anatomy and physiology mcqs

Question #504

Considering the olfactory nerve

The first cranial nerve is often referred to as the olfactory nerve. However, the “cranial nerve” component is not actually a nerve but rather an extension of the forebrain that is covered in meningeal layers (and therefore also CSF). The most proximal portion is called the olfactory tract, it passes forwards on the ethmoid bone to the cribriform plate where it swells and forms the olfactory bulb.

The olfactory bulb receives multiple olfactory nerves from the olfactory mucosa of the upper posterolateral nasal cavity. It is these olfactory nerves that pass through the cribriform plate and not the “cranial nerve”.

The olfactory nerves are unmyelinated fibres that are at risk of damage following fracture of the ethmoid bone and this may result anosmia (loss of the sense of smell). Unlike brain tissue these nerves regenerate during life.

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