Countdown to Christmas Quiz – Question 12: Thursday 12th December

Another anatomy question. What’s the name of the nerve missing from the diagram below?

Cranial Nerves

ANSWER: Vagus!

If nerves were animals, the vagus would be a work-horse. It’s critical for breathing, speaking, sweating, eating, and keeping an eye on your heartbeat. With this in mind, damage to the vagus can have severe consequences.

The word “vagus” comes from the Latin vagus, which means wandering, inconstant, or uncertain. The words vague and vagrant come from the same root. In the case of this nerve, it certainly wanders around the body from the head down to the colon! The “wandering nerve” is the longest of all the 12 cranial nerves.

And in case you were curious, there is no link between the vagus and Las Vegas. The latter comes from the Spanish vega meaning “an extensive, fertile, grass-covered plain or tract of land.

Links

A Most-Multitalented Nerve: ASHA article from Dec, 1, 2013

“Map” of the vagus nerve and where it wanders!

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2 responses to “Countdown to Christmas Quiz – Question 12: Thursday 12th December

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