Spinal Cord and Spinal Nerves.docx - Spinal Cord and Spinal...

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Spinal Cord and Spinal Nerves:Spinal Cord:Functions:1)Conduction– contains bundles of nerve fibers that conduct information up and down the cord2)Neural Integration– pools of spinal neurons receive input from multiple sources,integrate the information, and execute an appropriate output3)Locomotion– motor neurons in the brain initiate walking and determine the speed, distance, and direction; the simple repetitive muscle contractions that put one foot in front of the other are coordinated by groups of neurons called central pattern generators, which are located in the spinal cord4)Reflexes – are involuntary responses to stimuli; they involve the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervesSurface Anatomy:1)Exhibits longitudinal grooves on its anterior and posterior sides; known as the anterior median fissureand the posterior median sulcus2) Has 31 pairs of spinal nerves that emerge from spinal cord3)Divided into cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal regions4)Cervical enlargement– inferior cervical region; gives rise to nerves of upper limbs5)Lumbar enlargement– lumbosacral region; issues nerves to the pelvic region and lower limbs6)Medullary cone (Conus Medullaris) – inferior to the lumbar enlargement, the cord tapers to a point7)Cauda Equina – a bundle of nerves roots that arise from the lumbar enlargement and the medullary cone; occupy the vertebral canal from L2 to S5; innervates the pelvic organs and lower limbs
Meninges of the Spinal Cord:From superficial to deep: dura mater, arachnoid mater, and pia materDural sheathsurrounds spinal cord and is separated from vertebrae by epidural space Arachnoid membraneadheres to dura and is separated from pia by fibers spanning the subarachnoid space that is filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)Lumbar puncture (spinal tap) takes sample of CSFPiais delicate membrane that follows contours of spinal cord and continues inferiorly as a fibrous terminal filum that fuses with dura to form coccygeal ligament

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