Medical Definition of Nerve, sixth cranial
Nerve, sixth cranial: The sixth cranial nerve is the abducens nerve, a small motor nerve that has one task: to supply a muscle called the lateral rectus muscle that moves the eye outward.
All 12 cranial nerves, the abducens nerve included, emerge from or enter the skull (the cranium), as opposed to the spinal nerves which emerge from the vertebral column.
The word "abducens" comes from the Latin "ab-", away from + "ducere", to draw = to draw away. The abducens (or abducens) operates the lateral rectus muscle that draws the eye toward the side of the head. The abducens nerve is also called the abducens nerve.
Last Editorial Review: 7/1/2016
Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Need help identifying pills and medications?