Cranial Nerves

Important tool when examining head trauma

There are twelve pairs of cranial nerves in the human body, extending from the brain to different regions of the upper body; head, neck and trunk ("Cranial Nerves", 2021). They are given their name and numbered depending on location, starting from front of the brain moving to the back ("Cranial Nerves", 2021). Some nerves are sensory, while others have motor functions or a combination of the two ("Cranial Nerves", 2021). Cranial nerve dysfunction can be displayed as cranial nerve disorders, neuro-ophthalmologic disorders or both, as they affect a variety of functions ("Cranial Nerves", 2021). This can be caused by tumors, inflammation, trauma, systemic disorders or degenerative diseases ("Cranial Nerves", 2021). It is important when assessing for a concussion or other forms of traumatic brain injuries that cranial nerves are a part of the full assessment. The table and infographic provided below lists the names, classifications, functions and tests for each of the 12 cranial nerves.

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Cranial Nerves. (2021, February 9). Physiopedia. Retrieved November 17, 2021, from


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