Congressman Matt Cartwright

Representing the 17th District of Pennsylvania
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Rep. Cartwright Introduces Resolution to Designate Week for Spinal CSF Leaks

Mar 2, 2017
Press Release

Today, U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright introduced a resolution to increase awareness about cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks.  This legislation would designate February 26 through March 4 as National Spinal CSF Leak Awareness Week.

Spinal CSF leaks, also known as intracranial hypotension, occur when the fluid that circulates through the spine and cavity around the brain escapes into surrounding tissue. Spinal CSF leaks are most commonly associated with debilitating “positional headaches,” which occur when in an upright position. Though thousands of Americans suffer from spinal CSF leaks, this condition is not well-understood.

“This condition is disabling, yet under-diagnosed,” said Rep. Cartwright. “Raising awareness of spinal CSF leaks is an important step in ensuring timely, accurate diagnosis and encouraging additional research. 

Despite advancements in medical imaging technology, finding the exact location of a spinal CSF leak remains difficult.  Even when the leak is located, treatment options are limited.  Insight into additional possible treatments is hampered by under-diagnosis and lack of research funding.

This legislation is endorsed by the Spinal CSF Leak Foundation, the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the National Organization for Rare Disorders, and the Jefferson Headache Center.