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Ventricles ( Lateral View )
The ventricular system of our brains includes two large cavities known as the “lateral ventricles”. Resembling horseshoes, they can be found in the two cerebral hemispheres. A mass of nerve fibers, known as the corpus callosum, is located just above the lateral ventricles. This nerve bundle allows the two sides of the brain to communicate with each other. A thin structure – the septum pellucidum – separates the two ventricles. The lateral ventricles actually pass through each of the brain’s four lobes due to their curved, horseshoe-like shape.
The lateral ventricles are considered the first and second ventricles of the brain. They make up two of the brain’s four ventricles. Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) is produced inside these two cavities by the choroid plexus, as well as in the third and fourth ventricles of the brain. Together, these four ventricles help circulate CSF.
Cerebral spinal fluid
Cerebral spinal fluid is a clear, thick liquid that has several vital roles. It serves as a protective cushion for the spine and the brain, preventing injury from occurring in the case of shock. Shock can be caused by a blow to the head or if the head is jerked or jarred. CSF also helps nourish the brain and keep crucial brain chemicals in balance. By surrounding the brain, CSF keeps it afloat inside the skull and prevents its weight from damaging other structures below it. In addition to each of these functions, CSF also helps eliminate waste products from the brain.
Compared to the third and fourth ventricles, the lateral ventricles have a greater risk of developing little tumors known as meningiomas. Although these tumors are almost always benign, they may interfere with vision. They may also increase the delicate pressure inside the skull. Fortunately, these two issues can often be resolved by removing the tumors via surgery.
Although many people associate ventricles with the heart, the lateral ventricles are part of the nervous system’s ventricular framework. These two cavities are connected to the third ventricle, which is connected to the fourth and lowest ventricle. This final ventricle links the entire ventricular system to the spinal cord.
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