Central canal
For the engineering project, see Indiana Central Canal
Indiana Central Canal
The Indiana Central Canal was a canal intended to connect the Wabash and Erie Canal to the Ohio River. It was funded by the Mammoth Internal Improvement Act, Indiana's attempt to take part in the canal-building craze, started by the Erie Canal. $3.5 million was allocated for the project, the...


The central canal is the cerebrospinal fluid
Cerebrospinal fluid
Cerebrospinal fluid , Liquor cerebrospinalis, is a clear, colorless, bodily fluid, that occupies the subarachnoid space and the ventricular system around and inside the brain and spinal cord...

-filled space that runs longitudinally through the length of the entire spinal cord
Spinal cord
The spinal cord is a long, thin, tubular bundle of nervous tissue and support cells that extends from the brain . The brain and spinal cord together make up the central nervous system...

. The central canal is contiguous with the ventricular system
Ventricular system
The ventricular system is a set of structures containing cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. It is continuous with the central canal of the spinal cord.-Components:The system comprises four ventricles:* right and left lateral ventricles* third ventricle...

 of the brain
The brain is the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate and most invertebrate animals—only a few primitive invertebrates such as sponges, jellyfish, sea squirts and starfishes do not have one. It is located in the head, usually close to primary sensory apparatus such as vision, hearing,...

. The central canal represents the adult remainder of the neural tube
Neural tube
In the developing vertebrate, the neural tube is the embryo's precursor to the central nervous system, which comprises the brain and spinal cord...


It generally occludes (closes off) with age.

The obex
The obex is the point in the human brain at which the fourth ventricle narrows to become the central canal of the spinal cord.The obex occurs in the caudal medulla.The decussating of sensory fibers happens at this point....

 connects the central canal to the fourth ventricle
Fourth ventricle
The fourth ventricle is one of the four connected fluid-filled cavities within the human brain. These cavities, known collectively as the ventricular system, consist of the left and right lateral ventricles, the third ventricle, and the fourth ventricle...


Syringomyelia is a generic term referring to a disorder in which a cyst or cavity forms within the spinal cord. This cyst, called a syrinx, can expand and elongate over time, destroying the spinal cord. The damage may result in pain, paralysis, weakness, and stiffness in the back, shoulders, and...

 is a disease caused by the occlusion of the central canal. Occlusions of the central canal typically occur at the lower cervical and upper thoracic levels. This typically damages white matter fibers that cross in anterior white commissure
Anterior white commissure
The anterior white commissure, also known as the alba anterior medullae spinalis, is a bundle of nerve fibers which cross the midline of the spinal cord just anterior to the gray commissure...

, leading to the loss of temperature, pain, and coarse touch sensation at the affected levels on contralateral sides.
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