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Tenth cranial nerve palsy

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Motor paralysis due to dysfunction of the tenth cranial nerve has the following clinical features:

  • loss of reflex contraction of the palate seen in the gag reflex
  • hoarseness of voice - this may occur in a unilateral recurrent laryngeal nerve lesion
  • a bovine cough may occur with a bilateral recurrent nerve lesion

The intactness of cranial nerves IX and X are usually tested with an overlapping set of tests, thus:

  • palatal movement - the gag reflex
  • quality of speech:
    • nasal
    • guttural
  • the ability to cough

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