Cranial Nerves and Nuclei II

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Cranial nerves and nuclei I | Main Anatomy Index | The auditory system

Last updated 30 March 2006

Cranial Nerves and Nuclei II

The Branchiomeric Nerves


Trigeminal Nerve

  1. Tactile;
  2. Proprioceptive;
  3. Pain;
  4. And temperature.
  1. The ophthalmic [V1];
  2. The maxillary [V2];
  3. And the mandibular [V3] divisions.
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Trigeminal Motor Nucleus

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Sensory Nuclei of the Trigeminal Nerve

  1. The main (or principle) sensory nucleus;
  2. The spinal nucleus;
  3. And the mesencephalic nucleus.
  1. Most fibres bifurcate and send a very short ascending branch into the main sensory nucleus and a longer descending branch into the spinal trigeminal tract;
  2. Or they don't bifurcate and either terminate directly in the main sensory nucleus;
  3. Or terminate directly in the spinal tract after turning caudally.


Spinal Trigeminal Nucleus

  1. Trigeminal fibres representing areas near the midline end near the obex;
  2. Fibres representing areas near the back of the head end near the upper cervical cord.


Main Sensory Nucleus


Mesencephalic Trigeminal Nucleus

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Clinical Significance of the Trigeminal Nerve

Trigeminal Neuralgia

  1. Sectioning the nerve root;
  2. Destroying or mechanically disturbing the trigeminal ganglion;
  3. Or sectioning the trigeminal spinal tract slightly caudal to the obex.
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Facial Nerve

General Afferents of the Facial Nerve


Solitary Nucleus and Facial GVA Fibres

  1. To the reticular formation;
  2. To brainstem visceral motor nuclei;
  3. And to the intermediolateral cell column of the spinal cord.


Taste and SVA Fibres

Cranial Nerve Taste Buds
Facial (CN VII) Anterior 2/3 of tongue and palate
Glossopharyngeal (CN IX) Posterior 1/3 of tongue and pharynx
Vagus (CN X) Epiglottis


Solitary Nucleus and Facial SVA Fibres

  1. Participate in reflex activities, such as swallowing or coughing (by way of the motor nuclei of branchiomeric nerves).
  2. Project to the cerebral cortex via the thalamus.
  3. The hypothalamic-limbic projection of visceral and perhaps gustatory information that is presumably involved with autonomic reflexes and our subjective sense of the pleasantness of things we ingest.


Efferents of the Facial Nerve

Superior Salivatory Nucleus and Facial GVE Fibres

  1. The submandibular gland;
  2. The sublingual gland;
  3. And the lacrimal gland.


Facial Motor Nucleus and SVE Fibres

  1. Both trigeminal nerves;
  2. Both facial nerves;
  3. And some of their central connections.


Clinical Significance of the Facial Nerve

Facial Paralysis

  1. The ipsilateral upper face;
  2. The contralateral upper face;
  3. And the contralateral lower face.
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Glossopharyngeal Nerve

Glossopharyngeal GVA Fibres

  1. The carotid body;
  2. The carotid sinus;
  3. The medial surface of the tympanic membrane;
  4. The posterior 1/3 of the tongue;
  5. And the walls of the pharynx.


Inferior Salivatory Nucleus and Glossopharyngeal GVE Fibres


Nucleus Ambiguus and Glossopharyngeal SVE Fibres


Glossopharyngeal GSA and SVA Fibres


Clinical Significance of the Glossopharyngeal Nerve

Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia

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Vagus Nerve


Vagal GVA Fibres


Dorsal Motor Nucleus of the Vagus and GVE Fibres


Nucleus Ambiguus and Vagal SVE Fibres

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Accessory Nerve

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Michael Tam (c) 1998