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January 1965

Function of Posterior Columns in Man

Author Affiliations

From Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center and Kings County Hospital, 450 Clarkson Avenue.

Arch Neurol. 1965;12(1):72-79. doi:10.1001/archneur.1965.00460250076009

Conventional thinking embraces the idea that various forms of touch and proprioceptive sensibilities are mediated by pathways residing in that sector of the spinal cord termed the posterior columns. In correlative neuroanatomical texts,1 it is customary to find this expressed as follows: "It is evident that the fibers related to tactile and proprioceptive sensibility are intermingled in the dorsal funicular region or dorsal columns of the spinal cord. A destruction of the dorsal funiculus will obviously prevent the conduction of these tactile and proprioceptive impulses to higher centers from all segments of the body below the level of the lesion, on the side of the lesion." It is precisely upon concepts of this character that the clinician bases his diagnostic approach in part, and with considerable success, in the study of a patient with disease of the spinal cord. Our thoughts, too, followed similar patterns until observations in man