QS Study

Ascending Tracts of Spinal Cord

Ascending tracts ascend in the white columns of the spinal cord. It refers to the neural pathways by which sensory information from the peripheral nerves is transmitted to the cerebral cortex. The major ascending tracts are as follows. The names of most ascending tracts consist of the prefix spino- followed by a root denoting the destination of its fibers in the brain.

In posterior funiculus:

  • The tract of Gall (Fasciculus gracilis)
  • The tract of Burdach (Fasciculus cuteatus)
  • Intersegmental tract.

Fig: Ascending Tracts of Spinal Cord

In lateral funiculars:

  • Dorsal spino cerebellar tract,
  • Ventral spino cerebellar tract,
  • Lateral spino thalamic tract,
  • Spino vestibular tract,
  • Spino olivary tract,
  • Spino reticular tract
  • Spino tactal tract.

In anterior funiculus:

  • Anterior spinothalamic tract.

Functionally, the ascending tracts can be divided into the type of information they transmit – conscious or unconscious:

Conscious tracts – comprised of the dorsal column-medial lemniscal pathway and the anterolateral system.

Unconscious tracts – comprised of the spinocerebellar tracts.