spinothalamic tracts

spinothalamic tracts

The nerve bundles running up the spinal cord carrying sensory impulses to the great sensory nucleus of the basal ganglia-the THALAMUS.

spinal tracts

tracts (bundles) of nerve fibres within spinal cord white matter (Table 1)
  • afferent tracts dorsal/posterior columns carrying incoming sensory information (touch, vibration, pressure and position sense) from ipsilateral limbs and dorsal ganglia to contralateral thalamus and thence to cerebral hemispheres

  • corticospinal tracts; pyramidal tracts descending motor and inhibitory fibres from motor cortex to brainstem and thence to contralateral spinal cord

  • efferent tracts carrying motor information from brain to periphery

  • motor tracts; pyramidal tracts efferent motor fibres that control voluntary movement

  • spine see spinal column

  • spinocerebellar tracts extrapyramidal pathway carrying peripheral information (proprioception, stereognosis) to cerebellum

  • spinothalamic tracts tracts of sensory (A-delta and C) fibres within anterior lateral aspects of spinal cord white matter; carry pain and temperature information from contralateral side of body

Table 1: Spinal cord pathways
PathwaySpinal tractsFunction
Ascending/afferent pathways of spinal cordDorsal columnsCarry afferent sensory impulses from skin and superficial tissues of lower limb via A-beta nerve fibres to the lower thoracic, lumbar and sacral dorsal nerve roots of the ipsilateral spinal cord, contralateral thalamus and cerebral sensory cortex
Spinothalamic tractsCarry afferent sensory impulses from skin and superficial tissues via A-delta and C nerve fibres to the contralateral anterior spinal cord to contralateral thalamus and cerebral sensory cortex
Spinocerebellar tract (extrapyramidal pathway)Carry afferent unconscious proprioceptive and stereognostic impulses from body tissues to ipsilateral spinal cord to the ipsilateral cerebellum
Descending/efferent pathways of spinal cordCorticospinal tractsVoluntary motor control (primary motor; upper motor neurone) pathway from the cerebral motor cortex to the contralateral brainstem and contralateral anterior horn of the spinal cord, to synapse with lower motor neurone
References in periodicals archive ?
Our patient presented with acute onset of fever with involvement of bilateral pyramidal, and anterolateral spinothalamic tracts without any evidence of posterior column involvement.
Brown-Sequard syndrome, first reported in 1849, is characterised by hemisection of the cord with disruption of the descending lateral corticospinal tracts resulting in ipsilateral hemiplegia, and damage of the ascending lateral spinothalamic tracts (which cross within one or two levels of the dorsal root entrance) resulting in contralateral loss of pain and temperature.
Given the central location, in proximity to spinothalamic tracts, sensory symptoms are frequently observed.
This finding suggests an early involvement of the spinothalamic tracts (pain and temperature nerve pathways), Dr.
Brown-Sequard syndrome is characterised by damage of the ascending lateral spinothalamic tracts (which cross within one or two levels of the dorsal root entrance) resulting in contralateral loss of pain and temperature.