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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Lumbar Puncture & its' CSF

 thester6474 - Sat Dec 22, 2007 8:44 pm

User avatar Hi, my Neuro administered a LP on me this past Thursday...and of course they say it could take up to three weeks to receive all of the results.

What is the importance of an LP and diagnosis of a Neurological Disease. During my last visit he noticed my balance was horrendous, as well as my muscle tone and control. While examining me he also found an abnormal Babinski Reflex (in my right foot only).

What is a Babinski Reflex? Does it always mean there is something Neurological wrong?

What was he hoping to find by doing the LP? Also he mentioned that the fluid was clear, does that automatically rule out anything Neurological?

I need some advice....This whole illness is running its course on me, I cannot do anything else but worry.

 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sat Dec 22, 2007 9:14 pm

User avatar Hi Thester6474,

There are several reasons for a lumbar puncture to be performed. If there was concern about an infection, white blood cells can be looked for. In your case, I doubt infection would be causing this. For you, the reasons to look at the CSF would be to evaluate the protein level. Elevated protein can indicate cell destruction in the central nervous system (though it doesn't really say why, just that it is occurring). If there were concern for multiple sclerosis, a test for oligoclonal bands can be run on the CSF. There are numerous other tests that can help give a clue to an underlying CNS problem.

The Babinski reflex is a reflex that is normally found in babies. It normally goes away just before a baby starts walking. The reflex is tested for by sliding an object (generally the back of a reflex hammer or anything else that is hard) across the outside of the sole of the foot and across the ball of the foot. A normal adult would have basically no response to this. An abnormal or positive result would cause the big toe to go upwards (toward the head) and in a complete Babinski reflex the remaining toes fan open. A positive test in an adult indicates that there is something blocking the transmission of nerve impulses from the brain to the foot. This would be termed an upper motor neuron problem.

Following up with your neurologist will be important to help figure out why you are having your symptoms and the abnormal Babinski reflex.

Best wishes.
 thester6474 - Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:14 pm

User avatar Thanks so much Doctor Lowe, it has been almost a year of these unexplained symptoms and they are progressively getting worse. I know you all probably hear this a lot, but what you all do on here, is a major help to those of us that need medical advice...I love all my doctors, they seem to be like family anymore, but for you all to really care enough to post on here makes enduring these tests and symptoms a little easier...
 thester6474 - Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:18 pm

User avatar Also one other question, if my protein levels were elevated in my CSF, could the fluid still be clear? Or would it have more of a cloudy appearance?

Thanks again, your medical expertise is greatly appreciated.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sun Dec 23, 2007 11:33 pm

User avatar Cloudy fluid is generally an indication of white blood cells in the spinal fluid indicating infection. Elevated protein levels can still produce clear fluid.

Best wishes.

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