Trigeminal nerve

In neuroanatomy, the trigeminal nerve, also known as the fifth cranial nerve, cranial nerve V, or simply CN V, is a cranial nerve responsible for sensation in the face and motor functions such as biting and chewing; it is the most complex of the cranial nerves. Its name ("trigeminal", from Latin tri- 'three', and -geminus 'twin'[1]) derives from each of the two nerves (one on each side of the pons) having three major branches: the ophthalmic nerve (V1), the maxillary nerve (V2), and the mandibular nerve (V3). The ophthalmic and maxillary nerves are purely sensory, whereas the mandibular nerve supplies motor as well as sensory (or "cutaneous") functions.[2] Adding to the complexity of this nerve is that autonomic nerve fibers as well as special sensory fibers (taste) are contained within it.

Trigeminal nerve
Schematic illustration of the trigeminal nerve and the organs (or structures) it supplies
Inferior view of the human brain, with cranial nerves labelled
Details
ToOphthalmic nerve
Maxillary nerve
Mandibular nerve
InnervatesMotor: Muscles of mastication, tensor tympani, tensor veli palatini, mylohyoid, anterior belly of the digastric
Sensory: Face, mouth, temporomandibular joint
Identifiers
LatinNervus trigeminus
MeSHD014276
NeuroNames549
TA98A14.2.01.012
TA26192
FMA50866
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The motor division of the trigeminal nerve derives from the basal plate of the embryonic pons, and the sensory division originates in the cranial neural crest. Sensory information from the face and body is processed by parallel pathways in the central nervous system.


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