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Nervous System

lethargy Abnormal inactivity or lack of response to normal stimuli.
hydrocephalus Accumulation of fluid in the ventricles of the brain, causing increased intracranial pressure, thinning of brain tissue and separation of cranial bones.
local anesthetics Act upon nerves or nerve tracts to affect a local area only.
general anesthetics Act upon the brain to produce complete loss of feeling with loss of consciousness.
Reye syndrome Acute encephalopathy and fatty infiltration of the brain, liver, and possibly the pancreas, heart, kidney, spleen and lymph nodes.
herpes zoster Acute inflammatory eruption of highly painful vesicles on the trunk of the body or, occasionally the face; also called shingles.
neurilemma Additional sheath external to myelin that is formed by Schwann cells and found only on axons in the peripheral nervous system.
analgesucs Agents that relieve pain by inhabiting the passage of pain impulses.
efferent nerves Also known as motor nerves; conduct impulses away from the central nervous system.
computed tomography angiography Angiography in combination with a CT scan to produce high resolution, three dimensional vascular images of the blood vessels.
myelopathy Any disease of the spinal cord.
convulsion Any sudden and violent contraction of one or more voluntary muscles.
Guillain-Barre syndrome Autoimmune condition that causes acute inflammation of the peripheral nerves in which myelin sheaths on the axons are destroyed, resulting in decreased nerve impulses, loss of reflex response, and sudden muscle weakness.
syncope Brief loss of consciousness and posture caused by a temporary decrease of blood flow to the brain; also called fainting.
dementia Broad term that refers to cognitive deficit, including memory impairment.
efferent Carry or move away from a central structure.
afferent Carry or move inward or toward a central structure.
limbic system Complex neural system located beneath the cerebrum that controls basic emotions and drives and plays an important role in memory.
positron emission tomography Computed tomography that records the positrons emitted from a radiopharmaceutical and produces a cross-sectional image of metabolic activity of body tissues to determine the presence of disease.
anencephaly Congenital deformity in which some or all of fetal brain is missing.
spina bifida Congenital deformity of the neural tube which fails to close during fetal development;also called neural tube defect.
antiparkinsonian agents Controls tremors and muscle regidity associated with Parkinson disease by increasing dopamine in the brain.
discography CT scan of the lumbar region after injection of a contrast medium to detect problems with the spine and spinal nerve roots.
hypnotics Depress central nervous system functions, promote sedation and sleep, and relieve agitation, anxiousness and restlessness.
autism Developmental disorder characterized by extreme withdrawal and an abnormal absorption in fantasy, usually accompanied by an inability to communicate even on a basic level.
bulimia nervose Eating disorder characterized by binging and purging.
hyperkinesia Excessive movement.
ganglionectomy Excision of a ganglion.
Bell palsy Facial paralysis caused by a functional disorder of the seventh cranial nerve.
occulta Form of spinal bifida in which one or more vertebrae are malformed and the spinal cord is covered with a layer of skin.
meningocele Form of spina bifida in which the spinal cord develops properly but the meninges protrude through the spine.
Tay-Sach's disease Genetic enzyme deficiency characterized by progressive mental challenges, paralysis, blindness, inability to eat and ultimately to death by age of four years.
congential hydrocephalus Hydrocephalus caused by factors that occur during fetal development or as a result of genetic abnormalities.
acquired hydrocephalus Hydrocephalus that develops at birth or any time afterward as a result of injury or disease.
agnosia Inability to comprehend auditory, visual, spatial, olfactory or other sensations even thoughthe sensory sphere is intact.
dyslexia Inability to learn and process written language despite adequate intelligence, sensory ability and exposure.
aphasia Inability to speak.
craniotomy Incision into the skull.
encephalitis Inflammation of the brain.
poliomyelitis Inflammation of the gray matter of the spinal cord caused by a virus, commonly resulting in spinal and muscle deformity and paralysis.
Huntington chorea Inherited disease of the CNS characterized by quick, involuntary movements, speech disturbances and mental deterioration.
concussion Injury to the brain, occasionally with transient loss of consciousness as a result of injury or trauma to the head.
closed head trauma Injury to the head in which the dura mater remains intact and brain tissue is not exposed.
pia mater Innermost membrane covering the brain and spinal cord.
tremor Involuntary tremble or shake.
tics Involuntary, spasmodic muscular contractions, usually of the face and neck.
cerebrospinal fluid analysis (CSF) Laboratory test to examine a sample of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord; used to diagnose disorders of the central nervous system, including viral and bacterial infections, tumors, and hemorrhage.
ataxia Lack of muscle coordination in the execution of voluntary movement.
paralysis Loss of voluntary motion in one or more muscle groups with or without loss of sensation.
psychosis Major emotional disorder in which contact with reality is lost to the point that the individual is incapable of meeting challenges of daily life.
sedative Medication that depresses CNS activity; has a calming effect.
tranquilizers Medications used to reduce tension and anxiety without decreasing the level of consciousness.
bipolar disorder Mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, emotion, energy and ability to function; also called manic-depressive illness.
depression Mood disorder associated with sadness, despair, discouragement and commonly, feelings of low self-esteem, guild and withdrawal.
mania Mood disorder characterized by mental and physical hyperactivity, disorganized behaviour and excessively elevated mood.
myelomeningocele Most severe form of spina bifids in which the spinal cord and meninges protrude through the spine.
lumbar puncture Needle puncture of the spinal cavity to extract spinal fluid for diagnostic purposes, introduce anesthetic agents into the spinal canal or remove fluid to allow other fluids to be injected; also called spinal puncture and spinal tap.
magnetic source imaging(MSI) Noninvasive neuroimaging technique to pinpoint the specific location where seizure activity originates and enable custom surgical treatment for tumor and epileptic tissue resection; also called magnetoencephalography.
neurosis Nonpsychotic mental illness that triggers feelings of distress and anxiety and impairs normal behaviour.
ventricle Organ chamber or cavity that receives or holds fluid.
myelalgia Pain in the spinal cord.
quadriplegia Paralysis of both arms and legs, commonly resulting in bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction.
paraplegia Paralysis of both lower limbs, typically a result of trauma or disease of the lower spinal cord.
hemiplegia Paralysis of one side of the body, typically as the result of a stroke; also call unilateral paralysis.
palsy Paralysis, usually partial and commonly characterized by weakness and shaking or uncontrolled tremor.
sympathetic nervous system Part of the autonomic nervous system. Reverses effects of the sympathetic nervous system.
thalamotomy Partial destruction of the thalamus to treat intractable pain, involuntary movements, including tremors in Parkinson disease or emotional disturbances.
stereotactic radiosurgery Precisely focused radiation beams are used to treat tumors and other abnormal growths in the brain, spinal column and other body sites, and delivers high doses of radiation to the tumor with minimal exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.
anticonvulsanats Prevent uncontrolled neuron activity associated with seizures by altering electrical transmission along neurons or altering the chemical composition of neurotransmitters; also called antiepileptics.
Neurological anesthetics Produce partial or complete loss of sensation with or without loss of consciousness.
Alzheimer's disease Progressive neurological disorder of unknown etiology, characterized by memory loss, impaired judgment and impaired orientation.
blood-brain barrier Protective mechanism that blocks specific substances found in the bloodstream from entering delicate brain tissue.
myelography Radiographic examination to detect pathology of the spinal cord, including the location of the spinal cord injury, cysts, and tumors following injection of a contrast meduim.
angiography Radiographic image of the inside of a blood vessel after introduction of a contrast medium; also called arteriography.
electroencephalography Recording of electrical activity in the brain, whose cells emit distinct patterns of rhythmic electrical impulses.
electromyography Recording of electrical signals that occur in a muscle when it is at rest and during contraction to assess nerve damage.
psychostimulants Reduce impulsive behaviour by increasing the level of neurotransmitters.
ventriculoperitoneal shunting Relieves intracranial pressure due to hydrocephalus by diverting excess cerebrospinal fluid from the ventricles into the peritoneal or thoracic cavity.
cerebellum Second largest part of the brain; occupies the back of the brain; refines movement when the cerebrum initiates muscular movement; aids in maintaining equilibrium.
parasthesia Sensation of numbness, prickling, tingling or heightened sensitivity.
astrocytes Star-shaped neuroglia, which forms the blood-brain barrier, allowing only small molecules to be transferred from the blood to the brain.
opiates Stupor or sleep-inducing drugs, containing opium.
catatonic Stuporous or unresponsiveness; inability to move or talk.
panic attack Sudden, intense, overwhelming feeling of fear that comes without warning and is not attributable to any immediate danger.
neurosis Surgical freeing of a nerve from an adhesion.
trephination Technique that cuts a circular opening into the skull to reveal brain tissue and decrease intracranial pressure.
cryosurgery Technique that exposes abnormal tissue to extreme cold to destroy it.
nerve conduction velocity Test that measures the speed at which impulses travel through a nerve.
tractotomy Transection of a nerve tract in the brainstem or spinal cord.
antidepressants Treat multiple symptoms of depression by increasing levels of specific neurotransmitters.
antipsychotics Treat psychosis, paranoia and schizophrenia by altering chemicals in the brain, including the limbic system which controls emotions.
cerebral palsy Type of paralysis that affects movement and body position and sometimes, speech and learning ability.
nerve block anesthetics Type of regional anesthetic to block pain from the area supplied by that nerve.
echoencephalography Ultrasound technique used to study intracranial structures of the brain and especially, diagnose conditions that cause a shift in the midline structures of the brain.
asthenia Weakness, debility or loss of strength.
anesthesia Without feeling; loss of sensation.
ganglion A collection of nerve bodies.
nerve A large bundle of axons wrapped in connective tissue.
axon A long, single projection that transmits impulses from the cell body.
neuron Functional connection between two neurons or between a neuron and its effector organ (muscle or gland) is a gap or space.
multiple sclerosis A progressive, degenerative disease of the myelin sheath, striking young adults aged 20-40; signs and symptoms include tremors, muscle weakness and slowness of movement.
epilepsy A recurrent disorder of cerebral functions characterized by seizures.
synapse A small space found between the axon of one neuron and the dendrite of another.
cisternal puncture A spinal puncture at the base of the brain to extract fluid or inject medication.
dysrhythmia Abnormal rhythum, such as electrical disturbances in the brain.
coma Abnormally deep unconsciousness with absence of voluntary response to stimuli.
microephaly Abmornally small head.
afferent nerves Also known as sensory nerves;conduct impulses toward the central nervous system.
dendrites Branching cytoplasmic projections that receive impluses and transit them to the cell body.
neurotransmitter The impulse within the transmitting axon causes a chemical substances to be released at the end of its axon. It diffuses across the synapses.
spinal cord Conveys sensory impulses to the brain from different parts of the body and also trasmits motor impulses away from the brain to all muscles and organs.
occulta spina bifida Form of spina bifida in which one or more vertebrae are malformed and the spinal cord is covered with a layer of skin.
meningocele spina bifida Form of spinal bifida in which the spinal cord develops properly but the meninges protrude through the spine.
peripheral nervous system Includes all nervous tissue of the body found outside the central nervous system.
cerebrum Largest and uppermost portion of the brain whose major functions include sensory perception and interpretation, muscular movement and emotional aspects of behaviour and memory.
brainstem Major section of the brain that serves as a pathway for impulse conduction between the brain and spinal cord.
arachnoid membrane Middle layer covering the brain, between the dura mater and the pia mater.
mixed nerves Nerves composed of both sensory and motor nerves.
idiopathic Occurring without a known cause.
autonamic nervous system One of the two parts of the peripheral nervous system which conveys impulses to glands, smooth muscles and cardiac muscles.
dura mater Outermost membrane covering the brain and spinal cord.
quadriplegia (paralysis) Paralysis of both arms and legs, commonly resulting in bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction.
paraplegia (paralysis) Paralysis of both lower limbs, typically as a result of trauma or disease of the lower spinal cord.
sympathetic nervous system Part of the autonomic nervous system. When in use may cause symptoms such as an accelerated heart rate and increased blood pressure.
dystrophy Poor development.
anesthetics Produce partial or complete loss of sensation with or without loss of consciousness.
neurolysis Surgical freeing of a nerve from an adhesion.
meninges Three membranes that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord; dura mater, arachnois membrane and pia mater.
myelin sheath Axons posses, a white lipoid covering acts as an electrical insulator that reduces the possiblility of an impulse stimulating adjacent nerves in the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system.
Created by: Barbara Ross