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Brainstem with V12-motor
CN XII is also known as the hypoglossal nerve. This is a motor nerve that is responsible for tongue movement. It should be noted that unilateral damage will lead to tongue deviation TOWARD the affected side.
Hypoglossal Nerve

The nucleus of the hypoglossal nerve exists in the medulla, lateral to the midline and under the floor of the fourth ventricle. CN XII exits the skull via the hypoglossal canal.


CN XII motor function is tested by ensuring the patient can move his/her tongue side to side and that there is no deviation.

Tongue Movement
Tongue Moving

Each CN XII innervates the ipsilateral side of the tongue; unilateral damage will lead to tongue deviation TOWARD the affected side.

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