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Med Term Ch 8


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condition of abnormal impulse toward
slight paralysis
absence seizure
seizure involving a brief loss of consciousness without motor involvement; previously termed petit mal (little bad) seizure
emotional feeling or mood
any of many types of loss of neurologic function involving interpretation of sensory information
Alzheimer disease
disease of structural changes in the brain resulting in an irreversible deterioration that progresses from forgetfulness and disorientation to loss of all intellectual functions, total disability, and death
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
condition of progressive deterioration of motor nerve cells resulting in total loss of voluntary muscle control; symptoms advance from muscle weakness in the arms and legs, to the muscles of speech, swallowing and breathing, to total paralysis and death (
agent that relieves pain
defect in closure of the cephalic portion of the neural tube that results in incomplete development of the brain and bones of the skull; the most drastic neural tube defect usually results in a stillbirth
agent that prevents or lessens convulsion
a lack of interest or display of emotion
aphasia / dysphasia
impairment because of localized brain injury that affects the understanding, retrieving, and formulating of meaningful and sequential elements of language, as demonstrated by an inability to use or comprehend words; occurs as a result of a stroke, head tr
inability to judge the form of an object by touch (eg. a coin from a key)
inability to locate a sensation properly, such as an inability to locate a point touched on the body
autonomic nervous system (ANS)
nerves that carry involuntary impulses to smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, and various glands
Babinski sign / Babinski reflex
pathologic response to stimulation of the plantar surface of the foot; a positive sign is indicated when the toes dorsiflex (curl upward)
portion of the central nervous system contained within the cranium
region of the brain that serves as a relay between the cerebrum, cerebellum, and spinal cord; responsible for breathing, heart rate, and body temperature; the three levels are the mesencephalon (midbrain), pons and medulla oblongota
carotid endarterectomy
incision and coring of the lining of the carotid artery to clear a blockage caused by the buildup of atherosclerotic plaque or a clot; an open procedure used to treat patients who are at risk for stroke
a state of unresponsiveness to one's outside environment, usually including muscle rigidity, staring, and inability to communicate
central nervous system (CNS)
brain and spinal cord
cerebellum (little brain)
portion of the brain located below the occipital lobes of the cerebrum; responsible for control and coordination of skeletal muscles
cerebrum (largest part of the brain)
cerebral aneurysm
dilation of a blood vessel in the brain
cerebral angiogram
x-ray of blood vessels in the brain after intracarotid injection of contrast medium
cerebral arteriosclerosis
hardening of the arteries of the brain
cerebral atherosclerosis
condition of lipid (fat) buildup within the blood vessels of the brain
cerebral cortex
outer layer of the cerebrum consisting of gray matter; responsible for higher mental functions
cerebral embolism
obstruction of a blood vessel in the brain by an embolus transported through the circulation
cerebral palsy (CP)
condition of motor dysfunction caused by damage to the cerebrum during development or injury at birth; characterized by partial paralysis and lack of muscle coordination
cerebral thrombosis
presence of a stationary clot in a blood vessel of the brain
cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
plasma-like clear fluid circulating in and around the brain and spinal cord
cerebrovascular accident (CVA)
damage to the brain caused by cerebrovascular disease, such as occlusion of a blood vessel by a thrombus or embolus (ischemic stroke) or intracranial hemorrhage after rupture of an aneurysm (hemorrhagic stroke)
cerebrovascular disease
disorder resulting from a change within one or more blood vessels of the brain
largest portion of the brain; divided into right and left halves, known as cerebral hemispheres, which are connected by a bridge of nerve fibers called the corpus collosum; lobes of the cerebrum are named after the skull bones they underlie
treatment of malignancies, infections, and other diseases with chemical agents to destroy selected cells or impair their ability to reproduce
a general term referring to levels of decreased consciousness with varying responsiveness; a common method of assessment is the Glasgow Coma Scale
computed tomography (CT) of the head
computed tomographic (x-ray) images of the head used to visualize abnormalities, such as brain tumors and malformations
to pull together; type of seizure that causes a series of sudden, involuntary contractions of muscles
cranial nerves
12 pairs of nerves arising from the brain
excision of part of the skull to approach the brain
incision into the skull to approach the brain
deep tendon reflexes (DTR)
involuntary muscle contraction after percussion at a tendon (eg. patella or achilles) indicating function; positive findings are either no reflex response or an exaggerated response to stimulus; numbers are often used to record responses
a state of mental confusion caused by disturbances in cerebral function; the many causes include fever, shock, and drug overdose
a persistent belief that has no basis in reality
an impairment of intellectual function characterized by memory loss, disorientation, and confusion
diskectomy / discectomy
removal of a herniated disk, often done percutaneously
a restless, dissatisfied mood
electrodiagnostic procedures
diagnostic procedures used to evaluate the function of the nervous system by recording the electrical signals produced in the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves
electroencephalogram (EEG)
record of the minute electrical impulses of the brain; used to identify neurologic conditions that affect brain function and level of consciousness
entire brain
inflammation of the brain
endovascular neurosurgery / interventional neuroradiology
minimally invasive techniques for diagnosis and treatment of disorders within blood vessels of the neck, brain, and spinal cord using specialized catheters inserted percutaneously (through the skin) into the femoral artery (in the groin) and guided by ang
disorder affecting the central nervous system; characterized by recurrent seizures
an exaggerated, unfounded feeling of well-being
evoked potentials
record of minute electrical potentials (waves) that are extracted from ongoing EEG activity to diagnose auditory, visual, and sensory pathway disorders; also used to monitor the neurologic function of patients during surgery
extracranial MRA
magnetic resonance image of the neck to visualize the carotid artery
deep grooves in the brain
flaccid paralysis
defective (flabby) or absent muscle control caused by a nerve lesion
flat affect
significantly dulled emotional tone or outward reaction
frontal lobe
anterior section of each cerebral hemisphere; responsible for voluntary muscle movement and personality
ganglion (knot)
tumor of glial cells graded according to degree of malignancy
grandiose delusion
a person's false belief that he or she possesses great wealth, intelligence or power
convolutions (mounds) of the cerebral hemispheres
a false perception of the senses for which there is no reality, most commonly hearing or seeing things
partial paralysis of the right or left half of the body
paralysis of one side of the body
herniated disk or disc
protrusion of a degenerated or fragmented intervertebral disk so that the nucleus pulposus protrudes, causing compression on the nerve root
herpes zoster
viral disease affecting the peripheral nerves, characterized by painful blisters that spread over the skin following the affected nerves, usually unilateral; also known as shingles
Huntington chorea / Huntington Disease (HD)
hereditary disease of the central nervous system chracterized by bizarre, involuntary body movements and progressive dementia
abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles of the brain as a result of developmental anomalies, infection, injury or tumor
increased sensitivity to stimulation such as touch or pain
agent that induces sleep
control center for the autonomic nervous system located below the thalamus (diencephalon)
the formation of thoughts or ideas, such as suicidal ideation
intracranial MRA
magnetic resonance image of the head to visualize the vessels of the circle of Willis (common site of cerebral aneurysm, stenosis, or occlusion)
excision of one or more laminae of the vertebrae to approach the spinal cord
word or phrase
lumbar puncture (LP)
introduction of a specialized needle into the spine in the lumbar region for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes, such as to obtain CSF for testing; also called spinal tap
magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)
magnetic resonance imaging of blood vessels to detect pathologic conditions, such as thrombosis and atherosclerosis
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI(
nonionizing imaging technique using magnetic fields and radiofrequency waves to visualize anatomic structures (especially soft tissue), such as the tissues of the brain and spinal cord
state of abnormal elation and increased activity
mening/o, meningi/o
meninges (membrane)
three membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, consisting of the dura mater, pia mater, and arachnoid mater
benign tumor of the coverings of the brain (the meninges)
inflammation of the meninges
use of a microscope to dissect minute structures during surgery
migraine headache
paroxysmal (sudden, periodic) attacks of mostly unilateral headache, often accompanied by disordered vision, nausea, or vomiting, lasting hours or days and caused by dilation of arteries
motor deficit
loss or impairment of muscle function
motor nerves
nerves that conduct motor impulses from the brain to muscles and glands; also called efferent nerves
multiple sclerosis (MS)
disease of the central nervous system characterized by the demyelination (deterioration of the myelin sheath) of nerve fibers, with episodes of neurologic dysfunction (exacerbation) followed by recovery (remission)
myasthenia gravis
autoimmune disorder that affects the neuromuscular junction, causing a progressive decrease in muscle strength; activity resumes and strength returns after a period of rest
spinal cord or bone marrow
inflammation of the spinal cord
x-ray of the spinal cord obtained after intraspinal injection of the contrast medium
stupor or sleep
sleep disorder characterized by a sudden, uncontrollable need to sleep, attacks of paralysis (cataplexy), and dreams intruding while awake (hypnagogic hallucinations)
neural tube defects
congenital deformities of the brain and spinal cord caused by incomplete development of the neural tube, the embryonic structure that forms the nervous system
pain along the course of a nerve
surgical repair of a nerve
a psychologic condition in which anxiety is prominent
nuclear medicine imaging
radionuclide organ imaging
occipital lobe
portion posterior to the parietal and temporal lobes; responsible for vision
temporary or permanent loss of motor control
paralysis from the waist down
parasympathetic nervous systems
division of the autonomic nervous system that is most active in ordinary conditions; it counterbalances the effects of the sympathetic system by restoring the body to a restful state after a stressful experience
abnormal sensation of numbness and tingling without objective cause
parietal lobe
portion posterior to the frontal lobe; responsible for sensations such as pain temperature, and touch
Parkinson disease
condition of slowly progressive degeneration in an area of the brainstem (substantia nigra) resulting in a decrease of dopamine (a chemical neurotransmitter necessary for proper movement); characterized by tremor, rigidity of muscles, and slow movements (
partial seizure
seizure involving only limited areas of the brain with localized symptoms
peripheral nervous system (PNS)
nerves that branch from the central nervous system including nerves of the brain (cranial nerves) and spinal cord (spinal nerves)
persecutory delusion
a person's false belief that someone is plotting against him or her with the intent to harm
exaggerated fear or sensitivity
carry or bear
phren/o, psych/o, thym/o
inflammation of the gray matter of the spinal cord caused by a virus, often resulting in spinal and muscle deformity and paralysis
inflammation involving two or more nerves, often casued by a nutritional deficiency, such as lack of thiamine
polysomnography (PSG)
recording of various aspects of sleep (eg. eyes and muscle movements, respiration, and EEG patterns) to diagnose sleep disorders
positron-emission tomography (PET)
technique combining nuclear medicine and computed tomography to produce images of brain anatomy and corresponding physiology; used to study stroke, Alzheimer disease, epilepsy, metabolic brain disorders, chemistry of nerve transmissions in the brain, and
a mental condition characterized by distortion of reality resulting in the inability to communicate or function within one's environment
paralysis of all four limbs
radiation therapy
treatment of neoplastic disease using ionizing radiation to impede the proliferation of malignant cells
x-ray imaging
reflex testing
test performed to observe the body's response to a stimulus
pain that follows the pathway of the sciatic nerve, caused by compression or trauma of the nerve or its roots
sudden, transient disturbances in brain function resulting from an abnormal firing of nerve impulses; may or may not be associated with convulsion
sensory deficit
loss or impairment of sensation
sensory nerves
nerves that conduct impulses from body parts and carry sensory information to the brain; also called afferent nerves
single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) brain scan
scan combining nuclear medicine and computed tomography to produce images of the brain after the administation of radioactive isotopes
sleep apnea
periods of breathing cessation (10 seconds or more) that occur during sleep, often causing snoring
somn/o, somn/i, hypn/o
spastic paralysis
stiff and awkward muscle control caused by a central nervous system disorder
spine (thorn)
spina bifida
defect in development of the spinal column characterized by the absence of vertebral arches, often resulting in pouching of the meninges (meningocele) or of the meninges and spinal cord (meningomyelocele); considered to be the most common neural tube defe
spinal cord
column of nervous tissue from the brainstem through the vertebrae; responsible for nerve conduction to and from the brain and the body
spinal nerves
31 pairs of nerves arising from the spinal cord
spondyl/o, vertebr/o
spinal fusion
three-dimensional or solid
stereotactic or stereotaxic frame
mechanical device used to localize a point in space, targeting a precise site
stereotactic or stereotaxic radiosurgery
radiation treatment to inactivate malignant lesions using multiple, precise external radiation beams focused on a target with the aid of a stereotactic frame and imaging such as CT, MRI, or angiography; used to treat inoperable brain tumors and lesions
shallow grooves that separate gyri
sympathetic nervous system
division of the autonomic nervous system that is concerned primarily with preparing the body in stressful or emergency situations
tactile stimulation
evoking a response by touching
order or coordination
temporal lobe
portion that lies below the frontal lobe; responsible for hearing, taste and smell
thalamus (a room)
thalamus / diencephalon
each of two gray matter nuclei deep within the brain; responsible for relaying sensory information to the cortex
thought disorder
though that lacks clear processing or logical direction
tone or tension
tonic-clonic seizure
stiffening-jerking; a major motor seizure involving all muscle groups; previously termed grand mal (big bad) seizure
transcranial Doppler sonogram
image made by sending ultrasound beams through the skull to assess blood flow in intracranial vessels; used in the diagnosis and management of stroke and head trauma
transient ischemic attack (TIA)
brief episode of loss of blood flow to the brain, usually caused by a partial occlusion that results in temporary neurologic deficit (impairment); often precedes a CVA
series of interconnected cavities within the cerebral hemispheres and brainstem filled with cerebrospinal fluid
ventricle (belly or pouch)
vertebral lamina
flattened posterior portion of the vertebral arch

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