Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

620 
PROPERTIES OP THE MEDULLA OBLONGATA. 
and form the posterior wall of the anterior fissure of the spinal cord; but as they 
ascend in the neck, between the space of 3^ to 1^ inches below the pons, they pass 
obliquely forwards, so as first to form the lateral boundaries of the anterior fissure, and 
at last to appear at the two sides of this fissure on the anterior surface of the spinal cord 
and at the inner side of the anterior columns. The decussating fibres are derived 
from the lateral columns of the spinal cord, as a branch of which they run behind 
the olivary body on each side, ascend, passing obliquely inwards and forwards, and 
with the former set of fibres appear at the surface of the corjl one inch below the pons 
Varolii, at the side of the anterior fissure. The decussating fibres alone pass from 
one side of the fissure to the other to join the fundamental fibres of the opposite pyra¬ 
mid. (Burdach, ib. ii. 31.) The fibres of the corpora pyramidalia pass between the 
transverse fasciculi of the pons to reach the crura cerebri. 
2. Fasciculi of fibres which run at the inner and outer side of the olivary bodies, 
and which are not seen on the surface of the medulla oblongata. (Fasciculi siliquae. 
Burdach.) The more anterior or internal of these fasciculi is formed of the fibres 
which bounded the anterior fissure of the spinal cord, and which have been thrust 
outwards by the corpora pyramidalia rising to the surface. The external fasciculus 
is the outer portion of the anterior column of the spinal cord which lay at the inner 
side of the anterior roots of the nerves. Both these fasciculi, which sheath the olivary 
bodies, are in contact with each other till they reach these bodies. The internal fas¬ 
ciculus passes with the pyramids through the pons into the crura cerebri. The ex¬ 
ternal is continued upwards and inwards, around the upper portion of the processus 
cerebelli ad testes, to the base of the corpora quadrigemina. 
3. The olivary body is formed by the expansion of the anterior grey column of the 
cord. At this point the grey column forms a plicated vesicle of grey matter, filled 
internally as well as invested externally with white fibrous substance. This it is which 
produces in a section of the corpus olivare, the appearance called corpus dentatum. 
4. The lateral column of the spinal cord gives off from its inner side at the com¬ 
mencement of the medulla oblongata the decussating fibres of the anterior pyramids; 
the remaining portion is continued over the olivary body into the processus cerebelli 
ad medullam oblongalam (corpus restiforme), and partially also into the external part 
of the fourth ventricle. (Burdach, ibid. p. 35.) 
5. The fasciculus cuneatus is the continuation of the medullary fibres which cover 
the posterior grey columns of the spinal cord, and which, lying at the upper side of 
the lateral column, form with it the process from the medulla oblongata to the cere¬ 
bellum; its internal fibres run at the outer part of the walls of the fourth ventricle 
towards the cerebrum. According to Mr. Solly, some fibres of the anterior columns 
also of the spinal cord contribute to form the corpus restiforme, or processus cerebelli 
ad medullam oblongatam, interlacing in it with those derived from the lateral columns. 
6. At the inner and posterior surface of the corpus restiforme lies a delicate fas¬ 
ciculus of fibres (fasciculus gracilis), the inner side of which forms the lateral wall of 
the posterior fissure, and is, in part, in close contact with the corresponding surface 
of the fasciculus of the opposite side. At the apex of the fourth ventricle, this fas¬ 
ciculus becomes swollen into a club-shaped body (clava). (Burdach, loc. cit. p. 37.) 
7. The “round fasciculi” (fasciculi teretes) are rendered visible by the divergence 
of those last described; as lateral walls of the canal of the spinal cord they lie between 
the corpora restiformia in the floor of the fourth ventricle, and pass forwards, separated 
by the medium fissure, to form the anterior and inferior boundary of the aqueduct of 
Sylvius.* 
Properties of the medulla oblongata.— It has the general properties 
of the medulla spinalis. It has the same property of reflection, indeed 
in a higher degree than any other part of the nervous system; and the 
* For a full detail of the course of the fibres in the brain I refer to Burdach’s work; and to 
the “leones” of Langenbeck, for an account of the later investigations into the structure of 
the brain. Weber’s edition of Hildebran3t’s Anatomie, M. D’Alton’s article in the 11th 
volume of the Encycl. Wörterb. der Medicin. Wissench. (Mr. Solly’s work on the Brain, and 
the excellent Tabulae Anatomieae of Arnold, as well as his Bemerkungen über den Bau des 
Gehirns, &c. Zurich, 1838,) may be consulted.
        

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