A 46 year old male sat down hard on a bench banging the lower part of his head against the rail behind. There was a large “goose-egg” on his head and lots of pain. He developed a headache from the injury but felt better within a couple of hours and after taking aspirin.
The next morning he awakened to find he had weakness on the entire left side of his face. This quickly (within hours) led to paralysis on that side. He was unable to wrinkle his forehead, smile, show his teeth, or puff out his cheek on the affected side. He was also unable to close his left eye. Taste perception was distorted over the left anterior portion of the tongue.
The ER doctor asked for a CT scan and an MRI. Afterwards he prescribed rest. A temporary patch protected the exposed eye.
Within 2 months there was complete recovery of the facial paralysis and taste distortion.
- Provide a table of the 12 pairs of cranial nerves by name and number and describe their origins and routes. Also list their functions and whether they are sensory, motor or both.
- Was there a cranial nerve involved in the above situation? If so which?
- What is the name of this condition?
- Was it related to the injury? Why or why not?
- What other factors could have caused this condition?
- List some medical history questions that would be relevant to determining the cause of the condition.
- Why was there facial paralysis only on the left half of his face; why was he unable to smile; why did he need a patch over his left eye; why was his taste distorted?
- Compare this disorder to the major disorder associated with cranial nerve number V. What is this condition called?
- List the normal functions of both of the cranial nerves.
- Was the doctor correct in prescribing “rest” as opposed to surgery or medication?