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Nervous System

Vocabulary / Chapter 10

acetylcholine Neurotransmitter chemical released at the ends (synapses) of nerve cells.
afferent nerves Carry messages toward the brain and spinal cord (sensory nerves).
arachnoid membrane Middle layer of the three membranes (meninges) that surround the brain and spinal cord. The Greek arachne means spider.
astrocyte A type of glial (neurologic) cell that transports water and salts from capillaries.
automonic nervous system Nerves that control involuntary body functions of muscles, glands, and internal organs.
axon Microscopic fiber that carries the nervous impulse along a nerve cell.
blood-brain barrier Blood vessels (capillaries) that selectively let certain substances enter the brain tissue and keep other substances out.
brainstem Lower portion of the brain that connects the cerebrum with the spinal cord. The pons and medulla oblongata are part of the brainstem.
cauda equina Collection of spinal nerves below the end of the spinal cord.
cell body Part of a nerve cell that contains the nucleus.
central nervous system (CNS) Brain and the spinal cord.
cerebellum Posterior part of the brain that coordinates muscle movements and maintain balance.
cerebral cortex Outer region of the cerebrum; containing sheets of nerve cells; gray matter of the brain.
cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Fluid that circulates throughout the brain and spinal cord.
cerebrum Largest part of the brain; responsibles for voluntary muscular activity, vision, speech, taste, hearing, thought, and memory.
cerebral cortex Outer region of the cerebrum; containing sheets of nerve cells; gray matter of the brain.
cranial nerves Twelve pairs of nerves that carry messages to and from the brain.
dendrite Microscopic branching fiber of a nerve cell that is the first part to receive the nervous impulse.
dura mater Thick, outermost layer of the meninges surrounding and protecting the brain and spinal cord (latin for hard mother).
efferent nerves Carry messages away from the brain and spinal cord; motor nerves.
ependymal cell a glial cell that lines membranes within the brain and spinal cord and helps form cerebrospinal fluid.
glanglion (plural: ganglia) Collection of nerve cell bodies in the peripheral nervous system.
glial cell (neuroglial cell) Cell in the nervous system that is supportive and connection in function. Examples are astrocytes, microglial cells, ependymal cells, and oligodentrocytes.
gyrus (plural: gyri) Sheet of nerve cells that produces a rounded fold on the surface of the cerebellum; convulution.
hypothalamus Portion of the brain beneath the thalamus; controls sleep, appetite, body temperature, and secretions from the pituitary gland.
medulla oblongata Part of the brain just above the spinal cord; controls breathing, heartbeat, and the size of blood vessels; nerve fibers cross over here.
meninges Three protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.
microglial cell Phogocytic glial cell that removes wates products from the central nervous system.
motor nerves Carry messages away from the brain and spinal cord to muscles and organs; efferent (ef [a from of ex] = away) nerves.
myelin sheath While fatty tissue that surrounds, and insulates the axon of a nerve cell. Myelin speeds impulse conduction along axons.
nerve Macroscopic cordlike collection of fibers (axons and dentrites) that carry electrical impulses.
neurotransmitter Chemical messenger, released of the end of a nerve cell, which can be a nerve cell, muscle cell, or gland cell. Examples of neurotransmitters are acetylcholine, norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin.
oligodendroglial cell Glial cell that forms the myelin sheath covering axons. Also called oligodendrocyte.
parasymphathetic nerves Involuntary, autonomic nerves that regulate normal body functions such as heart rate, breathing, and muscles of the gastrointestinal tract.
parenchyma Essential, distinguishing tissue of the nervous system; includes the brain and spinal cord. This is to distinguish it from surrounding tissues, such as the meninges.
peripheral nervous system Nerves outside the brain and spinal cord; cranial, spinal, and autonomic nerves.
pia mater Thin, delicate inner membrane of the meninges.
plexus (plural: plexuses) Large, interlacing network of nerves. Examples are lumbosacral, cervical, and brachial (brachi/o means arm) plexuses. The term originated from the Indo-European plek meaning to weave together.
pons Part of the brain anterior to the cerebellum and between the medulla and the rest of the midbrain (Latin pons means bridge). It is a bridge connecting various parts of the brain.
receptor Organ that receives a nervous stimulation and passes it on to nerves within the body. The skin, ears, eyes, and taste buds are receptors.
sciatic nerve Nerve extending from the base of the spine down the thigh, lower leg, and foot. Sciatica is pain or finlammation along the course of the nerve.
sensory nerves Carry messages to the brain and spinal cord from a receptor; afferent (af[a form of ad] = toward) nerve.
spinal nerves Thirty-one pairs of nerves arising from the spinal cord. Each spinal nerve affects a particular area of the skin.
stimulus (plural: stimuli) Agent of change (light, sound, touch) in the internal or external environment that evokes a response.
stroma Connective and supporting tissue of an organ. Glial cells are the stromal tissue of the brain.
sulcus (plural: sulci) Depression or groove in the surface of the cerebral cortex; fissure.
sympathetic nerves Autonomic nerves that influence bodily functions involuntarily in times of stress.
synapse Space through which a nervous impulse is transmitted from one neuron to another or from a neuron to another cell, such as a muscle or gland cell. From the Greek synapsis, a point of contact.
thalamus Main relay center of the brain. It conducts impulses between the spinal cord and the cerebrum; incoming sensory messages are relayed through the thalamus to appropriate centers in the cerebrum. Latin thalamus means room.
vagus nerve Tenth craniel nerve; its branches reach to the larynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs, aorta, esophagus, and stomach. Latin vagus meanse wondering.
ventricles of the brain Canals in the brain that contain cerebrospinal fluid.
hydrocephalus Abnormal accumulation of fluid (CSF) in the brain.
spina bifida Congenital defects in the lumbar spinal column caused by imperfect union of vertebral parts (neural tube defect).
Alzheimer disease (AD) Brain disorder marked by gradual and progressive mental deterioration (dementia) with personality changes and impairment of daily functioning.
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Degeneratiave disorder of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brainstem.
epilepsy Chronic brain disorder characterized by recurrent seizure activity.
Huntington disease Hereditary disorder marked by degenerative changes in the cerebrum leading to abrupt involuntary movement and mental deterioration.
multiple sclerosis (MS) Autoimmune neuromuscular disorder characterized by weakness (-asthenia) of voluntary muscles (attached to bones).
palsy Paralysis (partial or complete loss of motor function).
Parkinson disease Involuntary, spasmodic, twitching movements; incontrollable vocal sounds; and inappropriate words.
Tourette syndrome Involuntary, spasmodic, twitching movements; uncontrollable vocal sounds; and inappropriate words.
herpes zoster (shingles Viral infection affecting peripheral nerves
meningitis Inflammation of the meninges; leptomeningitis.
absence seizure Minor (petit mal) form of seizure, consisting of momentary clouding of consciousness and loss of awreness of surroundings.
aneurysm Enlarged, weakened area in an arterial wall, which may rupture, leading to hemorrhage and CVA (stroke)
astrocytoma Malignant tumor of astrocytes (glial brain cells).
aura Peculiar sensation experienced by some persons with epilepsy before onset of an actual seizure.
blast Immature cells (as in glioblastoma).
dementia Mental decline and deterioration
demyelination Destruction of myelin on axons of nerves (as in multiple sclerosis).
dopamine CNS neurotransmitter, deficient in patient with Parkinson disease.
embolus A mass (clot) of material travels through the bloodstream and suddenly blocks a vessel.
gait Manner of walking.
herpes zoster Herpes virus that causes shingles-eruption of blisters in a pattern that follows the path of peripheral nerves around the trunk of the body; zoster mean "girdle."
ictal event Pertaining to a sudden, acute onset, as the convulsions of an epileptic seizure.
occlusion Blockage.
palliative Relieving symptoms but not curing.
thymectomy Removal of the thymus gland (a lymphocyte-producing gland in the chest); used as treatment of myasthenia gravis.
TIA Transient inschemic attack.
tic Involuntary movement of a small group of muscles, as of the face; characteristic of Tourette syndrome.
tonic-clonic seizure Major (grand mal) convulsive seizure marked by sudden loss of consciousness, stiffening of muscles, and twitching and jerking movements.
AD Alzheimer disease
AFP alpha-fetoprotein; elevated levels in amniotic fluid and maternal blood are associatd with congenital malformations of the nervous system, such as anencephaly and spina bifida
ALS amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - Lou Gehrig's disease
AVM arteriovenous malformation; congenital tangle of arteries and veins in the cerebrum
CNS central nervous system
CSF cerebrospinal fluid
CT computed tomography
CVA cerebrovascular accident
EEG electroencephalography
GABA gamma-aminobutyric acid (neurotransmitter)
ICP intracranial pressure (normal pressure is 5 to 15 mm Hg)
LP lumbar puncture
MAC monitored anesthetic care
MG myasthenia gravis
MRA magnetic resonance angiography
MRI magnetic resonance imaging
MS multiple sclerosis
1/2P hemiparesis
PET positron emission tomography
PSRS proton steriotactic radiosurgery
Sz seizure
TBI traumatic brain injury
TENS transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation; technique using a battry-powered device to relieve acute and chronic pain
TIA transient ischemic attack; temporary interference with the blood supply to the brain
tPA tissue plasminogen activator; a clot-dissolving drug used as therapy for strokes
Parts of the brain Cerebrum, Thalamus, Hypothalamus, Cerebellum, Pons, Medulla Oblongata
Cerebrum Thinking, Personality, Movements, Sensation, Memory
Thalamus Relay station of sensory impulses; pain
Hypothalamus Body Temperature,Sleep, Appetite, Emotion; control the pituitary gland
Pons Connection of nerves (to control eyes and face
Medulla Oblongata Nerve fiber crossover, left to right and right to left; contains centers to regulate heart, blood vessels, respiratory system
lept/o thin, slender
my/o muscle
myel/o spinal cord (meanse bone marrow in other contexts)
radicul/o nerve root (of spinal nerves)
thec/o sheath (refers to the meninges)
vag/o vagus nerve (10th cranial nerve)
caus/o burning
comat/o deep sleep (coma)
lex/o word, phrase
-phasia speech
-praxia action
-sthenia strength
tax/o order, coordination
ictal event Pertaining to a sudden, acute onset, as the convulsions of an epileptic seizure.
palliative Relieving symptoms but no curing.
tonic-clonic seizure Major (grand mal) convulsive seizure marked by sudden loss of consciousness, stiffening of muscles, and twitching and jerking movements.
cerebrospinal fluid analysis Doctors measure water, glucose, sodium, chloride, and protein, RBC, WBC, dectect tumor cells, bacteria, and viruses. These studies are used to diagnose infection, tumors, or multiple sclerosis.
ataxia Uncoordinated gait
transient ischemic attack interruption of blood supply to the cerebrum; mini-stroke
tonic-clonic seizure Major epileptic seizure; ictal event
herpes zoster virus that causes chickenpox and shingles
palliative relieving but not curing
dopamine relieving, but not curing
absence seizure minor epileptic seizure
glioblastoma multiforme malignant brain tumor of immature glial cells
paresthesias abnormal tingling sensations
paresis slight paralysis
radiculitis inflammation of a spinal nerve root
apraxia movements and behaior that are not purposefull
ataxia lack of muscular coordination
paraplegia paralysis in the lower half of the body
neurasthenia nervous exhausion and fatique
synapse space between nerve cells
Created by: murielsclark