To a kindly and imaginative mind, somewhat imbued with neural anatomy, the glossopharyngeal nerve makes a sympathetic appeal. It stands alone among the twelve cranial apostles, as a nerve without any very definite or important physiology and without any disease attached to its functions. It has no tic or palsy, or algia; it shares with the fifth and tenth nerves in supplying touch, taste and deglutition. But it is not vital to these functions. It could be resected with impunity. It receives only disregard and aloofness from surgeon and clinician.
One hundred years ago, however, an author brought to the ninth cranial nerve a certain distinction. A whole book—in the form of a generous quarto—was written about it by Dr. Herman Friedrich Kilian of Pesth, in 1822. I have read this work and as a result pay obeisance to Dr. Kilian and his scholarly exploitation of the ninth pair. Kilian
DANA CL. THE STORY OF THE GLOSSOPHARYNGEAL NERVE: AND FOUR CENTURIES OF RESEARCH CONCERNING THE CRANIAL NERVES OF MAN. Arch NeurPsych. 1926;15(6):675–685. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1926.02200240003001
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