Elsewhere 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.

Cranial Nerves

There are twelve of these nerve groups some of which are split 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)
Cranial Nerves

A large group of these are associated with vision and eye control, so it should readily be grasped that any malfunction of these complex nerve networks can have far-reaching implication for, amongst other things, our visual acuity.

It appears apparent to me, that these cranial nerves are so central to every function of the human body that most, if not all, symptoms of MS can be traced back here.

In fact, all bodily functions are controlled by the brain in one way or another; from heart-rate to breathing, even hormone production. Many of the activities that might be thought of as automatic or subconscious are central functions.

On the other hand, many thought processes often considered to be conscious, are in fact subconscious being brought about by years of conditioning and social interaction.


Yale University School of Medicine

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