Notes on Optic Nerve

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Type: Special sensory function - sight, light reflexes.


Optic retinal neuroepithelium, optic nerves, myelinated fibres (projection of white matter of cerebrum - covered by dura, pia, arachnoid and in continuity with the cerebral subarachnoid cerebro-spinal fluid), optic chiasma, optic tracts. Fibres terminate in the lateral thalamic geniculate bodies and via the optic radiations in the primary visual cortex sited on the calcarine sulci (occipital lobes of brain) - Striate cortex (areas 18, 19). Apart from the fibres passing to the lateral geniculate bodies (thalamus) a second pathway is via the temporal lobe and retrolentiforme part of the capsula interne (Meyer's Loop) and terminates in the calcarine sulcus. There is also relay in the superior colliculus (i.e. for body reflexes to light). The pretectal region receives fibres related to pupil constriction.

Important Components of the Visual Pathways:

1. Retina.

2. Optic nerves (damage causes monocular blindness).

3. Optic chiasm (pressure by a tumour cause bilateral temporal hemianopia).

4. Optic tracts.

5. Corpus quadrigemina (lat. geniculate body).

6. Superior colliculus.

7. Pretectal region.

8. Meyer's Loop, capsula interne.

9. Optic radiations in occipital lobe.

10. Calcarine sulcus and primary visual cortex (area 17 and 18) in the occipital lobe (visual stria of Gennari or striate cortex).

Further Topics on Cranial Nerves:

1. Introduction to Cranial Nerves
2. Notes on Olfactory Nerve CN 1
3. Notes on Optic Nerve CN 2
4. Notes on Oculomotor Nerve CN 3
5. Notes on Trochlear Nerve CN 4
6. Notes on Trigeminal Nerve CN 5
7. Notes on Abducens Nerve CN 6
8. Notes on Facial Nerve CN 7
9. Notes on Vestibulocochlear Nerve CN 8
10. Notes on Glossopharyngeal Nerve CN 9
11. Notes on Vagus Nerve CN 10
12. Notes on Accessory Nerve CN 11
13. Notes on Hypoglossal Nerve CN 12
14. Summary of Cranial Nerve Nuclei
15. Summary of Cranial Nerve Functions

Additional Reading:

Basic Neurology

1. Peripheral Nervous System
2. Central Nervous System
3. The Ventricular System
4. The Spinal Cord
5. The Brain Stem
6. The Cerebellum
7. Visual Pathways
8. Diencephalon
9. Basal Ganglia
10. Cerebral Cortex
11. Sleep Disorders
12. Autonomic Nervous System
13. Cranial Nerves and Parasympathetic Ganglia
14. Cells of the Nervous System
15. Cerebrospinal fluid
16. Additional short notes on Cerebrum
17. Functions and Diseases of Cerebrum
18. Subcortical Grey Matter
19. Notes on The Spinal Cord
20. Regulation of Heart Rate by Autonomic Nervous System
21. Action Potentials, Axon Conduction, and Neuromuscular Junction
22. Types of Seizures
23. What is a Cough Reflex?
24. Notes on Congenital Prosopagnosia
25. Findings in Parkinson's Disease
26. Types of Heat Strokes
27. Types of Strokes
28. What is Benign Intracranial Hypertension?
29. What is Cauda Equina Syndrome?
30. Cranial Nerve Locations in Brain Stem

Neurology Videos

1. Video of Neurology Examination in a Clinical Setting

Medical Images

Useful Medical Images & Diagrams (link opens in a new window)

Related Topics

1. Nervous System Disorders
2. Histology of Nervous Tissue
3. Cranial Nerve Reflexes
4. Motor System Examination

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