What is a Lumbar Puncture (LP)?

An LP (Lumbar Puncture; AKA Spinal Tap) is a procedure in which a needle is placed between two vertebrae of the lumbar (lower back) area of the spine to extract cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF is a clear liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord and is usually extracted for diagnostic purposes, for example, diagnosing Multiple Sclerosis (MS) by looking for myelin proteins in the CSF. MS attacks the myelin around nerves which causes pieces of myelin to break away into the cerebrospinal fluid around the brain and spinal cord.

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