Brainstem PowerPoint Presentation
The brainstem is made up of (moving superior-to-inferior) the midbrain, the pons and the medulla. It is continuous above with the diencephalon of the cerebrum below with the spinal cord and posteriorly with the cerebellum. The surface of the brainstem is intimately related to the meninges, arteries, veins, and a number of cranial nerves are attached to it.
The medulla is about 3 cm long, 2 cm wide, and is marked on the lateral surface by the 9th to 12th cranial nerves, as well a series of fissures or sulci that divide it into a number of regions. These fissures and regions include the anterior median fissure, anterolateral sulcus and the region between these sulci which is an elevation called the pyramid. There is also a posterolateral sulcus or fissure which defines an area between it and the anterolateral sulcus. This area is an elongated, oval swelling called the olive. Some features of the posterior surface of the medulla can also be seen on the lateral view; for example, the fasciculus gracilis and the fasciculus cuneatus. The 6th to 8th cranial nerves emerge at the junction of the medulla and pons.