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gray matter

contains cell bodies, dendrites, unmyelinated axons, and neuroglia
main site of synaptic contact between neurons

white matter

contains myelinated axons
tracts are bundles of myelinated axons that carry nervse signals within CNS

Brain Regions



continuous with spinal cord, components include medulla oblongata, pons, midbrain, reticular formation


posterior to brainstem, divided into hemispheres


components are thalamus, hypothalamus, epithalamus


occupies most of the cranium, divided into hemispheres


fibrous connective tissue coverings surrounding the brain and spinal cord

dura mater

outermost meninx
consists of dense irregular CT that lines the cranial cavity and surrounds the spinal cord

arachnoid mater

middle meninx
consists of delicate collagen fibers and some elastic fibers

pia mater

inner meninx
thin layer of transparent collagen and elastic fibers that adhere to the spinal cord and brain

epidural space

between the dura mater and wall of the vertebral canal
filled with blood vessels, adipose tissue, loose CT, only on spinal cord

subdural space

seperates sura mater and arachnoid mater

subarachnoid space

between arachnoid mater and pia mater
filled with cerebrospinal fluid


describes inflammation of the arachnoid mater and/or pia mater caused by bacteria and/or viruses that invade the central nervous system via the nose or throat
brain swells, ventricles enlarge, brainstem may hemmorhage
symptoms include high fever, stuff neck, drowsiness, intense headache, coma
death may occur within hours of onset

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