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Chapter 10

Acrophobia Extreme or irrational fear of heights.
Alzheimer's disease Progressive mental deterioration occurring in middle or old age, due to generalized degeneration of the brain it affects memory, thinking, and behavior.
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis A progressive degeneration of the motor neurons of the central nervous system, leading to wasting of the muscles and paralysis.
anesthetic Inducing or relating to insensitivity to pain.
anesthetist A medical specialist who administers anesthetics.
anxiety disorders a cover term for a variety of mental disorders in which severe anxiety is a salient symptom.
autism A mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by great difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts
Bell's palsy Paralysis of the facial nerve, causing muscular weakness in one side of the face
carotid ultrasonography Carotid ultrasonography is an ultrasound-based diagnostic imaging technique to look for blood clots, atherosclerotic plaque buildup, and other blood flow problems in the carotid arteries.
causalgia Severe burning pain in a limb caused by injury to a peripheral nerve
cerebral contusion A bruising of brain tissue as a result of a head injury.
cerebral palsy A condition marked by impaired muscle coordination (spastic paralysis) and/or other disabilities, typically caused by damage to the brain before or at birth
cerebrovascular accident a sudden loss of consciousness resulting when the rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel leads to oxygen lack in the brain.
cervical radiculopathy a problem in which one or more nerves are affected and do not work properly
claustrophobia Extreme or irrational fear of confined places
cognition The mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses
coma A state of deep unconsciousness that lasts for a prolonged or indefinite period, caused esp. by severe injury or illness
concussion Temporary unconsciousness caused by a blow to the head. The term is also used loosely of the aftereffects such as confusion or temporary incapacity
cranial hematoma A collection of blood trapped in the tissues of the brain. Cranial hematomas include epidural hematoma, subdural hematoma, and intracerebral hematoma.
delirium An acutely disturbed state of mind that occurs in fever, intoxication, and other disorders and is characterized by restlessness, illusions, and incoherence of thought and speech
delirium tremens A psychotic condition typical of withdrawal in chronic alcoholics, involving tremors, hallucinations, anxiety, and disorientation
delusion An idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder
dementia A chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning
dura mater the outermost of the three layers of the meninges surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The other two meningeal layers are the pia mater and the arachnoid mater
dyslexia disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols, but that do not affect general intelligence
echoencephalography The use of ultrasound waves to investigate structures within the skull
electroencephalography measurement of electrical activity in different parts of the brain and the recording of such activity as a visual trace
encephalitis Inflammation of the brain, caused by infection or an allergic reaction
epidural anesthesia Used as a pain relief method, it requires a catheter placed between bones in the spine that delivers medications.
epilepsy neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain
factitious disorder Factitious disorders are conditions in which a person acts as if he or she has an illness by deliberately producing, feigning, or exaggerating symptoms.
Guillain-Barre syndrome a form of peripheral polyneuritis characterized by pain and weakness and sometimes paralysis of the limbs; cause is unknown
hallucination An experience involving the apparent perception of something not present
hemorrhagic stroke stroke caused by the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain
hydrocephalus condition in which fluid accumulates in the brain, typically in young children, enlarging the head and sometimes causing brain damage
hyperesthesia Excessive physical sensitivity, esp. of the skin
hypochondriasis hypochondria: chronic and abnormal anxiety about imaginary symptoms and ailments
ischemic strok the most common kind of stroke; caused by an interruption in the flow of blood to the brain
lethargy lack of energy and enthusiasm
meningitis Inflammation of the meninges caused by viral or bacterial infection and marked by intense headache and fever, sensitivity to light, and muscular rigidity, leading (in severe cases) to convulsions, delirium, and death
meningocele protrusion of the meninges through a gap in the spine due to a congenital defect
migraine headache Severe, usually one-sided, throbbing headaches that often occur with nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light or sound.
multiple sclerosis chronic, typically progressive disease involving damage to the sheaths of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, whose symptoms may include numbness, impairment of speech and of muscular coordination, blurred vision, and severe fatigue
myelitis Inflammation of the spinal cord
myelography radiographic examination that uses a contrast medium to detect pathology of the spinal cord, including the location of a spinal cord injury, cysts, and tumors
narcolepsy condition characterized by an extreme tendency to fall asleep whenever in relaxing surroundings
neurotransmitters chemical substance that is released at the end of a nerve fiber by the arrival of a nerve impulse and, by diffusing across the synapse or junction, causes the transfer of the impulse to another nerve fiber, a muscle fiber, or some other structure
obsessive-complusive disorder A form of anxiety characterised by an obsessive compulsion to repeatedly perform trivial or meaningless actions
panic attack A sudden feeling of acute and disabling anxiety
paresthesia An abnormal sensation, typically tingling or pricking (pins and needles), caused chiefly by pressure on or damage to peripheral nerves
parkinson's disease progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement, chiefly affecting middle-aged and elderly people. It is associated with degeneration of the basal ganglia of the brain and a deficiency of the neu
peripheral neuropathy Peripheral neuropathy is the term for damage to nerves of the peripheral nervous system, which may be caused either by diseases of the nerve or from the side-effects of systemic illness.
posttraumatic stress disorder an anxiety disorder characterized by a terrifying physical or emotional event (trauma) causing the person who survived the event to have persistent, frightening thoughts and memories, or flashbacks, of the ordeal. Persons with PTSD often feel chronically,
reye's syndrome life-threatening metabolic disorder in young children, of uncertain cause but sometimes precipitated by aspirin and involving encephalitis and liver failure
schizophrenia long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusio
sciatica Pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of a spinal nerve root in the lower back, often owing to degeneration of an intervertebral disk
shaken baby syndrome Injury to a baby caused by being shaken violently and repeatedly. Shaking can cause swelling of the brain, internal bleeding, detached retinas leading to blindness, mental retardation, and death
syncope Temporary loss of consciousness caused by a fall in blood pressure
trichotillomania a medical disorder in which the victim compulsively pulls his/her own hair out
trigeminal neuralgia Neuralgia involving one or more of the branches of the trigeminal nerves, and often causing severe pain
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