Chapter 14 the spinal cord
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Where system does the spinal cord belong to?
What system do the spinal nerves belong to?
How long is the spinal cord? Where is it located?
- Approximately 18 inches in adult
- Foramen magnum to L1-L2
Where does the spinal cord end?
What is the cauda equina?
Where the nerve roots extend caudally
What is the spinal cord protected by?
- Cerebrospinal fluid
Where is the amount of gray matter increased substantially in the spinal cord?
In segments of the spinal cord concerned with the sensory & motor innervation of the limbs.
What makes the spinal cord a 2-way conduction pathway to & from the brain?
Contains both cell bodies & nerve processes tracts
What does each spinal segment contain?
- Dorsal root ganglion
- Dorsal root
- Ventral root
- Spinal nerve
Define dorsal root ganglion?
Contains cell bodies of sensory (afferent spinal nerves) neurons (unipolar)
What does the dorsal root contain? Where is it located?
- Axons of sensory(afferent) neurons
- In the dorsal root ganglion
What does the ventral root contain?
- Axons somatic motor neurons (some visceral motor)
- (efferent spinal nerves)
Why is the spinal cord said to contain mixed nerves?
They contain both afferent (sensory) & motor (efferent) fibers.
What is the epidural space? What does it contain?
The outer most part of the spinal canal. The space within the canal lying outside the dura mater.
What does the epidural space contain?
- Adipose tissue
- Areolar tissue
- Blood vessels
What is the function of the three spinal meninges?
- Physical stability
- Shock absorption
What are the meninges made of?
- A layer of epithelial and connective tissues
- Both thin & thick
What is continous with the spinal cord?
The spinal meninges
What is the definition of dura mater/
Where is the dura mater located?
- Its the outer most layer of the meninges
- It's continious with the spinal nerve
What are the outer and inner surfaces of the dura mater covered by?
Simple squamous epithelial
Name the three layers of meninges from outer most to inner most?
- Dura mater
- Arachnoid mater
- Pia mater
Where is the subarachnoid space?
Bridge the gap between the arachnoid epithelium & the pia mater
What is the function of the subarachnoid space? What does it house?
- Shock absorption
- Houses dissolved gases, nutrients, chemical messengers & waste
What is interwoven with the arachnoid trabeculae?
Elastic fibers of the pia mater are interwoven
What are denticulate ligaments?
Extensions of the spinal pia mater that connect the pia mater & spinal arachnoid mater to the dura mater
How is the spinal pia mater locked into place?
A thin layer of astrocytes & cytoplasmic extensions of these glial cells lock the collagen fibers of the pia mater in place
Define pia mater?
- Delicate mother
- Thin, transparent, mesh like
What is the function of the pia mater?
- It supplies blood to the spinal cord
- Supports larger blood vessels passing over the surface of the brain
What do the anterior(ventral) gray horns contain?
Neurons concerned with somatic motor control
What does the posterior (dorsal) gray horns contain?
Somatic & visceral sensory nuclei
What is the area called the gray commissure contain?
Contain axons crossing from one side of the cord to the other before reaching a destination within the gray matter
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