Middle meningeal artery
The middle meningeal artery is an artery located in the human head. It passes through an opening in the bones of the head called the foramen spinosum. This is a small opening, but it is vital to protect the artery and allows it access to the necessary areas of the brain. The middle meningeal artery branches off after passing through the foramen spinosum; one such branch is the petrosal branch, which supplies the facial nerve. The middle meningeal artery runs through the foramen spinosum, underneath the temporal bone, and above the dura mater layer of protective brain tissue. Therefore, damage to the artery may cause bleeding between the protective layers around the brain; likewise, damage to the foramen spinosum or the temporal bone can damage the artery. Rupture of the middle meningeal artery can cause epidural hematoma. This is a type of bleeding on the brain has a distinctive period in which the patient is aware and lucid. This lucid period is usually followed by dangerous seizures and possibly a coma, or even death.
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In Depth: Middle meningeal artery