Kin 1A03 - Spinal Cord and Spinal Nerves

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vertebral column

all the individual vertebrae stacked on top of one another

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cervical region

most superior region of spine

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thoracic region

inferior to cervical region of spine

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lumbar region

inferior to thoracic region of spine

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sacral and coccygeal regions

most inferior regions of spine

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vertebral canal

where spinal cord is located, created by stacking vertebrae

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intervertebral foramen

where spinal nerves exit out

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meninges

keep spinal cord in middle of vertebral canal, provide protective covering, continuous from brain

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spinal cord

part of CNS, where all nerves converge

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spinal cord structure

comprised of nervous tissue, extends from foramen magnum to L2

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spinal cord function

provides pathway for information to travel, link between brain and PNS, integrates information and produces responses

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foramen magnum

circular shaped hole at bottom of skull

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spinal cord segments

cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral segments

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spinal cord diameter

spinal cord is not uniform in diameter, has two enlargements (cervical enlargement, lumbosacral enlargements)

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spinal cord enlargements function

provide extra nervous tissue for upper and lower limbs

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cervical enlargement

located between C4 and T1

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lumbosacral enlargement

located between T9 and T12, nerves supplying lower limbs exit lumbosacral enlargement, travel down through vertebral canal, and exit via a foramina

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conus medullaris

inferior end of spinal cord

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cauda equina

extension of nerves beyond conus medullaris (hair-like nature of nerves makes structure look like a horses tail

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filum terminale

extension of pia mater, anchors spinal cord longitudinally to coccyx, stops movement in superior direction

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dura mater

most superficial meningeal layer, continuous with brain and epineurium of spinal nerves, made of dense irregular CT

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periosteum connective tissue

found on surface of bone

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epidural space

space between dura mater and bone, filled with fat, blood vessels, and areolar connective tissue, protects and holds spinal cord in place

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epidural

injection many pregnant women receive during labor, anesthesia is injected into the epidural space and it blocks nerves so woman cannot feel pain

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subdural space

contains small amount of serous fluid

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arachnoid mater

middle, thinnest layer, avascular (doesnt have its own blood supply), contains simple squamous epithelium

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subarachnoid space

contains cerebrospinal fluid

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pia mater

deepest layer, tightly adheres to spinal cord, covers every bump and groove, blood vessels in this area supply spinal cord

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denticulate ligaments

small extensions of pia mater, move towards dura mater between nerve roots, anchors spinal cord laterally

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white matter

divided into two halves with three columns in each half

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white matter columns

anterior, lateral, and posterior columns, each column is subdivided into nerve tracts

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tracts

grouped based on similar function or similar target area of body, ascending and descending, allows info to be transmitted in an organized fashion

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gray matter

divided into two halves with three horns in each half

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gray matter horns

posterior, anterior, and lateral horns

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lateral horns

autonomic nervous system, very small horn

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posterior horns

sensory neurons

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anterior horns

aka motor horn, motor neurons, largest horn

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posterior median sulcus

shallow groove separating halves of spinal cord

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anterior median fissure

deep groove separating halves of spinal cord

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commissures

axons that cross from one side of spinal cord to the other, connect two sides of spinal cord (one anterior white and one gray)

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central canal

found in centre of gray commissure, allows flow of CSF

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roots

where nerves enter/exit the spinal cord, each has a ganglion (bulge)

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anterior/ventral root

where motor roots exit

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posterior/dorsal root

where sensory neurons enter

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path of information travel through nerves

nerve impulse enters posterior/dorsal root, travels to ganglion, meets at spinal nerve, exits out anterior/ventral root (sensory impulse enters, motor signal exits)

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spinal nerves (roots)

where dorsal and ventral roots meet, means all have a mixed function

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pathway of sensory impulse

originate from receptors, carried by sensory neurons, enter spinal cord via posterior route, once in spinal cord can take several routes: can form tracts or can synapse with interneurons, can go to brain or to a motor neuron, motor - leaves through anterior route, reaches skeletal muscle destination through distribution of spinal nerves and peripheral nerves

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ascending tracts of white matter

carries info travelling towards the brain, named for where they are in spinal cord (name includes region of brain where sensory info will be processed)

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descending tracts of white matter

carries info travelling away from the brain, names reflect location in spinal cord (where neurons controlling activity arise/take major detours)

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sensory and motor processing organization

internal anatomy of spinal cord allows sensory and motor information to be processed in an organized way, sensory neurons pass into posterior horn through dorsal root, synapse with interneurons or enter white matter and ascend or descend cord

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spinal nerve pairs

31 pairs, named and numbered for where they exit the vertebral canal

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first spinal nerve pair

exits vertebral column between skull and C1, superior to initial vertebrae of vertebral column

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spinal nerve C1-C7

named for vertebra below them (e.g. C2 exits above vertebra 2)

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spinal nerve C8

there are 7 vertebra in cervical region but 8 cervical nerves, C8 exits below vertebra C7, after C8 names of nerves are related to vertebra superior to them

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exit via sacral foramina

four nerve pairs

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exit via intervertebral foramina

nerve pairs exit through holes between each vertebra below them

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cervical nerve pairs

eight pairs

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thoracic nerve pairs

twelve pairs

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lumbar nerve pairs

five pairs

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sacral nerve pairs

five pairs

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coccygeal nerve pairs

one pair

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rootlets

6-8, merge to form 1 root, along dorsal and ventral surfaces of spinal cord, where each nerve arises from

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ventral and dorsal roots

pass through subarachnoid space, pierce arachnoid and dura mater, join to form spinal nerve

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dorsal roots

each contains a ganglion

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damage to spinal cord

will result in characteristic loss of some sort of sensation depending on area where damage occurred, damage can result from acute injury caused by trauma or a tumor, could impact only motor function, only sensory function, or only a certain area of body

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diseases associated with anterior horn of spinal cord (motor horn)

polio (caused by polio virus, attacks cell bodies of motor neurons in anterior horn), ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, attacks motor neuron cell bodies in brain and spinal cord)

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nerve covering layers

endoneurium, perineurium, epineurium

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endoneurium

deepest layer, around each axon, separates axons from eachother

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perineurium

middle layer, around each fascicle

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fascicle

group axons together, arteries and veins surround fascicles to provide blood flow to axons

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epineurium

most superficial layer, around entire nerve, groups fascicles together to form nerves, becomes dura mater as you go down towards spinal cord

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ramus

branch of nerve (plural = rami)

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posterior/dorsal ramus

innervates deep muscles of trunk, responsible for movements of vertebral column

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anterior/ventral ramus

form intercostal nerves and five plexuses

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thoracic region (T2-T12)

form intercostal nerves

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plexus

bundle of intermingling nerves

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plexus formation

nerves coming out of spinal cord at different levels and then redistributing axons so nerves actually reaching target tissues receive info from different areas of spinal cord

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ventral rami of C1-C4 (and some C5)

form cervical plexus

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ventral rami of C5-T1

form brachial plexus

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ventral rami of L1-L4

form lumbar plexus

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ventral rami of L4-S4

sacral plexus

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ventral rami of S4-S5 and Co

form coccygeal plexus

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cervical plexus

most superior and one of smaller plexuses, roots in C1-C4

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cervical plexus innervation

innervates superficial neck structures, skin of neck, posterior portion of head, and superior part of shoulders and chest

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phrenic nerve

peripheral nerve with origins in C3-C5, innervates diaphragm

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peripheral nerves

made up of complex connections of nerves

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brachial plexus

roots in C5-C8 and T1

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brachial plexus subunits

3 trunks, 6 divisions, 3 cords, 5 branches

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mnemonic for subunits of brachial plexus

Risk Takers Don't Cautiously Behave

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brachial plexus branches

musculocutaneous, axillary, median, radial, ulnar, contain peripheral nerves, extend into shoulders and upper limbs

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musculocutaneous branch

origins in C5-C7, innervates flexers of forearm

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axillary branch

origins in C5-C6, innervates deltoid and teres minor muscles, skin over deltoid and supeiror posterior aspect of arm (muscles in shoulder involved in arm movement)

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median branch

origins in C5-T1, innervates anterior forearm and hand, associated with movement of thumb

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radial branch

origins in C5-T1, innervates posterior arm and forearm

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ulnar branch

origins in C8-T1, innervates forearm and hand muscles

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formation of brachial plecus

  1. form 3 trunks 2. form 6 divisions 3. form 3 cords 4. form 5 branches

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brachial plecus trunks

superior, middle, and inferior

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brachial plexus cords

lateral, posterior, and medial

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lumbar plexus

roots in L1-L4, minimal intermingling of fibers (not as much mixing as brachial plexus)

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major peripheral nerves (supply part of lower limbs)

femoral, obturator

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