The paler tissue of the brain and spinal cord, consisting mainly of nerve fibres with their myelin sheaths. Compare with grey matter.
- As well as major ‘ascending’ pathways carrying sensory information up to the corresponding regions of the cerebral cortex, the white matter of the brain stem and spinal cord also contains many tracts of fibres running downwards.
- Nearly all cases of PML involve the cerebral white matter, but it may also involve white matter of cerebellum, brainstem and spinal cord.
- The white matter of the spinal cord is arranged around the gray matter in posterior, lateral, and anterior columns which become progressively smaller from upper to lower levels of the cord.
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