The Meninges The meninges (singular, meninx) are protective coverings of the brain (cranial meninges) and spinal cord (spinal meninges). They consist of three layers of membranous connective tissue: • The dura mater is the tough outer layer lying just inside the skull and vertebrae. Some characteristics follow: • In the brain, there are channels within the dura mater, the dural sinuses, which contain venous blood returning from the brain to the jugular veins. • In the spinal cord, the dura mater is often referred to as the dural sheath. A fat-filled space between the dura mater and the vertebrae, the epidural space, acts as a protective cushion to the spinal cord. • The arachnoid (arachnoid mater) is the middle meninx. Projections from the arachnoid, called arachnoid villi, protrude through one layer of the dura mater into the dural
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