Blood supply of the brain & spinal cord

  • By: Terri
  • Date: November 7, 2010
  • Time to read: 1 min.

Read written notes.

Images on blood vessels supplying the brain:



Blood supply to the spinal cord:



Clinical Anatomy


  • Too delicate to bear hypoglycaemia/anoxia/hypoxia
  • Damage
    • Reversible beyond 3 minutes
    • Irreversible beyond 7 minutes
  • Arteries are ‘end arteries’
  • Conditions that may arise:
    • Aneurysms
    • Stroke (haemorrhage, thrombosis, embolism)
    • Medial medullary (Dejerine) syndrome
      • Ant spinal artery
    • Lateral medullary (Wallenberg) syndrome
      • Post spinal artery

Anterior cerebral artery

  • Supplies the paracentral lobule (medial aspects of the precentral & postcentral gyri)
  • Occlusion
    • cause restricted contralateral motor & somatosensory deficits
      • primary lower limbs and perineum

Middle cerebral artery

  • Supplies most of the precentral & postcentral gyri
  • Occlusion
    • cause major motor & somatosensory deficits
    • If left hemisphere affected
      • speech/language deficits are almost invariably found

Posterior cerebral artery

  • Supplies primary visual cortex in the occipital lobe
  • Occlusion
    • visual field losses
    • may cause other deficits referable to the midbrain and diencephalon


  • Ischaemia
    • segmental reinforcement lost during fractures/dislocations
    • Lead to
      • muscle weakness/paralysis
  • Obstructive arterial disease
  • Paraplegia
    • obstruction of anterior spinal artery
  • Hypotension
    • drop of BP for 3-6 minutes
    • Cause
      • loss of sensation & movement of affected segment
  • Vertebral venous plexus
    • alternate pathway if SVC/IVC obstructed
    • route for metastases from pelvis to brain
  1. good diagrams but give more detailed notes for students to understand. Am Doing Master of Science in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Zambia. Please assist with deatailed notes & diagrams.

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