cranial nerve

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

cranial nerve

Any of several nerves that arise in pairs from the brainstem and reach the periphery through openings in the skull. There are 12 such pairs in mammals, birds, and reptiles and usually 10 pairs in amphibians and fish.
Enlarge picture

cranial nerve

Abbreviation: CN
Any of the twelve pairs of nerves that leave the cranial cavity through foramina in the skull and innervate the head. The cranial nerves are numbered in the order they contact the brain; from anterior to posterior, they are the olfactory (CN I), optic (CN II), oculomotor (CN III), trochlear (CN IV), trigeminal (CN V), abducens (CN VI), facial (CN VII), vestibulocochlear (CN VIII), glossopharyngeal (CN IX), vagus (CN X), spinal accessory (CN XI), and hypoglossal (CN XII) nerves. The central nuclei for all the cranial nerves, except the olfactory nerve, are in the brainstem. See: illustration


Lesions of the cranial nerves give rise to the following alteration(s): First (CN I; olfactory): Loss of the sense of smell. Second (CN II; optic): Blindness in all or part of a visual field. Third (CN III; oculomotor): Ptosis (drooping) of the eyelid, deviation of the eyeball outward, immobility of the pupil, double vision. Fourth (CN IV; trochlear): Rotation of the eyeball upward and outward, double vision. Fifth (CN V; trigeminal):


Pain or loss of sensation in the face


Weakness of the jaw, difficulty chewing. Sixth (CN VI; abducens): Deviation of the eye outward, double vision. Seventh (CN VII; facial): Paralysis of muscles of facial expression. Eighth (CN VIII; vestibulocochlear): Deafness; ringing in the ears; dizziness; nausea and vomiting; reeling. Ninth (CN IX; glossopharyngeal): Disturbance of taste; difficulty in swallowing; loss of gag reflex. Tenth (CN X; vagus): hoarseness; difficulty swallowing; autonomic disturbances of the viscera.Eleventh (CN XI; spinal accessory): Drooping of the shoulder; inability to rotate the head. Twelfth (CN XII; hypoglossal): Paralysis of the tongue, deviation of the tongue toward one side; thick speech.

See also: nerve

cranial nerve

one of 10 (in ANAMNIOTES) or 12 (in AMNIOTES) peripheral nerves that emerge from the vertebrate brain as distinct from the spinal cord, passing through holes in the skull to innervate structures in the head, neck and upper body.
References in periodicals archive ?
Because of its location close to the carotid vessels and cranial nerves X through XII, tumor enlargement can cause progressive symptoms such as dysphagia, odynophagia, hoarseness, or cranial nerve deficits.
As with any medical intervention, quality of care in the surgical treatment cranial nerve disease is tied closely to the medical staff's learning curve.
Related conditions effectively treated as a result of Jannetta's innovation include hemifacial spasm and glossopharyngeal neuralgia, a disorder of the ninth cranial nerve that interferes with a patient's ability to taste and may cause chronic pain of tongue and throat.
Cranial nerve palsy in sponateous dissection of the extracranial internal carotid artery.
This syndrome is characterized by unilateral paralysis of the Xth and XIIth cranial nerves.
6) When sensorineural hearing loss occurs, it is typically the result of involvement of cranial nerve VIII.
The most common manifestations of central nervous system (CNS) sarcoidosis are cranial nerve deficits (50%), headache (30%), and seizures (10%).
6) Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the cerebellopontine angle showed a neurovascular compression between the left PICA and the roots of the lower cranial nerves (figure 2).
All cranial nerve function was normal bilaterally with the exception of cranial nerve VIII.
The most common morbidity associated with jugular fossa lesions is lower cranial nerve deficits.
The vagus nerve (aka Cranial Nerve X or, more poetically, the Wandering Nerve) plays a crucial role in all of these essential functions, linking brain and organs in what's called the nervous system's superhighway.
DeGiorgio, an epileptologist at UCLA, began experimenting with stimulation of a different cranial nerve, the trigeminal nerve, to treat his patients with intractable epilepsy and began receiving surprising feedback.