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Body Sys2-Nervous

Medical Terminology

TermDefinition
neur(o)- refers to the nervous system, or the entire nerve apparatus of the body
psych(o)- means “mind” or “mental”
neurology the branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases and disorders of the nervous system
psychology the branch of science that deals with the mind, mental processes, and behavior
psychiatry the branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders
nervous system a complex network of tissues that uses chemical and electrical signals to carry messages between the brain and the rest of the body, enabling the system to coordinate the body’s activity in a changing environment
neuron the basic cell of the nervous system; specialized for sending and receiving signals from other neurons
dendrite the part of the neuron that stretches outward and receives signals from neighboring neurons
neurotransmitter a chemical used by a neuron to transmit a signal to another neuron
receptor sites locations on a dendrite that neurotransmitter molecules attach to, resulting in the generation of an action potential
axon terminal the part of a neuron at the opposite end from the dendrite; sends signals to neighboring neurons
axon the long extension that connects a neuron's dendrite with its axon terminal
myelin a protective coating that surrounds and insulates axons to enable them to transmit signals
synapse the small gap between the dendrite of one neuron and the axon terminal of another, across which the neurotransmitter flows to propagate a signal
action potential an electrical signal sent by a neuron down its axon to stimulate the release of neurotransmitter by the axon terminal
central nervous system (CNS) the portion of the nervous system that includes the brain and the spinal cord
brain the control center of the nervous system; occupies the cranial cavity
cerebrum the portion of the brain that controls memory, thought, speech, the senses, and voluntary actions
cerebellum the portion of the brain that controls coordination, muscle tone, and balance
skull the bony covering that protects the brain
brain stem the portion of the brain that controls vital functions and connects the brain with the spinal cord
spinal cord nervous tissue that connects the brain to the peripheral nervous system
meninges a tough, layered protective tissue that surrounds and protects the brain and the spinal cord
vertebral column the flexible bony structure that houses the spinal cord and consists of a series of bones called vertebrae
vertebrae the bones that make up the vertebral column
cerebrospinal fluid a protective fluid that lies between the meninges and the underlying brain or spinal cord
corticospinal tract a tract of neurons that descends from the primary motor cortex, crosses over in the brain stem, and then connects with motor neurons in the spinal cord
cranial nerve a nerve that connects to the central nervous system at the brain rather than at the spinal cord
primary motor cortex the region of the cerebrum that controls the voluntary muscles on the opposite side of the body
motor neurons neurons that carry signals from the brain to the muscles, enabling voluntary movement
peripheral nervous system (PNS) the portion of the nervous system outside the cranial cavity and vertebral canal that runs throughout the body
nerve a large bundle of axons in the peripheral nervous system; wrapped in a protective sheath
tract a large bundle of axons in the central nervous system; not wrapped in a protective sheath
ganglia clusters of neurons in the peripheral nervous system
plexus a group of interconnected ganglia in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) that enable different parts of the PNS to communicate and connect with their target destinations
autonomic nervous system the portion of the peripheral nervous system that controls the function of organs
sensory nervous system the portion of the peripheral nervous system that gathers sensory information from the body and sends it to the central nervous system
sensory neurons the neurons that collect sensory information and send it to the central nervous system for processing
somatic nervous system the portion of the peripheral nervous system that controls skeletal muscles
mental health the state of a person's emotional and psychological well-being; can also refer to a branch of medicine that deals with such well-being; also known as behavioral health
anxiety disorder any of a variety of mental health disorders characterized by excessive worry, physical tension, and often physical symptoms, such as headaches or loss of appetite
bipolar disorder a mental health disorder characterized by cycles of high mood, or mania, followed by periods of depression
mania an abnormally elevated mental state characterized by changes in mood, activity, and energy, such as inflated self-esteem, talkativeness, less need for sleep, racing thoughts, impulsivity, and poor judgment
depression a low mood, characterized by feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, irritability, lack of interest in previously enjoyable activities, and potentially suicidal thoughts
addiction a compulsive dependence on a substance (e.g., drugs or alcohol) or process (e.g., gambling, shopping, or eating), which causes adverse physical, social, or occupational effects
withdrawal a constellation of physical and emotional signs and symptoms that may result when a substance or process to which one is addicted is not available
alcohol dependence a disease characterized by the mental and physical need to consume alcohol, social and occupational impairment, and potentially life-threatening withdrawal
alcohol withdrawal a set of signs and symptoms seen when alcohol is withheld from someone with alcohol dependence; characterized by CNS hyperexcitability, which may include hallucinations, seizures, and death
Created by: rleroux