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    The purpose of a CSF analysis is to diagnose medical disorders that affect the central nervous system. Some of these conditions include:

    • viral and bacterial infections, such as meningitis, West Nile virus, herpesvirus, and encephalitis
    • tumors or cancers of the nervous system
    • syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease
    • bleeding (hemorrhaging) around the brain and spinal cord
    • multiple sclerosis, a disease that affects the myelin coating of the nerve fibers of the brain and spinal cord
    • Guillain-Barré syndrome, an inflammation of the nerves.
    • Early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The levels of two substances known as amyloid beta(1-42) and phosphorylated tau in CSF appear to be useful diagnostic markers for early-onset Alzheimer's.

    CSF analysis is also used in forensic investigations to identify the presence of illicit drugs (e. g., heroin) or poisons in the bodies of murder, accidental overdose, or suicide victims.

    Source: The Gale Group. Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed.";

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