The Spinal CordThe spinal cord has two functions: •Transmission of nerve impulses. Neurons in the white matter of the spinal cord transmit sensory signals from peripheral regions to the brain and transmit motor signals from the brain to peripheral regions. •Spinal reflexes. Neurons in the gray matter of the spinal cord integrate incoming sensory information and respond with motor impulses that control muscles (skeletal, smooth, or cardiac) or glands. The spinal cord is an extension of the brainstem that begins at the foramen magnum and continues down through the vertebral canal to the first lumbar vertebra (L1). Here, the spinal cord comes to a tapering point, the conus medullaris. The spinal cord is held in position at its inferior end by the filum terminale, an extension of the pia mater that attaches to the coccyx. Along its length, the spinal cord
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