Parasympathetic ganglia in the head and neck

Last revised by Dr Kieran Kusel on 02 Aug 2021

The parasympathetic ganglia are a group of 4 bilateral automonic ganglia in the head and neck which receive parasympathetic fibers from the autonomic components of the cranial nerves III, VII and IX. They are involved in parasympathetic control of the eye, major and lesser salivary glands and the lacrimal glands, and consist of the:

Each ganglia has a typical structure with 3 roots, each carrying different fibers which may or may not synapse in the ganglion itself. The 3 roots are:

  • parasympathetic
  • sympathetic (usually vasomotor)
  • sensory 

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