Cranial Nerve Disorders

Cranial nerves are those that occur directly from your brain or brainstem and often affect areas like the face and eyes. These disorders can result in several symptoms such as facial pain or twitching and include trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm and glossopharyngeal neuralgia.
There are twelve pairs of nerves that lead directly from the brain to various parts of the head, neck, and trunk. Some of the cranial nerves are involved in the special senses (seeing, hearing, and taste), and others control muscles in the face or regulate glands. The nerves are named and numbered (according to their location, from the front of the brain to the back).

The 12 Cranial Nerves:

  • Abducens nerve: eye movement outward
  • Facial nerve: muscles of facial expression, taste, salivary secretions
  • Glossopharyngeal nerve: mouth & throat sensation, taste & salivary secretions
  • Hypoglossal nerve: tongue movement
  • Oculomotor nerve: most eye movements
  • Olfactory nerve: sense of smell
  • Optic nerve: sight
  • Spinal accessory nerve: neck movement
  • Trigeminal nerve: facial sensation and chewing muscles
  • Trochlear nerve: eye movement down and inward
  • Vagal nerve: swallowing, vocal cords, sensation & parasympathetic innervation of body organs
  • Vestibulo-cochlear nerve: hearing and balance

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