Clinical neurophysiology of cranial nerve disorders

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Electrophysiologic techniques are available to measure many of the cranial nerves. The procedures can be done using equipment available in standard clinical neurophysiology laboratories. These studies can aid in localization of cranial nerve lesions as well help identify the underlying pathology and possibly aid in prognosis. The trigeminal pathways can be measured using the blink and masseter responses. The facial nerve is measured by the blink response and by direct facial stimulation; techniques such as lateral spread can identify specific abnormalities. The spinal accessory nerve is measured using nerve conduction techniques. Needle examination can be routinely performed on muscles innervated by cranial nerves V, VII, X, XI and XII. These studies reliably measure the functional integrity of cranial nerves and their central pathways. Intraoperative monitoring of the cranial nerves is useful in certain surgeries. This chapter reviews current techniques used to evaluate cranial nerves, emphasizing the methods available in most clinical neurophysiology laboratories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Clinical Neurology
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameHandbook of Clinical Neurology
ISSN (Print)0072-9752
ISSN (Electronic)2212-4152


  • Blink reflex
  • Cranial nerve IOM monitoring
  • Cranial nerves
  • Electrophysiology
  • Facial nerve
  • Lateral spread
  • Masseter inhibitory reflex
  • Masseter reflex
  • Spinal accessory nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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