We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Cribriform Plate?

By Meshell Powell
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The cribriform plate is the name given to a specific area of the human skull. It is part of the ethmoid bone, which is responsible for separating the brain from the nasal cavity. It attaches to a structure located on the frontal bone of the skull known as the ethmoidal notch. The roof of this structure also connects to the nasal cavities in the skull.

The crista galli extends in an upward direction from the middle of the cribriform plate. This process is triangular in shape and holds a strong resemblance to the comb of a rooster. Attached to the crista galli is falx cerebri. This is a fold of fibrous tissue that works to separate the two areas of the brain known as the cerebral hemispheres.

Two projections known as the alae are also connected to the cribriform. These projections are connected to depressions located in the frontal bone. The grooved, narrow cribriform plate also has the function of supporting the olfactory bulb. This is the structure found in the nasal cavity which assists the body with the action of perceiving various odors.

There are openings in the cribriform plate known as foramina. These openings create the passageway for the nerves involved in the ability to smell and distinguish odors. These nerves are known as the olfactory nerves. Other nerves, including those that supply the nasal septum, also pass through this plate.

As is the case with any area of the skull, there are dangers involved to the cribriform plate in the instance of head injury. The same issues that can potentially develop in this area from a head injury are also possible following any type of surgical procedure in the areas surrounding the cribriform plate. This is particularly true when the surgical procedure involves the sinuses.

Loss of smell often occurs with an injury to this area of the skull. Trauma to surrounding areas also have the potential to have the same effect. In the case of a severe injury, such as a fracture involving the cribriform plate, there can be problems with cerebrospinal fluid leakage. This is the clear liquid that is found in the spinal column as well as in certain areas of the brain. Immediate medical assistance is required for this type of injury, as permanent brain damage or even death could occur if treatment is avoided or delayed for too long.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon307388 — On Dec 04, 2012

Is it possible for a CSF leak to heal spontaneously?

By JaneAir — On Jul 14, 2011

@sunnySkys - Head injuries can cause all sort of problems! It's unfortunate that your friend lost his sense of smell but it could have been much worse.

By sunnySkys — On Jul 13, 2011

When I was growing up I knew someone who had lost their sense of smell due to a head injury. I never really understood quite how that happened. Reading this article really helped me put two and two together: he must have injured his cribriform plate.

Not have a sense of smell is really rough. For one think, your senses of smell and taste are intertwined. So if you don't have a sense of smell, you don't really have a sense of taste either. Plus there are all those sensory cues that we get from our sense of smell, including such things as smelling smoke to let us know there is a fire!

I find it really scary that losing one of your senses can be the possible result of a head injury.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.