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Neuro glossary

Dermatomes

Area of skin supplying sensory input to one level in the spinal cord

Grey matter

One of the two main components of the brain. Composed of neuronal cell bodies and their unmyelinated dendrites as opposed to white matter (myelinated axons). It has a grey brown color which comes from the capillary blood vessels and the neuronal cell bodies.

Myotomes

Muscles innervated by one root level in the Spinal cord.

Neurones

Nuclei (or nucleus)

A group of functionally related neuronal cell bodies within the CNS. Where these occur in the PNS they are known as ganglia, such as in the autonomic nervous plexuses

Tract

A band of neuronal axons (+/-dendrites), which connect distant areas of the CNS. There are other names for the same thing:

  • Fasciculus - probably completely interchangable.
  • Peduncle - used only for tracts which are so ridiculously massive that they make up a macroscopic part of the brain that you could pick with your fingers - assuming you're looking at a cadavar or have smashed someone's head in - and usually surounded by the CSF i.e. cerebral peduncles and the 3 cerebellar peduncles.

White matter

one of the two main components of the brain. Composed of myelinated axons which connect various grey matter areas (the locations of nerve cell bodies) of the brain to each other and carry nerve impulses between neurons.