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Brainstem Anatomy
Brainstem   Medulla

The Medulla is the lowest part of the brainstem, located between the pons and the spinal cord. It controls heart rate and breathing. Traumatic injury at this level is devastating.


Cranial Nerves coming from the medulla which can be injured with brainstem injuries include CN IX, X, XI, XII. For example, CN IX and X can affects swallowing, particularly the gag reflex. CN XI lets you shrug your shoulders and helps in turning your head. CN XII controls your tongue.