Jaw reflexes and masseter electromyograms were studied in five patients with mesencephalic and 11 patients with pontine lesions, vascular or tumorous in nature. In the former group jaw reflexes were abnormal, being delayed or absent, whereas masseter electromyograms were normal. In the latter group, both jaw reflexes and masseter EMG, showing denervation, were abnormal in six and both normal in five cases. It is suggested that the afferent limb of the human jaw reflex passes through the mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus. The methods proved to be valuable in the diagnosis of mesencephalic and pontine lesions involving the fifth cranial nerve.
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