Aster Journal of Neurosciences

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Volume 1, Issue 1

Aster J Neurosci 2017, 1:1

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Review: Thinking Outside of the Speech Box: Cranial Nerves Made Simple

Hannibal RR

Cranial nerves provide sensory and motor innervation to numerous structures that are important for speech, phonation, resonance, and swallowing. They also supply innervation to voluntary and involuntary muscles. An understanding of the cranial nerves is essential to the practice of speech-language pathology because they provide valuable information to the function regarding speech, voice, and swallowing abilities. Since speech language pathologists work with individuals with neurogenic cognitive-communicative and swallowing problems, it is imperative to know how these nerves are affected anytime there is a brainstem lesion or a neurologic impairment. Further, it is important that speech language pathologists have a working knowledge of the function of the cranial nerves and their significance as a dynamic and powerful tool that is used in the diagnosis of speech and swallowing disorders. The purpose of this article is to provide the reader with a brief overview of the cranial nerves, how to apply simple everyday actions to learning them, and how to perform a cranial nerve examination as an essential component of any speech, voice, and swallowing examination.

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