Nerve, tenth cranial


Nerve, tenth cranial
The tenth cranial nerve, and one of the most important, is the vagus nerve. All twelve of the cranial nerves, the vagus nerve included, emerge from or enter the skull (the cranium), as opposed to the spinal nerves which emerge from the vertebral column. The vagus nerve originates in the medulla oblongata, a part of the brain stem. The vagus nerve is a remarkable nerve that relates to the function of numerous structures in the body. The vagus nerve supplies nerve fibers to the pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), trachea (windpipe), lungs, heart, esophagus and most of the intestinal tract (as far as the transverse portion of the colon). And the vagus nerve brings sensory information back from the ear, tongue, pharynx and larynx. The term "vagus" (Latin for "wandering") is apt because the vagus nerve wanders all the way down from the brainstem to the colon, a long wandering trek. Complete interruption of the vagus nerve causes a characteristic syndrome. The back part of the palate (the soft palate) droops on that side. The capacity to gag (the gag reflex) is also lost on that side. The voice is hoarse and nasal. The vocal cord on the affected side is immobile. The result is dysphagia and dysphonia (trouble swallowing and trouble speaking). One of the best known branches of the vagus nerve is the recurrent laryngeal nerve. After leaving the vagus nerve, the recurrent laryngeal nerve goes down into the chest and then loops back up to supply the larynx (the voice box). Damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve can result from diseases inside the chest (intrathoracic diseases) such as a tumor or an aneurysm (ballooning) of the arch of the aorta or of the left atrium of the heart. The consequence is laryngeal palsy, paralysis of the larynx (the voice box), on the affected side. Laryngeal palsy can also be caused by damage to the vagus nerve before it gives off the recurrent laryngeal nerve.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nerve, eleventh cranial — The eleventh cranial nerve is the accessory nerve. The twelve cranial nerves, the accessory nerve included, emerge from or enter the skull (the cranium) as opposed to the spinal nerves which emerge from the vertebral column. The accessory is so… …   Medical dictionary

  • Tenth cranial nerve — The tenth cranial nerve, and one of the most important, is the vagus nerve. All twelve of the cranial nerves, the vagus nerve included, emerge from or enter the skull (the cranium), as opposed to the spinal nerves which emerge from the vertebral… …   Medical dictionary

  • Cranial nerve, tenth — The tenth cranial nerve, and one of the most important, is the vagus nerve. All twelve of the cranial nerves, the vagus nerve included, emerge from or enter the skull (the cranium), as opposed to the spinal nerves which emerge from the vertebral… …   Medical dictionary

  • tenth cranial nerve — noun a mixed nerve that supplies the pharynx and larynx and lungs and heart and esophagus and stomach and most of the abdominal viscera • Syn: ↑vagus, ↑vagus nerve, ↑nervus vagus, ↑pneumogastric, ↑pneumogastric nerve, ↑wandering nerve •… …   Useful english dictionary

  • cranial nerve tenth — nervus vagus …   Medical dictionary

  • cranial nerve — noun any of the 12 paired nerves that originate in the brain stem • Hypernyms: ↑nerve, ↑nervus • Hyponyms: ↑olfactory nerve, ↑nervii olfactorii, ↑first cranial nerve, ↑optic nerve, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Cranial neural crest — Latin crista neuralis cranialis Code TE E5.15.1.0.2.0.1 The cranial neural crest is a form of neural crest.[1] The cranial neural crest arises in the anterior and populates the face and the pharyngeal arches giving rise to bones, cartilage, n …   Wikipedia

  • Nerve — A bundle of fibers that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit sensory and motor information from one body part to another. See nervous system. * * * A whitish cordlike structure composed of one or more bundles (fascicles) of myelinated …   Medical dictionary

  • Cranial nerve X — The tenth cranial nerve, and one of the most important, is the vagus nerve. All twelve of the cranial nerves, the vagus nerve included, emerge from or enter the skull (the cranium), as opposed to the spinal nerves which emerge from the vertebral… …   Medical dictionary

  • Cranial nerve XI — The eleventh cranial nerve is the accessory nerve. The twelve cranial nerves, the accessory nerve included, emerge from or enter the skull (the cranium) as opposed to the spinal nerves which emerge from the vertebral column. The accessory is so… …   Medical dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.