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Spinal cord ascending tracts . Naming the tracts •If the tract name begins with “ spino ” (as in spinocerebellar ), the tract is a sensory tract delivering information from the spinal cord to the cerebellum (in this case)

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slide4

Naming the tracts

•If the tract name begins with “spino” (as in spinocerebellar), the tract is a sensory tract delivering information from the spinal cord to the cerebellum (in this case)

•If the tract name ends with “spinal” (as in vestibulospinal), the tract is a motor tract that delivers information from the vestibular apparatus (in this case) to the spinal cord

slide5

•The three major sensory tracts involve chains of neurons

•First-order neuron

•Delivers sensations to the CNS

•The cell body is in the dorsal or cranial root ganglion

•Second-order neuron

•An interneuron with the cell body in the spinal cord or brain

•Third-order neuron

•Transmits information from the thalamus to the cerebral cortex

slide6

Neurons in the sensory tracts are arranged according to three anatomical principles

•Sensory modality

•Somatotopic

•Medial-lateral rule

Sensory modality

•Fine touch sensations are carried in one sensory tract

•Somatotopic

•Ascending tracts are arranged according to the site of origin

•Medial-lateral rule

•Sensory neurons that enter a low level of the spinal cord are more medial within the spinal cord

•Sensory neurons that enter at a higher level of the spinal cord are more lateral within the spinal cord

slide8

The cell bodies of the 1st order neurons are located

In the posterior root ganglion

  • lateral spinothalamic tract
    • pain, temperature
    • The pain impulses are transmitted to SC in fast-conducting delta A–type and slow conducting C-type fibers
    • The fibers of 1st order neurons terminate by synapsing with cells in the posterior gray column (substantiagelatinosa)
    • The axons of 2nd order neurons cross obliquely to the opposite side in the anterior gray and white commissures , ascending in the contralateral white column as the lateral spinothalamic tract
    • The lateral spinothalamic tract lies medial to the anterior spinocerebellar tract
    • Sacral fibers are lateral, cervical are medial
    • Pain fibers are slightly anterior to temperature
    • Ascends in medulla oblongata, pons, midbrain
    • ant spinothalamic tract + spinotectal + lateral spinothalamic = spinal leminiscus
slide9

The fibers of the tract end by synapsing with the 3rd- order neurons in VPL nucleus of thalamus

  • The axons of 3rd order neurons pass through internal capsule and corona radiata to reach the Post central gyrus of cerebral cortex
slide10

lateral spinothalamic tract

Ventral nuclei in thalamus

Midbrain

Lateral spinothalamic tract

1st order neuron

Second-order neuron

Third-order neuron

Pain and temperature sensations from right side of body

slide12

The cell bodies of the 1st order neurons are located

In the posterior root ganglion

  • Anterior spinothalamic tract
    • crude touch and pressure
    • The fibers of 1st order neurons terminate by synapsing with cells in the posterior gray column (substantiagelatinosa)
    • The axons of 2nd order neurons cross obliquely to the opposite side in the anterior gray and white commissures , ascending in the contralateral white column as the anterior spinothalamic tract
    • Sacral fibers are lateral, cervical are medial
    • Ascends in medulla oblongata, pons, midbrain
    • ant spinothalamic tract + spinotectal + lateral spinothalamic = spinal leminiscus
  • The fibers of the tract end by synapsing with the 3rd- order neurons in VPL nucleus of thalamus
  • The axons of 3rd order neurons pass through internal capsule and corona radiata to reach the Postcentralgyrus of cerebral cortex
slide13

Anterior spinothalamic tract

Anterior spinothalamictract

Crude touch and pressure sensations

from right side of body

slide14

Posterior white Column (Fasciculus gracilis, Fasciculus cuneatus )

Discriminative touch, vibratory sense, and conscious muscle-joint sense

•Posterior Column tract consists of:

•Fasciculus gracilis

•Transmits information coming from areas inferior to T6

•Fasciculus cuneatus

•Transmits information coming from areas superior to T6

slide15

The cell bodies of the 1st order neurons are located

In the posterior root ganglion

  • The axons of 1st order neurons pass directly to the posterior white column
  • As Fasciculus gracilis and Fasciculus cuneatus
  • Fasciculus gracilis is present throughout the length of SC
  • Contains ascending fibers from sacral ,lumbar and lower six thoracic nerves
  • Fasciculus cuneatus is situated laterally in the upper thoracic and cervical segments
  • Is separated from Fasciculus gracilis by a septum
  • Contains ascending fibers from upper six thoracic nerves and all cervical nerves

The fibers of Fasciculus gracilis and Fasciculus cuneatus ascend ipsilaterally and terminate by

Synapsing on 2nd order neurons in nuclei gracilis and cuneatus of medulla oblongata

slide16

The axons of 2nd order neurons (internal arcuate fibers) cross the median plane

(sensory decussation)

Fibers then ascend as a single bundle (medial leminiscus) through medulla oblongata,

pons, midbrain

  • The fibers of the tract end by synapsing with the 3rd- order neurons in VPL nucleus of thalamus
  • The axons of 3rd order neurons pass through internal capsule and corona radiata to reach the Postcentralgyrus of cerebral cortex
slide18

Posterior Columns

Midbrain

Medial lemniscus

Nucleus gracilis and nucleus cuneatus

Medulla oblongata

Fasciculuscuneatus and fasciculusgracilis

Fine-touch, vibration, pressure, and proprioception

sensations from right side of body

slide21

The cell bodies of the 1st order neurons are located

In the posterior root ganglion

  • Posterior spinocerebellar tract
  • muscle and joint sensation
  • 1st order neuron axons terminate at the base of post gray column (nucleus dorsalis)
  • the axons of 2nd order neurons enter posterolateral part of the lateral white matter
  • on the same side
  • ascend as the posterior spinocerebellar tract to medulla oblongata
  • Terminates in cerebellar cortex (through inferior cerebellar peduncle)
  • note: axons of lower lumbar and sacral spinal nerves ascend in the posterior white
  • column until they reach L3 or L4 segments where they synapse with nucleus dorsalis
slide22

The cell bodies of the 1st order neurons are located

In the posterior root ganglion

  • Anterior spinocerebellar tract
  • muscle and joint sensation
  • 1st order neuron axons terminate at the base of post gray column (nucleus dorsalis)
  • the majority of axons of 2nd order neurons cross to opposite side and ascend as
  • anterior spinocerebellar tract in the contralateral white column
  • the minority of axons ascend as anterior spinocerebellar tract in the lateral white column
  • Of the same side
  • ascend as anterior spinocerebellar tract to medulla oblongata and pons
  • Terminates in cerebellar cortex (through superior cerebellar peduncle)
  • the fibers that crossed over in spinal cord cross back within cerebellum
slide23

Spinocerebellar Tracts

PONS

Cerebellum

Medulla

oblongata

Anterior spinocerebellar tract

Posterior spinocerebellar tract

Spinal

cord

Proprioceptive input from Golgi tendon organs,

muscle spindles, and joint capsules

slide24

The term dorsolateral fasciculus of the spinal cord refers to a bundle of nerve fibers located between the posterior white column and the lateral white column and bounded ventromedially by the posterior gray column of the spinal cord

A longitudinal bundle of thin, unmyelinated and poorly myelinatedfibers capping the apex of the posterior horn of the spinal gray matter, composed of posterior root fibers and short association fibers that interconnect neighboring segments of the posterior horn

slide25

Regional variation of spinal cord structure

cross sections taken from the cervical enlargement ( A ), midthoracic cord ( B ), and lumbosacral enlargement ( C )

slide26

cervical segment

  • an oval shape with large white matter funiculi
  • prominent, broad anterior gray horns that contain the motor neurons that innervate the upper extremities
  • thoracic segment
  • have a more rounded profile
  • exhibit small, slender, peglike anterior gray horns
  • lateral horns are unique to thoracic segments
  • lumbosacral segment
  • has very large anterior gray horns (motor supply to the lower extremities)
  • only a very small surrounding mantle of white matter
slide27

Cervical segment

Fasciculus gracilis

Fasciculus cuneatus

Posterior white column

Substantiagelatinosa

Nucleus proprius

Lateral white column

Lateral group (UL)

Accessory nucleus

Medial group (neck)

Anterior white column

Anterior median fissure

slide28

Thoracic segment

Fasciculus gracilis

Fasciculus cuneatus

Substantiagelatinosa

Nucleus proprius

Nucleus dorsalis

Lateral horn

(PREGANGLIONIC

SYMPATHETIC)

Motor neurons

(trunk muscles)

slide29

Lumbosacral segment

Fasciculus gracilis

Substantiagelatinosa

Nucleus proprius

Lateral horn

(PREGANGLIONIC

PARASYMPATHETIC

(S2-S3-S4)

Motor neurons

(LL muscles)

Motor neurons

(trunk muscles)