Cerebrospinal Fluid Research aims to provide a specialist platform for high quality articles on all aspects of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), bringing together experts working in the field and promoting synthesis and dialogue. This, launch Editorial provides an overview of the field, some history, and highlights some of the journal policies.
Fluid within the brain cavities was known of in ancient times. Hippocrates in the 4th century B.C. recorded the presence of fluid and is thought to have tapped the ventricles in a patient with hydrocephalus. Subsequently, in the 2nd century A.D., Galen described the ventricles and his dogma that the ventricles contained a gaseous vital spirit, lasted for over 1000 years. The return to the fluid hypothesis occurred in 1543 with Vesalius who made detailed observations of the anatomy and noted the presence of a watery humor. Further studies in the 17th and 18th centuries by Valsalva, Haller, and Contugno elaborated and extended this knowledge. Magendie in 1825 made chemical and physiological studies on the fluid and coined the name liquide cephalo-rachidien or fluid cerebrospinal. He saw pulsatile movement and concluded the fluid was under positive pressure. Later in the 19th century the anatomists Key and Retzius made extremely detailed studies of the cavities and the membranes of the brain, and provided a foundation for many 20th century investigations starting with Dixon and Haliburton, 1913 , Dandy and Blackfan, 1914  and Weed 1935 . At this stage it was known that the fluid originates in the choroid plexus and circulates throughout the internal cavities and external spaces to the venous sinuses. It was also shown by dye studies that there was a 'barrier' for movement of substances between the blood and the brain (blood-brain barrier) and between the blood and CSF (blood-CSF barrier).
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