Cranial Nerve V Trigeminal

The principal functions of the trigeminal nerve include control of the muscles of mastication and sensation in the face, anterior half of the scalp, and mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, and sinuses. The nerve also mediates the afferent arc of the corneal reflex. The three sensory divisions are ophthalmic, maxillary, and mandibular. Each division is tested by light touch, pinprick, and temperature. The motor division of CN V can be assessed by palpating the jaw as the patient bites down. CN V is the afferent limb of the corneal reflex, and CN VII is the efferent limb. This reflex is tested by lightly touching the cornea with a wisp of cotton; the reflex, integrated through the pons, results in brisk, bilateral eye closure.

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