What Is The Function Of Olfactory Nerve – You have 12 sets of cranial nerves, each responsible for transmitting information about a certain type of sensation or movement. What is the function of each set and what can you do to keep those nerves healthy? Get the answers below.
Cranial nerves – like all nerves – are thin “cables” that carry electrical impulses throughout the body. These signals help control everything from purposeful movements to autonomic functions such as digestion and breathing.
- 1 What Is The Function Of Olfactory Nerve
- 2 Cranial Nerve Palsies
- 3 Olfactory Ensheathing Cells For Spinal Cord Injury: Sniffing Out The Issues
What Is The Function Of Olfactory Nerve
The cranial nerves come out at the back of the brain, one on the left side and one on the right side. They are essential for sensory and motor skills and can play a role in both. Some kits work in a similar or closely related way.
Cranial Nerve Palsies
Your doctor can diagnose problems affecting the cranial nerves. However, in general, the cranial nerves may be involved if you have problems with your sight or hearing, your sense of taste or smell, your ability to swallow or control your facial expressions, or your balance.
Injury or illness can permanently damage the cranial nerves. In other cases, they can recover on their own. Some patients also benefit from rehabilitation with the help of a physician such as a physical therapist, audiologist, speech therapist, or vision therapist.
The best way to support your cranial nerves and their critical functions is to manage your overall health. This includes exercising regularly, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, not smoking and managing conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
If you experience symptoms of a cranial nerve problem, you should contact your primary care physician. They can assess your health and possibly refer you to a specialist called a neurologist.
How To Remember The Cranial Nerves
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What Are The 12 Cranial Nerves? Functions And Diagram
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Sensations perceived by the body are organized into two main groups: general sensations such as touch, pressure, pain, and temperature, and specific sensations such as sight, hearing, taste, smell, and the sense of body position and movement. The olfactory nerve is the first of the 12 cranial nerves and one of the few cranial nerves that carries only special sensory information. In this case, the olfactory nerve is responsible for our sense of smell.
Odor information originates in the epithelium of the nasal cavity and is transported to the brain via components of the olfactory nerve (cranial nerve 1 – CNI) and the olfactory pathway. Reduced olfaction is associated with Parkinson’s disease and may therefore be an important clinical marker in this and other disease states or injuries.
To understand the olfactory nerve and its clinical implications, this article will trace the olfactory nerve from its receptor cells located in the nasal epithelium to the olfactory cortex and beyond. It will highlight some of the unique properties of certain cells within the olfactory pathway and the connection of this pathway to areas of the brain related to memory (and behavior).
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Olfactory receptor cells (sense odors and contain cilia), supporting cells, basal (stem) cells (replace old and damaged olfactory receptor cells).
CN I is formed from a set of olfactory receptor cell axons that pass through the cribriform plate and into the ceiling of the nasal cavity.
It is important to note that the olfactory nerve is only one component of the overall pathway and is actually made up of many nerve fibers/roots originating from receptor cells. The journey can be summarized as follows:
The olfactory nerve is only one of the 12 cranial nerves. Find out about all 12 of them with our time-saving cranial nerve quizzes and labeling exercises.
Solved Cranial Nerves Twelve Cranial Nerves Leave The
These cells are located in the olfactory epithelium, the mucous membrane that lines the roof and sides of the nasal cavity. In humans, the olfactory epithelium is small; approximately 5 cm² on the surface. There are three types of cells in the epithelium: olfactory receptor cells, supporting cells, and basal (stem) cells.
Olfactory receptor cells are bipolar, meaning they have two projections from their cell body. One process, the dendrite, extends to the surface of the olfactory epithelium. This dendrite expands on the surface of the epithelium and becomes nodular. On the surface of the dendrite there are 10-20 immobile cilia that extend into the fluid layer covering the epithelium in the nose. Cilia contain receptors for odor molecules that pass into the nasal cavity and are trapped in the fluid covering the olfactory epithelium. Another projection from the receptor cell body is the unmyelinated axon; these will be described in the next step of the journey.
It should be noted that other cell types present in the epithelium are basal stem cells. Typically, the lifespan of olfactory receptor cells is 30-60 days. Basal stem cells differentiate into damaged receptor cells and replace them. This means that, unlike receptive cells associated with other special senses (such as sight and hearing), cells associated with receiving olfactory information can regenerate during life. However, not all receptors are replaced during life, which means that the sense of smell can diminish with age.
Each receptor cell has an axon extending from its basal surface. The basal surface of the olfactory receptor cells is located directly under the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone, which forms the bony roof of the nasal cavity. As axons extend from the cell body, they connect with other receptor cell axons to form bundles of nerve fibers/roots. All of these axonal bundles can be collectively considered the olfactory nerve (CNI). These bundles of nerve fibers, surrounded by the dura mater and arachnoid mater of the meninges, then move superiorly through the foramina (holes) in the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone.
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Axons projecting from olfactory receptor cells through the olfactory nerve terminate in the olfactory bulb. The olfactory bulb is the main relay station within the olfactory pathway. Information from receptor cells is transmitted to cells whose projections form the subsequent olfactory tract.
Each olfactory bulb (right and left) lies lateral to the crista galli and superior to the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone, within the cranial cavity. Therefore, it lies on the underside of the medial aspect of the frontal lobe. Inside the olfactory bulb are bundles of nerve fibers known as glomeruli; where axons of incoming receptor cells make connections with dendrites of mitral relay neurons.
This bundle of nerve fibers is formed by axons of mitral relay neurons bound to areas of the brain associated with the olfactory cortex. The tract passes posteriorly on the underside of the medial frontal lobe in a sulcus known as the olfactory sulcus.
Behind and in front of the optic chiasm, the olfactory tract on both sides divides into medial and lateral olfactory striae. The medial stria projects into the anterior commissure and subsequently into the contralateral olfactory structures. The lateral stria continues into structures associated with the olfactory cortex.
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This cortex is not a single structure, rather it is defined as the combined areas of the cerebral cortex (generally in the temporal lobe) that receive input directly from the olfactory bulb. These regions include:
From the olfactory cortex, information about smell is sent to the orbitofrontal cortex via the dorsal medial nucleus of the thalamus. The orbitofrontal cortex is the part of the prefrontal cortex that is located on the underside of the frontal lobe and is located above the orbit. Lesions of this cortical area can result in an inability to discriminate between different odors. Odor information is also sent to parts of the hypothalamus and brainstem that trigger autonomic responses associated with appetite, salivation, and stomach contraction.
A complete lack of smell (anosmia) or distortion of smell (dysosmia) can indicate a number of different clinically significant injuries and diseases.
A change in the acuity of the perception of smell or a complete lack of the perception of smell can be a symptom associated with a number of neurological degenerative diseases, such as:
Cranial Nerves: Anatomy, Location, Function, Conditions
Dysosmias can fall into different categories: disturbances in the quality of smell perception (parosmia/troposmia/cacosmia) or perception of an odor when no odor is actually present (phantosmia/olfactory hallucinations). Damage to the olfactory nerve fibers can occur as a complication of upper respiratory tract infections. The reduction in the number of nerve fibers from these infections means that there are not enough different fibers to distinguish odors accurately, leading to parosmia. A phantom may appear as an initial event or an aura that is associated
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