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trigeminal nerve [CN V]


Definition: the chief sensory nerve of the face and the motor nerve of the muscles of mastication; its nuclei are in the mesencephalon and in the pons and medulla oblongata extending down into the cervical portion of the spinal cord; it emerges by two roots, sensory and motor, from the lateral portion of the surface of the pons, and enters a cavity of the dura mater, the trigeminal cave, at the apex of the petrous portion of the temporal bone, where the sensory root expands to form the trigeminal ganglion; from there the three divisions (ophthalmic [CN V1], maxillary [CN V2], and mandibular [CN V3] nerves) arise.

Synonym(s): nervus trigeminus [CN V]TA, fifth cranial nerve [CN V], trifacial nerve

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.