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Ventricular system

What are the ventricles?

The ventricular system of the brain functions to provide support to surrounding tissues with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), produced in the choroid plexus tissue lining many of the ventricles. The system comprises the bilateral cerebral lateral ventricles, the midline third and fourth ventricles, and the central canal of the spinal cord. The lateral ventricles have four sections, the frontal (anterior) horns; temporal (inferior) horns; body; and occipital (posterior) horns. The interventricular foramen connects the lateral ventricles to the third ventricle, and the cerebral aqueduct connects the third ventricle to the fourth. The fourth ventricle is continuous with the central canal in the spinal cord, as well as three subarachnoid foramina allowing CSF to surround the brainstem and cortices.

What is the evidence for altered ventricular volume?

Moderate to high quality evidence found increased ventricular and CSF volume in people with schizophrenia compared to controls. Moderate to low quality evidence also found increased ventricular volume in children with schizophrenia. Larger ventricular volume was associated with poorer overall functioning.

Moderate to high quality evidence found increases in lateral and third ventricle volume, but not CSF, over time (4-520 weeks from baseline), which was not explained by antipsychotic use or duration of illness.

February 2020

Last updated at: 5:39 am, 12th February 2020
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.