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cranial nerves

The twelve pairs of Cranial Nerves are nerves that exit from the bottom surface of the brain. The Cranial Nerves serve the sense organs, muscles and internal organs. The Cranial Nerves are represented with both Roman and Arabic numerals or a name, for example Cranial Nerve VI, CN VI, the 6th Cranial Nerve and Abducens Nerve all refer to the same nerve. Cranial nerves III through XII arise in the Brainstem.

Here is a table of the twelve Cranial Nerves.

Nerve Name Arises Serves Signs and Symptoms

I

Olfactory

Olefactory Bulb

Sense of smell

 

II

Optic

Lateral geniculate nucleus and superior colliculus

Vision (Retina)

Optic Neuritis

III

Oculomotor

Midbrain

Eye movement and pupil dilation

Ptosis (drooping eye), loss of pupil constriction and lateral (side to side) diplopia (double vision) 

IV

Trochlear

Midbrain

Downward and outward eye movement

Vertical diplopia (double vision)

V

Trigeminal

Pons

Facial sensation, tongue, teeth, chewing muscles

Trigeminal neuralgia (Facial pain)

VI

Abducens

Pons

Outward movement of eye

Sixth nerve palsy - lateral (side to side) diplopia (double vision)

VII

Facial

Pons

Facial expression and sensation

Bell's Palsy (facial paralysis), myokymia (facial twitching)

VIII

Vestibulocochlear

Pons

Hearing and sense of balance

Dizziness, vertigo, vomiting, deafness and tinnitus

IX

Glossopharyneal

Medulla Oblongata

Movement and sensation of throat, nasal passages and tongue

Numbness and paralysis of the palate, and throat, difficulty swallowing and disturbance of taste

X

Vagus

Medulla Oblongata

Throat, nasal passages, larynx, heart, lungs, stomach

Acid reflux, gagging, difficulty in swallowing or talking

XI

Spinal/Accessory

Medulla Oblongata

Head and shoulder movement

Drooping of the shoulder and inability to rotate the head away from the affected side

XII

Hypoglossal

Medulla Oblongata

Tongue movement

Speech problems, ipsilateral (single sided) movement of tongue and thick speech

Cranial Nerve links:
Cranial Nerves
Cranial Nerve
Yale University - Cranial Nerves
Neuroscience for Kids - Cranial Nerves
Brain Function Cerebellum and Brain Stem
Cranial Nerves
Cranial nerves & special senses
Cranial Nerve Palsies
HODM - Cranial Nerve III Palsy
HODM - Cranial Nerve IV Palsy
HODM - Cranial Nerve VI Palsy
HODM - Cranial Nerve VII (facial nerve) Palsy
Cranial Nerve Functional Component Table


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