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Paramedic Care


absence seizure type of generalized seizure with sudden onset, characterized by a brief loss of awareness and rapid recovery
afferent carrying impulses toward the CNS (sensory nerves)
Alzheimer's disease degenerative brain disorder; most common cause of dementia in the elderly
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) progressive degeneration of specific nerve cells that control voluntary movement characterized by weakness, loss of motor control, diff speaking, and cramping (Lou Gehrig's disease)
apneustic respiration breathing characterized by a prolonged inspiration unrelieved by expiration attempts, seen in Pts with damage to the upper part of the pons
arachnoid membrane middle layer of the meninges
ataxic respiration poor respirations due to CNS damage, causing ineffective thoracic muscular coordination
autonomic nervous system part of the nervous system controlling involuntary bodily functions. It is divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic system
Bell's palsy one-sided facial paralysis w/ an unknown cause characterized by the inability to close the eye, pain, tearing of the eyes, drooling, hypersensitivity to sound, and impairment of taste
brain abscess a collection of pus localized in an area of the brain
brainstem part of the brain connecting the cerebral hemispheres w/ the spinal chord. It consists of the mesencephalong (midbrain), pons, and medulla oblongata
Cauda equine syndrome condition caused by significant narrowing of the spinal canal that compresses the nerve roots below the level of the spinal chord, causing back pain, leg pain, weakness, and loss of lower sensation
central nervous system (CNS) the brain and the spinal chord
central neurogenic hyperventilation hyperventilation caused by a lesion in the CNS, often characterized by rapid, deep, noisy respirations
central pain syndrome condition resulting from damage or injury to the brain, brainstem, or spinal chord characterized by intense, steady pain described as burning, aching, tingling, "pins & needles"
cerebellum largest part of the brain, consisting of 2 hemispheres. It is the seat of consciousness and the center of the higher mental functions such as memory, learning, reasoning, judgment, etc.
Cheyne-Stokes respiration breathing pattern characterized by a period of apnea lasting 10-60 seconds, followed by gradually increasing depth and frequency of respirations
clonic phase phase of a seizure characterized by alternating contraction and relaxation of muscles
coma a state of unconsciousness from which the Pt cannot be aroused
complex partial seizure type of partial seizure usually originating in the temporal lobe characterized by an aura and focal findings such as alterations in mental status or mood
cranial nerves 12 pairs of nerves that extend from the lower surface of the brain
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) a rare form of brain damage that leads to a rapid decrease in mental function and movement characterized by dementia, ataxia, hallucinations, jerking, and general decline
Cushing's triad a collective change in vital signs (increased BP, decreased pulse rate, and irregular respirations) associated w/ increasing intracranial pressure
decerebrate posturing sustained contraction of extensor muscles of the extremities resulting from a lesion in the brainstem. Pt presents w/ stiff and extended extremities and retracted head
decorticate posturing characteristic posture associated w/a lesion at or above the upper brainstem. Pt presents w/ arms flexed, fists clenched, and legs extended
degenerative neurologic disorders a collection of diseases that selectively affect one or more functional systems of the CNS
dermatomes areas of the skin innervated by spinal nerves
diencephalon portion of the brain lying beneath the cerebrum and above the brainstem. It contains the thalamus, hypothalamus, and limbic system
dura mater tough outermost layer of the meninges
dystonias a group of disorders characterized by muscle contractions that cause twisting and repetitive movements, abnormal postures, or freezing in the middle of an action
efferent carrying impulses away from the brain or spinal cord to the periphery (motor nerves)
generalized seizures seizures that begin as an electrical discharge in a small area of the brain but spread to involve the entire cerebral cortex, causing widespread malfunction
Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) tool used in evaluating and quantifying the degree of coma by determining the best motor, verbal, and eye-opening response to standardized stimuli
Guillain-Barre syndrome condition caused when the immune system attacks the peripheral nerves, leading to nerve inflammation that causes muscle weakness that can worsen to paralysis
Huntingon's disease a disease caused by a genetic defect and characterized by rigidity, slow movements, tremor, behavioral changes, unusual movements, and dementia
Korsakoff's psychosis psychosis characterized by disorientation, muttering delirium, insomnia, delusions, and hallucinations
Kussmaul's respiration rapid deep respirations caused by sever metabolic and CNS problems
medulla oblongata lower portion of the brainstem, connecting the pons and the spinal cord. It contains major centers for control of respiratory, cardiac, and vasomotor activity
meninges membranes covering and protecting the brain and spinal cord. They consist of the pia mater, arachnoid membrane, and dura mater
mesencephalon portion of the brain connecting the pons and cerebellum with the cerebral hemispheres; also called the midbrain. It controls motor coordination and eye movement
multiple sclerosis (MS) disease that involves inflammation of certain nerve cells followed by demyelination, or the destruction of the myelin sheath, which is the fatty insulation surround nerve fibers
myoclonus temporary, involuntary twitching or spasm of a muscle or group of muscles
neoplasm literally meaning "new form"; a new or abnormal formation; a tumor
neuron nerve cell; the fundamental component of the nervous system
neurotransmitter a substance that is released from the axon terminal of a presynaptic neuron on excitation and that travels across the synaptic cleft to either excite or inhibit the target cell (acetylcholine, norepinephrine, dopamine).
parasympathetic nervous system division of the autonomic nervous system that is responsible for controlling vegetative functions. Actions include decreased heart rate and constriction of the bronchioles and pupils.
Parkinson's disease chronic and progressive motor system disorder characterized by tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, and postural instability.
partial seizures seizures that remain confined to a limited portion of the brain, causing localized malfunction. It may spread and become generalized.
peripheral nervous system (PNS) part of the nervous system that extends throughout the body and is composed of the cranial nerves arising from the brain and the peripheral nerves arising from the spinal cord. Its subdivisions are the somatic and the autonomic nervous systems.
peripheral neuropathy any malfunction or damage of the peripheral nerves. Results may include muscle weakness, loss of sensation, impaired reflexes, and internal organ malfunctions.
pia mater delicate innermost layer of the meninges.
poliomyelitis (polio) infectious, inflammatory viral disease of the central nervous system that sometimes results in permanent paralysis.
pons process of tissue connecting the medulla oblongata and cerebellum with upper portions of the brain.
reticular activating system system responsible for consciousness. A series of nervous tissues keeping the human system in a state of consciousness.
seizure a temporary alteration in behavior due to the massive electrical discharge of one or more groups of neurons in the brain. It can be clinically classified as generalized or partial.
simple partial seizure type of partial seizure that involves local motor, sensory, or autonomic dysfunction of one area of the body. There is no loss of consciousness.
somatic nervous system part of the nervous system con trolling voluntary bodily functions.
spina bifida (SB) a neural defect that results from the failure of one or more of the fetal vertebrae to close properly during the first month of pregnancy
status epilepticus series of two or more generalized motor seizures w/o any intervening periods of consciousness.
stroke caused by either ischemic or hemorrhagic lesions to a portion of the brain, resulting in damage or destruction of brain tissue. Previously called cerebrovascular accident.
sympathetic nervous system division of the autonomic nervous system that prepares the body for stressful situations. Its actions include increased heart rate and dilation of the bronchioles and pupils. It's mediated by neurotransmitters epinephrine and norepinephrine.
syncope transient loss of consciousness due to inadequate flow of blood to the brain w/ rapid recovery of consciousness on becoming supine; fainting
tonic phase phase of a seizure characterized by tension or contraction of muscles.
tonic-clonic seizure type of generalized seizure characterized by rapid loss of consciousness and motor coordination, muscle spasms, and jerking motions.
transient ischemic attack (TIA) temporary interruption of blood supply to the brain.
Wernicke's syndrome condition characterized by loss of memory and disorientation, associated w/ chronic alcohol intake and diet deficient in thiamine.
Created by: 100002976529457



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