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Cranial Nerves

CN XII: Hypoglossal Nerve

February 15th, 2021


  • Role

  • Somatic motor - intrinsic and extrinsic tongue muscles.

Hypoglossal Nerve Palsy

  • Abnormalities

  • Tongue atrophy
  • Fasciculations (nuclear lesion)
  • Diversion of tongue toward lesion
  • Inability to point tongue away from the side of lesion
  • Causes of Hypoglossal Nerve Palsy

  • Tumour
  • Trauma
  • Infarction
  • Haemorrhage
  • Demyelination
  • Motor neurone disease

Motor Pathway

Cortical Centre
Primary motor cortex (precentral gyrus)
Hypoglossal Nucleus
Hypoglossal canal
Intrinsic & extrinsic tongue muscles
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