Elsewhere in this blog, we discuss optic neuritis, diplopia, speech dysphasia, sound and movement phosphenes, all of which can be caused by a sclerosis or demyelination of one or more of the cranial nerves.
I am fascinated my all things biological. It is more than likely that this fascination stems from the fact that I have multiple sclerosis. And, I am determined to try to understand the possible cause of this debilitating autoimmune disease.
There are twelve of these nerve groups. Arranged into several components. Identifying their neurological functions:
- I Olfactory Nerve (sense of smell)
- II Optic Nerve (visual information)
- III Oculomotor Nerve (eye movement and control)
- IV Trochlear Nerve (eye movement and tracking)
- V Trigeminal Nerve (facial sensation)
- VI Abducens Nerve (eye movement and tracking)
- VII Facial Nerve (facial expression, jaw movement, taste)
- VIII Vestibulocochlear Nerve (hearing and balance)
- IX Glossopharyngeal Nerve (larynx and taste)
- X Vagus Nerve (blood pressure, heart rate, digestive organs)
- XI Accessory Nerve (neck muscles)
- XII Hypoglossal Nerve (tongue)
Vision is a hugely complex process. It requires a large group of the cranial nerves to control our eyesight.
So, it should be readily, apparent that any malfunction in this critical area can have huge implications.
However, it appears apparent to me. That these cranial nerves are central to every function of the human body.
Visual problems, motor control difficulties and inexplicable pain are all associated with MS. And, nerve inflammation of the brain can be responsible for these problems.
We might assume that things like digestion and heart-rate are automatic processes. But, these all happen under brain control.
We tend to think that we are conscious beings. But, surprisingly, external factors play a big part in the way our brains work. These deep-rooted thought processes occur subconsciously.
Furthermore, I received my multiple sclerosis diagnosis at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in 1994. And, I had the usual MRI scan, lumbar puncture and blood tests to reach this diagnosis.
It was not an immediate reaction. But after the prerequisite denial period, I set about learning what multiple sclerosis is. This is a process that has taken me many years.
And, learning about the complexity of our cranial nerves was just one small step in the process.
While learning is always good. You may not be aware of the therapeutic benefits that can come from stretching your mind.
- Build new neural pathways
- Help to clear the Brain Fog
Furthermore, learning will increase your understanding, allowing you to better manage your chronic illness.
There is no cure for MS. And when you begin to understand the disease, you will realise why. Once multiple sclerosis has begun to develop in your body, all you can do is try to manage it.
The more I learn about neurology and brain control, the more I realise that I still have a great deal to learn.