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Examining the Cranial Nerves

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General Inspection

During the general inspection of the cranial nerves, we should look for whether the patient has any ptosisabnormal eye movements and facial asymmetry. We should also inspect for whether there are any neuro-cutaneous features (for example in patients with tuberous sclerosis and neuro-fibromatosis), syndromal features etc.

Cranial Nerve I (Olfactory Nerve)

Cranial Nerve II (Optic Nerve)

Visual Acuity

Visual Fields

Inspection of the Pupils

Direct and Consensual Light Reflexes

The Swinging Torch Test

Accommodation Reflex

Cranial Nerves III (Oculomotor Nerve), IV (Trochlear Nerve) and VI (Abducens Nerve)

Cranial Nerve V (Trigeminal Nerve)

Cranial Nerve VII (Facial Nerve)

Cranial Nerve VIII (Vestibulocochlear Nerve)

Cranial Nerves IX (Glossopharyngeal Nerve) and X (Vagus Nerve)

Cranial Nerve XI (Accessory Nerve)

Cranial Nerve XII (Hypoglossal Nerve)