Bacterial meningitis is a serious condition, accounting for 80 percent of all meningitis cases, according to the Cleveland Clinic. When left untreated, bacterial meningitis can be a life threatening disease, causing brain tissue to swell, which can affect blood flow in the brain.
The center location for bacterial meningitis is the sub-arachnoid space in the brain, according to the Merck Manual Home Edition. The sub-arachnoid space is in between the meninges, which covers the brain and spinal cord. Specifically, the sub-arachnoid space is between the arachnoid mater (the middle layer of the meninges) and the pia mater (the thin inner layer of the meninges).
Located in the sub-arachnoid space is the cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF. Besides being in the sub-arachnoid space, the Merck Manual Home Edition notes that the CSF also is found through the meninges, as well as in the internal spaces of the brain. The appearance of the CSF is a clear and colorless liquid. The main purpose of the CSF is to cushion the brain and spinal cord, thus acting as a shock absorber during impact to the head. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society adds that the CSF “circulates nutrients and chemicals filtered from the blood and removes waste products.”
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