Conway Regional Health System
Advanced Search

Health Information

Search Health Information   Print This Page Print    Email to a Friend Email
 

White matter of the brain

Information

White matter is found in the deeper tissues of the brain (subcortical). It contains nerve fibers (axons), which are extensions of nerve cells (neurons). Many of these nerve fibers are surrounded by a type of sheath or covering called myelin. Myelin gives the white matter its color. It also protects the nerve fibers from injury and improves the speed and transmission of electrical nerve signals.

By comparison, gray matter is tissue found on the surface of the brain (cortical). It contains the cell bodies of neurons, which give gray matter its color.

References

Calabresi PA. Multiple sclerosis and demyelinating conditions of the central nervous system. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 419.

Griggs RC, Jozefowicz RF, Aminoff MJ. Approach to the patient with neurologic disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 403.


Review Date: 2/3/2015
Reviewed By: Armit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, SUNY Stony Brook, School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com
 
Contact Us: 1-800-245-3314 or (501) 329-3831 2302 College Avenue, Conway, Arkansas 72034
I am...
Condidtions We Treat
Patient Toolbox
Visitor Guide
About Us