The meninges are the three protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. They play a crucial role in maintaining the physical and biochemical environment of the central nervous system (CNS). The outermost membrane is the dura mater, which is a tough and thick layer. It acts as a protective shield against physical trauma and shapes the contours of the CNS. The arachnoid mater is the middle membrane, which is thin and web-like. It provides a cushioning effect and helps to regulate the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) - a clear, colorless liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Finally, the innermost membrane is the pia mater, which adheres closely to the surface of the CNS and nourishes the underlying neural tissue. Research has shown that disorders of the meninges can lead to a range of neurological problems, including headaches, seizures, cognitive impairment, and sensory deficits. For instance, meningitis is a bacterial or viral infection of the meninges that can cause inflammation and swelling, resulting in severe headaches, fever, and neck stiffness. Similarly, subarachnoid hemorrhage is a type of stroke caused by bleeding in the space between the arachnoid and pia mater, which can lead to brain damage and cognitive impairment. Recent advances in neurological research and therapy have shown promise in treating diseases and injuries of the meninges. For example, stem cell-based therapies have been shown to promote the regeneration of damaged tissue and alleviate inflammation in the meninges. Similarly, targeted drug delivery techniques can help to deliver drugs directly to the affected area, minimizing side effects and improving therapeutic outcomes.

From: Neurobiology

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Editor-in-chief: Zheng Jiang, Department of Neuroscience, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Publication Type: Open Access Journal
Description: The brain, spinal cord, and nerves make up the nervous system. Together they control all the workings of the body. When something goes wrong with a part of your nervous system, you can have trouble moving, speaking, swallowing, breathing, or learning. You can also have problems with your memory, senses, or mood.