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Definition of Nerve, seventh cranial

Nerve, seventh cranial: The seventh cranial nerve is the facial nerve, a mixed nerve that has fibers both going out and coming in (both efferent and afferent fibers). It supplies the muscles of facial expression.

The cranial nerves emerge from or enter the skull (the cranium), as opposed to the spinal nerves which emerge from the vertebral column. There are twelve cranial nerves. The facial nerve is the seventh cranial nerve.

The facial nerve supplies the muscles of facial expression.

Paralysis of the facial nerve causes a characteristic picture with drooping of one side of the face, inability to wrinkle the forehead, inability to whistle, inability to close the eye and deviation of the mouth toward the other side of the face. Paralysis of the facial nerve is called Bell's palsy.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=7555
Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

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