-25-2012, 12:14 PM
picunurse picunurse is online now
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CSF's main use is to cushion the brain and spinal cord. Saving one's tears is more worthwhile. (No, there aren't any practical uses for saved tears either, that I know of.)

Last edited by picunurse; 02-25-2012 at 12:14 PM..
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  #20  
Old 02-25-2012, 12:32 PM
johnpost johnpost is online now
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Originally Posted by Darryl Lict View Post
I'm inspired to keep my poop in jars, just in case I need it later.
maybe if you deep froze it it still would be good for awhile for use as a fecal transplant, for some it is the only (not self donation) effective procedure.
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  #21  
Old 02-25-2012, 12:38 PM
Zulema Zulema is offline
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Originally Posted by Darryl Lict View Post
I'm inspired to keep my poop in jars, just in case I need it later.
This is actually a pretty good idea. If you have to take a heavy course of antibiotics it can wipe out all the helpful bacteria in your digestive tract causing all kinds of problems. I read about a case where this happened to a wife and they used her husband's poop to beef up the good bacteria in her body. Their theory was that being married, they were immune ot each other's bad bacteria.
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  #22  
Old 02-25-2012, 03:20 PM
Minnie Luna Minnie Luna is offline
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Originally Posted by Zulema View Post
This is actually a pretty good idea. If you have to take a heavy course of antibiotics it can wipe out all the helpful bacteria in your digestive tract causing all kinds of problems. I read about a case where this happened to a wife and they used her husband's poop to beef up the good bacteria in her body. Their theory was that being married, they were immune ot each other's bad bacteria.
I'd rather just take a probiotic.
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:31 PM
Damfino Damfino is offline
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Originally Posted by Zulema View Post
This is actually a pretty good idea. If you have to take a heavy course of antibiotics it can wipe out all the helpful bacteria in your digestive tract causing all kinds of problems. I read about a case where this happened to a wife and they used her husband's poop to beef up the good bacteria in her body. Their theory was that being married, they were immune ot each other's bad bacteria.
Was this in a book by William Nolan, "The Making of a Surgeon"? They used a small amount of poop mixed into a milkshake. The hospital administration came down heavily upon the perpetrators of this unorthodox procedure.
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  #24  
Old 02-25-2012, 04:34 PM
DSeid DSeid is offline
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Originally Posted by Darryl Lict View Post
I'm inspired to keep my poop in jars ...
Been reading Pratchett lately? (Snuff features such collections, for both religious and intellectual reasons, goblins and young Sam, respectively.)
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  #25  
Old 02-25-2012, 05:36 PM
KarlGauss KarlGauss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damfino View Post
Was this in a book by William Nolan, "The Making of a Surgeon"? They used a small amount of poop mixed into a milkshake. The hospital administration came down heavily upon the perpetrators of this unorthodox procedure.
I remember exactly the account you mention. It was either in 'The Making of a Surgeon' or, possibly, Intern by Dr. X. (I read them both in anticipation of med school. I wanted to be prepared!)

Last edited by KarlGauss; 02-25-2012 at 05:36 PM..
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  #26  
Old 02-25-2012, 05:38 PM
johnpost johnpost is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zulema View Post
This is actually a pretty good idea. If you have to take a heavy course of antibiotics it can wipe out all the helpful bacteria in your digestive tract causing all kinds of problems. I read about a case where this happened to a wife and they used her husband's poop to beef up the good bacteria in her body. Their theory was that being married, they were immune ot each other's bad bacteria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damfino View Post
Was this in a book by William Nolan, "The Making of a Surgeon"? They used a small amount of poop mixed into a milkshake. The hospital administration came down heavily upon the perpetrators of this unorthodox procedure.
for some people with Clostridium difficile infection it is the needed treatment. up the butt or through a tube down the nose.
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  #27  
Old 02-25-2012, 06:00 PM
KarlGauss KarlGauss is offline
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In case anyone doubts that "fecal transplants" are being used, I offer this review (abstract).

And, with respect to the treatment of Clostridium difficile colitis (aka pseudomembranous colitis), I'll note that there is a clinical trial going on at my centre looking at the use of fecal transplant in combination with the current treatment of choice (oral vancomycin).

Last edited by KarlGauss; 02-25-2012 at 06:04 PM..
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  #28  
Old 02-25-2012, 06:14 PM
VOW VOW is offline
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The "poop transplant" in one of those intern biographies was done via a carton of chocolate milk. The professor was told that a solution was created with sterile saline and then centrifuged, with the clear liquid on top of the test tube decanted and then administered in some acceptable manner.

In reality, the stool sample was mixed with chocolate milk and fed to the patient. The patient had an uneventful recovery.

As for the CSF proposal, you are asking to be stabbed in the spinal column with a needle which is the diameter of a crochet hook--TWICE. It's painful.

The resulting headache, however, is excruciating. THAT can last from 12-48 hours.

Penetrating the spinal column to either drain or administer the CSF leaves you wide open for infection--BOTH times.

Before you can consider this procedure, you'll have to obtain a PhD in biochemistry and obtain a Federal grant, so you can research CSF and determine whatever "magic regenerative elixir" it contains.

Otherwise, it's back to the drawing board.


~VOW
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