trigeminal nerve


Definition of trigeminal nerve 

: either of a pair of large mixed nerves that are the fifth cranial nerves and supply motor and sensory fibers mostly to the face

called also trigeminal

Examples of trigeminal nerve in a Sentence

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In the 1980s researchers began to target the trigeminal nerve system, the brain’s primary pain pathway. David Noonan, Scientific American, "New Nerve Drugs May Finally Prevent Migraine Headaches," 1 Dec. 2015 This might prompt your trigeminal nerve to release neuropeptides (brain molecules) that affect your meninges (three protective layers of tissue around your brain and spinal cord), ultimately leading to pain, the Mayo Clinic explains. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "Yes, Your Workouts Could Actually Be Triggering Your Migraines," 23 June 2018 These designer proteins bind tightly to CGRP molecules or their receptors on trigeminal nerve cells, preventing cell activation. David Noonan, Scientific American, "New Nerve Drugs May Finally Prevent Migraine Headaches," 1 Dec. 2015 The mechanism behind the light sensitivity specifically may be related to irritation of the trigeminal nerve, a cranial nerve that’s responsible for sensation in your face, Ilan Danan, M.D., M.Sc. Korin Miller, SELF, "9 Health Issues That Can Cause Sensitivity to Light," 5 June 2018 During a migraine, the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for feeling in the face, is stimulated–which causes the release of neurotransmitters, including one called CGRP. Katy Schneider, The Cut, "Why Did It Take So Long to Figure Out Migraines?," 22 May 2018 Researchers believe the new treatments interfere with the CGRP within the trigeminal nerve, preventing migraine pain signals from entering the brain. Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, "New Migraine Drugs Offer Hope to Sufferers," 18 May 2018 One view is that the increased amounts of CGRP released at the start of a migraine sensitize the trigeminal nerve to what are normally innocuous signals, resulting in inflammation in the nerves that is relayed to the brain as a pain signal. Emily Underwood, Science | AAAS, "Will antibodies finally put an end to migraines?," 18 May 2018 One possible mechanism: by blocking CGRP in trigeminal nerve pathways outside the brain, the antibodies may reduce signaling between the peripheral and central nervous systems, decreasing pain signals entering the brain. R. Allan Purdy, Scientific American, "Can Anything Stop My Migraine?," 1 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trigeminal nerve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of trigeminal nerve

1830, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of trigeminal nerve was in 1830

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trigeminal nerve


Medical Definition of trigeminal nerve 

: either of the fifth pair of cranial nerves that are mixed nerves and in humans are the largest of the cranial nerves and that arise by a small motor root and a larger sensory root which both emerge from the side of the pons with the sensory root bearing the trigeminal ganglion and dividing into ophthalmic, maxillary, and mandibular nerves and the motor root supplying fibers to the mandibular nerve and through this to the muscles of mastication

called also fifth cranial nerve, trifacial nerve, trigeminus

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