Facial nerve

The 7th cranial nerve, which arises from structures in the brainstem and sends branches to the face, neck, salivary glands, and outer ear. The facial nerve performs both motor and sensory functions. It controls the muscles of the neck and of facial expression, stimulates the secretion of saliva, and conveys sensory information from the tongue and from the outer ear. Damage to the nerve causes weakness of the facial muscles (see facial palsy) and, in some cases, loss of taste. Such damage is most often due to a viral infection but may also occur in stroke.


Online Medical Dictionary: Your essential reference to over 5000 medical terms.