Q:

What is the vagal nerve?

A:

Quick Answer

The vagal nerve belongs to the autonomous nervous system and aids in the regulation of involuntary bodily functions. It is more commonly known as the "vagus nerve" or "cranial nerve X."

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What is the vagal nerve?
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Full Answer

The vagal nerve extends from the brain stem into several organs in the body, such as the heart and lungs, and through the abdomen. It contributes to involuntary or unconscious activities such as digestion, heartbeat and taste.

It is the largest and most extensive of the 12 cranial nerves. Medical research has determined the usefulness of stimulating the vagal nerve to help reduce the number and intensity of epileptic seizures.

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