Headaches and Spinal Fluid Leaks – An Emerging Problem

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The Mayo Clinic has published an interesting overview of CSF leaks in its September 2017 edition of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter, entitled ‘Headaches and Spinal Fluid Leaks – An Emerging Problem’.

“You’ve had headaches for years. You usually start the day fine, but by lunchtime, the pressure-like pain has begun and is growing in intensity. You’ve sought out plenty of treatment options, but nothing has truly helped. At this point, you’re trying to live with the pain as best you can by taking medications and reducing stress.

CSF Leak Association - Mayo Clinic Newsletter Sept 2017Headaches come in a variety of types — such as migraine, tension or cluster headaches — with a variety of characteristics. A lesser known cause of headache pain occurs with low levels of cerebrospinal fluid — a fluid that surrounds, cushions and protects the brain and spinal cord. Low fluid levels can be caused by a temporary leak that occurs when the membrane holding the fluid (dura) is punctured, such as after a lumbar puncture, during surgery or with an epidural injection to numb part of the body.

But cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks also can occur spontaneously, typically along the spinal column, and aren’t always temporary…”

You can download a copy of the article and read the full text by clicking below:

Mayo Clinic Health Letter - Vol.35 No.9 (Sept 2017)

Measuring Opening Pressure & Intracranial Pressure

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CSF Leak Association Factsheet Series Advert - Opening Pressure on Lumbar Puncture

Measuring lumbar puncture opening pressure is common practice during spontaneous CSF leak and intracranial hypertension investigation and diagnosis. Less common, but still widely used at some institutions is the practice of looking out for low intracranial pressure via ICP monitoring.

Both confirmed and potential CSF leak sufferers often query how pressure is measured, the differences between opening pressure and intracranial pressure recording, and what ranges constitute normal, low and high pressure. In response, we’ve produced a CSF leak-specific factsheet.

Our updated factsheet explores the key ins/outs of measuring opening pressure by lumbar puncture and provides details on the common pressure ranges in tabulated form. Also covered are the basics of CSF production and absorption.

We have updated the factsheet in response to feedback and also referenced a number of new and additional journal articles, including two important publications which confirm that ‘normal’ opening pressure is not an uncommon occurrence with spontaneous CSF leaks.

Download the factsheet here: Measuring Opening Pressure & Intracranial Pressure

CSF Leak Association Wristbands

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CSF Leak Association wristbands are a great way to raise awareness of both cerebrospinal fluid leaks and the charity itself.

CSF Leak Wrist Band

CSF Leak Association Wristband

All of our members receive a free wristband in their welcome pack when they join or renew their subscription, however we’re thrilled to now be able to offer additional wristbands for sale on their own.

Shipping is currently free for UK orders; we ship to a range of other countries for a small charge. You can buy wristbands individually or in packs of four. If you’re after more than three, packs of four offer better value.

You can purchase wristbands via our website’s shop section: www.csfleak.info/shop

Upright Headache? Think CSF Leak!

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We’re thrilled to announce the publication of our latest infographic: Upright Headache? Think CSF Leak!

Upright Headache Think CSF Leak (PNG)The publication, produced in consultation with NHS neurologists Dr Simon Ellis and Dr Manjit Matharu, is designed to be printed off at both A3 and A4 size; it is ideal for use as a leaflet or poster, which can easily be passed on to friends and family, or given to your GP or other healthcare provider to display in their surgery or office.

Printed copies will be included in our members’ welcome pack from late June 2017 onward. You can download the infographic in PDF format for printing at home by clicking here.

The CSF Leak Association is now open for membership!

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We are absolutely thrilled to announce that, after months of hard work by our dedicated band of volunteers, the CSF Leak Association is now open for membership.

As a small charity with big ambitions, our aim is to provide information and support to all sufferers of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks, their family, friends and medical advisers, as well as securing clear and consistent patient pathways for the diagnosis and treatment of CSF leaks.

csf-leak-association-membershipAs a membership organisation, we rely heavily on the fantastic support and generous encouragement of our supporters in the work that we do. Without this dedicated help, we could not function and would be unable to continue to raise awareness of cerebrospinal fluid leaks and push for positive change.

Whether you’re an individual or an organisation, based in the UK or further afield, if you share our aims and objectives and benefit from the work that we do, why not join us and get involved?

You can join us online or by post. Find out more here: www.csfleak.info/membership

CSF Leak Android App

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Calling all Android Mobile Phone and Tablet owners!

We are delighted to announce the release of our brand new Android app for CSF leakers. It’s absolutely free and available to download from the Google Play store.csf-leak-association-android-app-advert

The app provides easy access to key information and resources about CSF leaks, all at the click of a button or tap on a screen!

You can access information about cranial and spinal CSF leaks, and view a list of must-read medical journal articles, all off-line; ideal for use during an appointment with your doctor or when explaining things to friends and family.

View our global map of CSF leakers and add/edit a pin for yourself, search for doctors with some CSF leak experience near you (aimed at EU residents), or bring up a copy of our medical accommodations cards whenever you need it.

android-app-screenshotThe app is brand new and is being updated regularly with new content, so please make sure that you select its ‘auto update content’ setting. If you have any ideas or suggestions for the app, please drop us a line.

To get a copy of the app, search for ‘CSF Leak’ in the Google Play app store, or point your device’s browser to: www.tinyurl.com/csfleakapp

NB. If you already have a map pin on our Global CSF Leaker Map, please go to the pin via the mobile app, make a note of the number in the pop-up window (e.g. #250) and email us at webmaster@csfleak.info with your Android account email address; this will enable us to link your pin with your CSF Leak Companion App.

Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks: An Overview

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We are delighted to announce the publication of Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks: An Overview, the latest edition to our popular factsheet series. It is free to download from our website.

This new leaflet provides a valuable overview of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) csf-leak-association-factsheet-series-advert-csf-leaks-an-overviewleaks, both cranial and spinal, and touches upon key signs and symptoms, diagnostic techniques and treatment options.

It has been produced in consultation with two UK neurologists working in the NHS: Dr Simon Ellis, a consultant neurologist at Royal Stoke University Hospital, and Dr Manjit Matharu, a consultant neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks: An Overview is a must-read for both diagnosed sufferers and those who suspect that they may be suffering from a CSF leak. It is ideal for inclusion in leaflet displays or handing out as part of an awareness-raising event.

The leaflet also provides useful information for GPs, doctors working in emergency medicine, paramedics and other healthcare professionals who may not routinely encounter CSF leaks in their work, but nonetheless need to know what to look out for and how to treat them.

Download the leaflet here: Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks - An Overview

CSF Leak Medical Accommodations Card

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CSF Leak Association has created a Medical Accommodations Card - Front

Our new Medical Accommodations Card

Many CSF leak sufferers will have experienced the need to sit or lie down because of their symptoms, while being in a place where sitting or lying down was not socially acceptable, allowed or provided for. Sometimes people may formally object to you lying down somewhere because your disability is invisible.

CSF Leak Association has created a Medical Accommodations Card - Reverse

CSF leak information and advice on the reverse

The CSF Leak Association has created a new Medical Accommodations Card to try to help with such situations. The card is free to download and print off. It can be folded in half and kept in your purse or wallet. CSF Leak Association members will receive a number of professionally-printed medical accommodations cards in their welcome pack.

The card explains what a CSF leak is, what symptoms you may be experiencing and your need to sit or lie down. It can be shown to any one who may not understand your need to sit or lie down and encourage them to make allowances and provide assistance.

Please feel free to use and share:  CSF Leak Medical Accommodations Card

 

Tough Mudder North West

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Frances (right) and Kate (centre) after a recent ‘warm-up’ event.

On September 11th 2016, Frances Todd and Kate Hubbard (right and centre respectively in the photograph) will be taking on the unforgiving challenge of TOUGH MUDDER North West in order to raise much needed funds, awareness and support for the CSF Leak Association.

They are embarking on this demanding obstacle course spanning 13 miles cross country, because it is a cause very close to their hearts. Kate’s Mum has suffered with a CSF Leak for the past 6 years, she has travelled to the States to receive treatment and is committed to helping others with the condition through her role on the CSF Leak Association Board of Trustees.

It’s not going to be easy for the Tough Mudders; the challenge features a mind numbing combination of new obstacles, unrelenting terrain and A LOT of mud!

You can support Frances and Kate and help them reach their fundraising target here: www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/csfleaktoughmudder

NB. Are you thinking of raising money for the CSF Leak Association? Why not visit our fundraising page and also drop us a line to let us know, so that we can support you and help you advertise the event.