The cranial nerves are composed of twelve pairs of nerves that emanate from the nervous tissue of the brain. In order to reach their targets they must ultimately exit/enter the cranium through openings in the skull. Hence, their name is derived from their association with the cranium. The following are the list of cranial nerves, their functions, and tumor examples:
|The olfactory nerve carries impulses for the sense of smell.
|The optic nerve carries impulses for the sense of sight.
|Optic nerve glioma
|The occulomotor nerve is responsible for motor enervation of upper eyelid muscle, extraocular muscle and pupillary muscle.
|The trochlear nerve controls an extraocular muscle.
|The trigeminal nerve is responsible for sensory enervation of the face and motor enervation to muscles of mastication (chewing).
|Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST)
|The abducent nerve enervates a muscle, which moves the eyeball.
|The facial nerve enervates the muscles of the face (facial expression).
|The vestibulocochlear nerve is responsible for the sense of hearing and balance (body position sense).
|The glossopharyngeal nerve enervates muscles involved in swallowing and taste. Lesions of the ninth nerve result in difficulty swallowing and disturbance of taste.
|The vagus nerve enervates the gut (gastrointestinal tract), heart and larynx.
|The accessory nerve enervates the sternocleidomastoid muscles and the trapezius muscles.
|The hypoglossal nerve enervates the muscles of the tongue.