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Cranial Nerve XII
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Hypoglossal Nerve Clinical Notes and Interpretation
  • If the hypoglossal nerve is paralyzed, the tongue will not protrude out straight but rather will deviate to one side.
  • Damage to an upper motor neuron may result in fasciculation of the tongue muscle without atrophy; in this case, the tongue will deviate to the side opposite the lesion.
  • Damage to a lower motor neuron results in flaccid paralysis and atrophy of the tongue muscles on the affected side; in this case, the tongue deviates to the same side of the lesion.
  • Tongue weakness occurs primarily from metastatic tumors or cerebral infarction.
  • Fasciculation and/or atrophy may indicate a peripheral nerve dysfunction.

 

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Section: Cranial Nerve XII
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