What Are Some Reasons for High Protein Levels in the Spinal Fluid?

Reasons for high protein levels in the spinal fluid include bacterial meningitis, aseptic meningitis, brain abscess, brain tumor and cerebral hemorrhage, according to Healthline. Individuals who suffer from epilepsy, neurosyphilis and multiple sclerosis may also have high levels of protein in their spinal fluid.

Abnormal levels of protein in the cerebrospinal fluid indicate a problem with the central nervous system, reports MedlinePlus. Elevated protein levels could be a sign of a tumor. It could also indicate injury, bleeding or inflammation of nerve cells. In some cases, there may be a blockage affecting the flow of spinal fluid, leading to a buildup of protein in the lower spinal area. High protein levels also help in the diagnosis of infections and vasculitis.

Increased levels of protein in the spinal fluid may be a symptom of Guillain-Barre syndrome, certain endocrine abnormalities and certain medication use, according to the American Family Physician. The presence of myelin basic protein in the cerebrospinal fluid is used to diagnose multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases, reports Dartmouth College. Studies also show that high levels of certain proteins in cerebrospinal fluid could indicate the onset of Lou Gehrig’s disease, states Penn State.

The cerebral spinal fluid collection test may show high levels of protein in people with acute alcoholism, states Healthline.