Cord, spinal


Cord, spinal
The major column of nerve tissue that is connected to the brain, lies within the vertebral canal, and from which the spinal nerves emerge. The spinal cord and the brain constitute the central nervous system (CNS). The spinal cord consists of nerve fibers that transmit impulses to and from the brain. Like the brain, the spinal cord is covered by three connective-tissue envelopes called the meninges. The space between the outer and middle envelopes is filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a clear colorless fluid that cushions the spinal cord against jarring shock. Thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves originate in the spinal cord: 8 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 sacral, and 1 coccygeal. In the spinal cord, information about internal and external conditions travels up the ascending tracts to the brain. This information is processed by the brain and corresponding responses are induced by nerve impulses traveling down the descending tracts of the spinal cord to stimulate motor neurons or to initiate secretions by glands. The spinal cord is sometimes referred to simply as "the cord."

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Spinal cord — Latin medulla spinalis The spinal cord nested in the vertebral column …   Wikipedia

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  • Cord — Short and informal reference to the spinal cord, the major column of nerve tissue that is connected to the brain, lies within the vertebral canal, and from which the spinal nerves emerge. The spinal cord and the brain constitute the central… …   Medical dictionary

  • Spinal cord — The major column of nerve tissue that is connected to the brain, lies within the vertebral canal, and from which the spinal nerves emerge. The spinal cord and the brain constitute the central nervous system (CNS). The spinal cord consists of… …   Medical dictionary

  • spinal cord — noun a major part of the central nervous system which conducts sensory and motor nerve impulses to and from the brain; a long tubelike structure extending from the base of the brain through the vertebral canal to the upper lumbar region • Syn:… …   Useful english dictionary

  • spinal — I. adjective Date: 1578 1. of, relating to, or situated near the spinal column 2. a. of, relating to, or affecting the spinal cord < spinal reflexes > b. having the spinal cord functionally isolated (as by surgical section) from the brain <… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • spinal — adj. of or relating to the spine (spinal curvature; spinal disease). Phrases and idioms: spinal canal a cavity through the vertebrae containing the spinal cord. spinal column the spine. spinal cord a cylindrical structure of the central nervous… …   Useful english dictionary

  • cord — cord1 [ko:d US ko:rd] n [Date: 1200 1300; : Old French; Origin: corde, from Latin chorda string , from Greek chorde] 1.) [U and C] a piece of thick string or thin rope ▪ The robe was held at the waist by a cord. ▪ He pulled explosives and some… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • cord — n. any long flexible structure, which may be solid or tubular. Examples include the spermatic cord, spinal cord, umbilical cord, and vocal cord …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • cord — n. & v. n. 1 a long thin flexible material made from several twisted strands. b a piece of this. 2 Anat. a structure in the body resembling a cord (spinal cord). 3 a ribbed fabric, esp. corduroy. b (in pl.) corduroy trousers. c a cordlike rib on… …   Useful english dictionary


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