the gray commissure of the spinal cord surrounds the central canal

the gray commissure of the spinal cord surrounds the central canal

the gray commissure of the spinal cord surrounds the central canal

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The spinal cord is the most important structure between the body and the brain. The spinal cord extends from the foramen magnum where it is continuous with the medulla to the level of the first or second lumbar vertebrae. It is a vital link between the brain and the body, and from the body to the brain. The spinal cord is 40 to 50 cm long and 1 cm to 1.5 cm in diameter.

Two consecutive rows of nerve roots emerge on each of its sides. These nerve roots join distally to form 31 pairs of spinal nerves. The spinal cord is a cylindrical structure of nervous tissue composed of white and gray matter, is uniformly organized and is divided into four regions: cervical (C), thoracic (T), lumbar (L) and sacral (S), each of which is comprised of several segments. The spinal nerve contains motor and sensory nerve fibers to and from all parts of the body. Each spinal cord segment innervates a dermatome.

the gray commissure of the spinal cord surrounds the central canal
the gray commissure of the spinal cord surrounds the central canal

General Features

  1. Similar cross-sectional structures at all spinal cord levels.
  2. It carries sensory information (sensations) from the body and some from the head to the central nervous system (CNS) via afferent fibers, and it performs the initial processing of this information.
  3. Motor neurons in the ventral horn project their axons into the periphery to innervate skeletal and smooth muscles that mediate voluntary and involuntary reflexes.
  4. It contains neurons whose descending axons mediate autonomic control for most of the visceral functions.
  5. It is of great clinical importance because it is a major site of traumatic injury and the locus for many disease processes.
more :  tiny space between the axon of one neuron and the dendrites

Although the spinal cord constitutes only about 2% of the central nervous system (CNS), its functions are vital. Knowledge of spinal cord functional anatomy makes it possible to diagnose the nature and location of cord damage and many cord diseases.

MORE POSTS:

Four Columns of the Spinal Cord Grey Matter

The grey matter is divided into four main columns: the dorsal horn, the intermediate column, the lateral horn and the ventral horn:

  • The dorsal horn (also known as the posterior horn) contains neurons that receive somatosensory information from the body, which is then transmitted via the ascending pathways, to the brain.
  • The ventral horn (also known as the anterior horn) largely contains motor neurons that exit the spinal cord to innervate skeletal muscle.
  • The intermediate column and lateral horn contains neurons that innervate visceral and pelvic organs.
the gray commissure of the spinal cord surrounds the central canal
the gray commissure of the spinal cord surrounds the central canal

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