Cranial Nerve XII - Hypoglossal Nerve
Figure 30. Cranial Nerve XII – Hypoglossal
The hypoglossal nerve which is considered a somatic efferent nerve leaves the brain stem just prior to the origin of the spinal cord. It passes laterally through the hypoglossal canal, and travels in the carotid sheath for a short distance before running towards the angle of the mandible. It then sends fibers to all of the intrinsic muscles of the tongue and to all of the extrinsic muscles of the tongue except the palatoglossus which as mentioned earlier is innervated by the vagus nerve.