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Psych Prep Key Terms- Neuro


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central (CNS) v. peripheral (PNS) nervous system
central (CNS): spinal cord and brain- afferent (sensory) neurons carry information into the CNS, efferent (motor) neurons carry information out to muscles and glands

peripheral (PNS): somatic nervous system (voluntary movement of the skeletal muscles) and the autonomic nervous system (automatic or involuntary bodily functions of the smooth muscles and glands)
autonomic (ANS) v. somatic (SNS) nervous system
autonomic (ANS): controls automatic or involuntary bodily functions of the smooth muscles and glands

somatic (SNS): sends and receives sensory messages that control voluntary motor movement of the skeletal (striated) muscles
sympathetic v. parasympathetic nervous system
sympathetic: fight or flight system, increase respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure and decrease processes of digestion and elimination

parasympathetic: energy conserving, basic body maintenance by slowing heart rate, blood pressure and respiration and increasing digestion and elimination
quadriplegia v. paraplegia v. paresis
quadriplegia: paralysis in all 4 limbs

paraplegia: paralysis in the legs and partial paralysis in the arms

paresis: muscle weakness due to incomplete severing of the spinal cord
left v. right hemisphere
left hemisphere: language as well as rational, analytical, logical and abstract thinking

right hemisphere: perceptual, visuospatial, artistic, musical, intuitive activities, emotion
Broca's v. Wernicke's aphasia v. conduction aphasia v. global aphasia
Broca's: L frontal damage, severe probs w/ articulation, name objects, repeat verbal phrases, comp mostly intact.

Wernicke's: L temporal lobe damage, inability to comp language, follow verbal commands or repeat phrases. Speech fluent but nonsense.

conduction aphasia: Lesions in connections b/w express-recept. speech areas, unable to repeat verbal phrases. Comp and fluency intact but nonsense. Able to execute verbal commands.

global aphasia: Damage to much of cortex, impairment in all verbal skills
parietal lobes
somatosensory processing: light touch, pain, heat, and proprioception

proprioception: the ability to locate one's body parts

Gerstmann's syndrome: lesions of the dominant parietal lobe resulting in agraphia, acalculia, R-L disorientation, and finger agnosia
frontal lobes
personality, emotionality, inhibition, abstract thinking, planning and initiative, ability to shift sets, judgement, and higher mental functions

at the back is the motor control area involved in instigating voluntary movement
occipital lobe
the primary visual cortex
temporal lobes
primary auditory cortex- hearing

along with several other attached brain structures (e.g., amygdala and hippocampus) regulate emotional behavior and memory

Wernicke's area is responsible for thinking about and interpreting language
corpus callosum and split-brain patients
corpus callosum is a bundle of fibers that serves as a bridge between the two cerebral hemispheres making communication possible

split-brain patients are unable to connect information split between the L and R visual fields
thalamus v. hypothalamus
thalamus: lying below the corpus callosum, the thalumus serves as the major sensory relay center for the brain, receiving input from all senses except smell.* Critical in perception of pain.

hypothalamus: regulates the endocrine system to control fever (temperature regulation), feeding (hunger/thirst), fornicating (sex drive), fighting (agression), falling asleep (sleep-wake cycle).
Kluver-Bucy syndrome v. septal rage syndrome
Kluver-Bucy syndrome: bilateral temporal lobe damage with complete removal of the amygdala resulting in placidity, apathy, hyperphagia, hypersexuality, and agnosias

septal rage syndrome: damage to the septum resulting in rage
cerebellum, pons, medulla, RAS
cerebellum: located at the base of the brain, behind the brain stem, the cerebellum is responsible for maintaining smooth movement and coordinating motor activity, also controls automatic adjustments of posture that result in ability to maintain balance

pons: the upper portion of the brain stem and the medulla: at the bottom of the brain stem just above the spinal cord, are involved in facial expressions, sleep, respiration, movement, and cardiovascular activity

RAS: diffuse set of cells in the medulla, pons, hypothalumus, and thalamus that serve as a filter for incoming sensory information
all or none law
a neuron, if sufficiently stimulated, will fire to its fullest extent; if it is not sufficiently stimulated, it will not fire at all
inhibitory v. excitatory neurotransmitters
inhibitory: decrease the likelihood of an action potential

excitatory: increase the likelihood of an action potential
agonists v. antagonists
agonists: a substance that enhances the effect of a neurotransmitter

antagonists: a substance that inhibits the effect of a neurotransmitter
acetylcholine, catecholamines, serotonin
acetylcholine: most common NT, voluntary movement, and memory and cognition

catecholamines: dopamine- involved in schizophrenia and parkinson's and norepinephrine- involved in mood, pain perception, and sleep

serotonin: involved in mood, aggression, sexual activity, sleep onset, pain perception, schizophrenia, suicidality, and impulsivity
role of dopamine in schizophrenia and Parkinson's
schizophrenia: hyperactivity of the dopaminergic system- this hypothesis is in question b/c novel antipsychotics do not primarily work as dopamine agonists

Parkinson's: degeneration of neurons in the substantia nigra resulting in a decrease in the dopamine available in the basal ganglia
roles of serotonin and norepinephrine in depression and mania
depression: low norepinephrine, low serotonin

mania: high norepinephrine, low serotonin
role of GABA in anxiety
GABA is a major inhibitory NT in the CNS and has a calming effect- anxiety is associated with insufficient GABA, benzos are GABA agonists and reduce levels of overarousal
enkephalins and endorphins
endogenous opioids- the body's natural painkillers, involved in the regulation of stress and pain
hypothyroidism v. hyperthyroidism
hypothyroidism: undersecretion of thyroxin resulting in unexplained weight gain, sluggishness, fatigue, impaired memory and intellectual functioning, and sensitivity to cold... progresses to dry skin, puffiness, sparse hair, decreased cardiac output... progresses to personality changes, paranoid delusion, delerium, mania, and hallucinations

hyperthyroidism: oversecretion of thyroxin resulting in weight loss despite increased appetite, heat sensitivity, sweating, diarrhea, tremor and palpitations, fatigue, agitated depression, insomnia, impaired memory and judgment, and can involve hallucinations and delusions- the most common form is Grave's disease
Addison's v. Cushing's disease
Addison's: undersecretion of corticosteroids or adrenal insufficiency resulting in apathy, weakness, irritability, depression, and gastrointestinal disturbance

Cushing's: oversecretion of corticosteroids resulting in agitated depression, irritability and emotional lability, difficulties with memory and concentration, suicide, and physical changes (swelling of the face, neck, and trunk)
dementia v. delirium v. amnestic disorder
dementia: impairment in memory w/ at least 1 of 4: aphasia, apraxia, agnosia, or disturbance in executive functioning AND reasonable cause to believe impairment is due to a medical condition, male:female equal

delirium: disturbance of consciousness w/ reduced ability to focus, sustain, or shift attention, change in cognition (e.g., memory deficit, disorientation) or perceptual disturbance. acute onset, fluctuating course, reversible. Ach thought to be involved.

amnestic disorder: disturbance in memory related to effects of a general medical condition or a substance
Alzheimer's v. vascular dementia
Alzheimer's: most common form of dementia, more prevalent in women, early onset is before age 35, progressive, impairments in recent memory and difficulty problem solving, irritability, frustration, anger-> impairments in memory, cognitive deficits such as aphasia, apraxia, or agnosia, confusion-> motor problems, may become mute and bedridden

vascular dementia: 10-15% of dementia cases, may co-exist with Alzheimer's, twice as common in males, results from numerous strokes, rapid, step-wise degeneration, age of onset is younger than Alzheimers
subcortical v. cortical dementia
subcortical: speed of processing and executive functions (planning, organizing, sequencing)

cortical: memory, language and praxis most affected
Huntington's disease
involves the basal ganglis and the NTs: Ach and GABA, usually first becomes apparent at age 35-45, offspring have 50% chance of being affected, personality change is first sign in 50% of cases, progressive deteriorating dementia, choreiform movements (frequent, discrete, brisk jerking movements of pelvis, trunk, and limbs), athetosis (slow writhing movements), and face grimaces
concussion v. contusion
concussion: most common head injury, results from a blow to the head that causes temporary neural dysfunction but not bruising, may cause short-term loss of consciousness as well as anterograde and retrograde amnesia

contusion: result from a severe blow to the head with coup-countrecoup injuries (bruising beneath point of impact and opposite side of brain), loss of consciousness for minutes to an hour, drowsiness, confusion, agitation, and even violence
post concussion syndrome
headache, dizziness, fatigue, diminished concentration, memory deficit, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, hypochondriacal concern, hypersensitivity to noise, photophobia
open head v. closed head injuries
open head: involve penetration of the skull, no loss of consciousness, highly specific neurological signs resembling the surgical removal of a small area of the cortex

closed head injuries: skull is not pierced or cracked, includes concussions and contusions, frequently result in loss of consciousness, may be discrete and/or general
dementia v. pseudo-dementia
dementia: impairment in memory and aphasia, apraxia, agnosia or disturbances in executive functioning. typically patients are unaware of and not distressed by the deterioration.

pseudo-dementia: cognitive impairment due to depression, mild cognitive dysfunction including slower processing speed, difficulties in concentration and attention, psychomotor retardation, social withdrawal, easily giving up on testing items. acute onset associated with emotional distress and rapid progression, improves with tx of the depression. patients are aware of and distressed by the deterioration.
Korsakoff's syndrome
an amnestic syndrome thought to be caused by the chronic thiamin deficient associated with alcoholism, anterograde amnesia, retrograde amnesia, confabulation (make up plausible stories about past events that did not occur to fill in blanks), lack of insight and limited spontaneous conversation, normal IQs, alert, attentive, and generally motivated
retrograde v. anterograde amnesia
retrograde amnesia: difficulty remembering past events

anterograde amnesia: difficulty with new learning and formation of new memories
effects of bilateral v. unilateral ECT
bilateral ECT: induces memory changes that are cumulative and positively correlated with the number of treatments, most memory problems are reversible, mostly retrograde amnesia

unilateral ECT: contradictory evidence regarding whether unilateral ECT has less effects on memory, may disturb verbal memory on the L and nonverbal memory on the R
gate control theory of pain
proposes that sensations of pain are not directly related to activation of pain receptors, but rather they are mediated by neural gates in the spinal cord that allow these signals to continue to the brain, pressure stimulation and psychological factors such as attitudes and moods can close the gate
stages of sleep: REM v. non-REM
Beta: alert and attentive
Alpha: relaxation

STAGE 1: drifting into sleep, theta waves predominate

STAGE 2: occupies the greatest amount of time during sleep

STAGES 3 and 4: slow delta waves, deep sleep

REM: stage 1 appears again in conjunction with rapid eye movement, increased heart rate and respiration, newborns spend 50% of sleep time in REM and it reduces with age
generalized v. partial seizures
generalized seizures: electronic abnormalities exist throughout the brain (tonic clonic and petit mal)

partial seizures: electronic abnormalities exist in only part of the brain
tonic clonic v. petit mal seizures
tonic clonic: generalized, grand mal, dramatic with convulsions throughout the body, loss of consciousness is common

petit mal: most frequent in children, last from one to 30 seconds, beginning with a brief change in level of consciousness, followed by blinking or rolling of the eyes, a blank stare, and slight mouth movements such as twitching
PET scan v. MRI v. CAT scan
PET scan: for demonstrating brain activity or functioning and shows functional capacity of a particular brain region

MRI: for visualization of brain structure, utilizes radio waves rather than x-rays

CAT scan: for viewing brain structure, x-ray like pictures that are more accurate than x-rays
positive v. negative symptoms of schizophrenia
positive sx: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized behavior or catatonic behavior

negative sx: affective flattening, alogia (lack or decline in speech), or avolition (lack or decline in motivation)
side effects of antipsychotics and mechanisms of action
older: dopamine antagonists, novel: antiserotonergic, antiadrenergic, anticholinergic, antihistaminergic

extrapyramidal sx including akathisia (restlessness), dystonia (muscular spasms), drug-induced parkinsonism (muscle stiffness, shuffling gait, drooling, tremor), and tardive dyskinesia (involuntary, irregular muscle movements, usually in the face), as well as sedation, weight gain, anticholinergic effects, orthostatic hypotension, lowering of the seizure threshold
EPS v. tardive dyskenisia v. agranulocytosis
EPS: extrapyramidal side effects are the various movement disorders including akathisia (restlessness), dystonia (muscular spasms), drug-induced parkinsonism (muscle stiffness, shuffling gait, drooling, tremor), and tardive dyskinesia (involuntary, irregular muscle movements, usually in the face).

agranulocytosis: an acute condition resulting in reduction of white blood cells as a result of taking Clozaril (novel antipsychotic)
TCAs v. MAOIs v. SSRIs
- TCAs: block NE reuptake, typical/psychotic depression, chronic pain, bulimia, premature ejac., NOT bipolar, SE=anticholinergic, sedation, orthostatic hypotension, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, lethal overdose
- MAOIs: inhibit activity of MAO which eliminates NE and 5HT by reuptake, typical and atypical depression, SE=hypertensive emergency, dangerous in combo w/ certain food
- SSRIs: block 5HT reuptake, typical depression, OCD, bulimia, premature ejac., SE=headaches, nervous, restless, insomnia, sedation, sexual dysfunction
- All: no dependence, tolerance, addiction and minimal withdrawal
mechanisms of action of antidepressants
increase NE and 5HT by blocking their reuptake or inhibiting MAO which elimates NE and 5HT by reuptake
withdrawal from alcohol and benzodiazepines
tremors, sweating, agitation, hallucinations, panic, seizures, and possibly fatal
lithium toxicity
potentially fatal and always a medical emergency, sx may mimic the flu and include vomiting, abdominal pain, and severe diarrhea, also includes severe tremor, ataxia, coma, seizures, confusion, and irregular heart beat
pain management and meds
chronic pain problems have been shown to respond well to TCAs, particularly Elavil, Norpramin, and Sinequan, it is less clear if SSRIs help

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