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anatomy of the brain and spinal cord

Quiz yourself by thinking what should be in each of the black spaces below before clicking on it to display the answer.

rostral   - in the superior direction (applies to CNS only)  
caudal   - in the inferior direction (applies to CNS only)  
functions of the spinal cord   - sensory and motor innervation of the entire body inferior to the head - two-way conduction pathway for signals between the body and the brain - major center for reflexes  
conus medullaris   - the inferior end of the spinal cord - it tapers off into a long filament of CT, the filum terminale  
divisions of the spinal nerves   - 8 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 sacral, and 1 coccygeal  
cauda equina   - collection of nerve roots at the inferior end of the vertebral canal  
Ascending fibers   - carry sensory information from the sensory neurons of the body up to the brain  
Descending fibers   - carry motor instructions from the brain to the spinal cord  
Commissural fibers   - a bundle of axons that crosses from one side of the CNS to the other - carry information from one part of the spinal cord to the other  
spinal funiculi   - dorsal funiculus - ventral funiculus - lateral funiculus  
Composition of gray matter in the spinal cord   - gray commissure - dorsal horns: interneurons - ventral horns - lateral horns  
Zones of spinal cord gray matter   - somatic sensory (SS) - visceral sensory (VS) - visceral motor (VM) - somatic motor (SM)  
Meninges   - 3 CT membranes just external to the brain and spinal cord - cover and protect CNS - enclose and protect blood vessels that supply CNS - contain CSF  
Dura mater   - outermost layer, strongest of meninges - dense fibrous CT - forms protective covering around structures of the CNS - external to spinal dura is the epidural space  
Arachnoid mater   - middle layer of the meninges - subdural space between this and outermost layer of meninges  
Subarachnoid space   - just deep to arachnoid mater - weblike threads that hold arachnoid mater to underlying pia mater - filled with CSF and poorly protected blood vessels  
Pia mater   - innermost layer of meninges - highly vascularized with fine blood vessels - clings tightly to surface of spinal cord - extends into coccyx covering filum terminale - lateral extensions = denticulate ligaments  
Cerebrospinal fluid   - provides liquid cushion to give buoyancy to CNS - nourishes brain and spinal cord  


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Created by: peckman12