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Here is My Question:
What area of the spinal cord affects toes?
The toes can be affected by MS lesions anywhere in the spinal cord from the upper neck down to the conus medullaris, which is the lowest part of the sacral spinal cord. Think of the nervous system like an electrical circuit with all electrical impulses coming from or going to the brain; with this in mind it is easy to see how the arms can only be affected by problems in the cervical or upper part of the spinal cord, since all of the nerve impulses traveling from the arm (carrying sensation) or going to the arm (supplying impulses to muscles that move the arm and hand) enter or leave the cervical part of the spinal cord and do not travel through the thoracic, lumbar or sacral spinal cord.
On the other hand, sensation from the toes must travel through all segments of the spinal cord first entering the lower sacral spinal cord and traveling up to the brain by sequentially passing through the lumbar, thoracic and cervical spinal cord in that order.
Hope that helps.
Revere (Rip) Kinkel MD
Professor of Clinical Neurosciences
Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program
Clinical Neurosciences Director
University of California San Diego
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