Nervous system formation

<< View all animations

The most critical stage of development for the embryo’s nervous system is the third and fourth weeks of pregnancy.

On day 14, the embryo looks like a little disc. The first part of the nervous system that forms is an indentation called the neural groove. Over the next 7 days, the groove deepens as the cells around it form ridges called neural folds.

By day 27, the neural folds wrap around the neural groove and form the neural tube. The neural tube will further develop into the brain and spinal cord. Structures called somites form the vertebral column, or backbone. They also help form the ribs and the muscles of the neck, arms, and legs.

The embryo’s nervous system is particularly vulnerable during the early stage of development, so an expectant mother should be careful about avoiding any substances that could potentially harm it.

 


Need an appointment? Request one online 24 hours/day, 7 days/week or call 800-789-PENN (7366) to speak to a referral counselor.

 

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is the first of its kind, requiring compliance with 53 standards of quality and accountability, verified by independent audit. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial process. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics (www.hiethics.com) and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).

©Copyright A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician 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.

Related Links
Request an Appointment Online or call
1-800-789-PENN (7366)

 

   
   

 

About UPHS   Contact Us   Site Map   Privacy Statement   Legal Disclaimer   Terms of Use

The University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, PA 1-800-789-PENN © 2014, The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania