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Chapter 17, MedTerms

The Nervous System and Behavioral Disorders

TermDefinition
olfactory, I The cranial nerve that carries impulses for the sense of smell
optic, II The cranial nerve that carries impulses for the sense of vision
oculomotor, III The cranial nerve that controls movement of eye muscles
trochlear, IV The cranial nerve that controls a muscle of the eyeball
trigeminal, V The cranial nerve that carries sensory impulses from the face; controls chewing muscles
abducens, VI The cranial nerve that controls a muscle of the eyeball
facial, VII The cranial nerve that controls muscles of facial expression, salivary glands, and tear glands; conducts some impulses for taste
vestibulocochlear, VIII The cranial nerve that conducts impulses for hearing and equilibrium; also called auditory or acoustic nerve
glossopharyngeal, IX The cranial nerve that conducts sensory impulses from tongue and pharynx; stimulates parotid salivary gland and partly controls swallowing
vagus, X The cranial nerve that supplies most organs of thorax and abdomen; controls digestive secretions
spinal accessory, XI The cranial nerve that controls muscles of the neck
hypoglossal, XII The cranial nerve that controls muscles of the tongue
afferent Carrying toward a given point, such as the sensory neurons and nerves that carry impulses toward the CNS (root fer means "to carry")
arachnoid mater The middle layer of the meninges (from the Greek word for spider, because this tissue resembles a spider web)
autonomic nervous system (ANS) The division of the nervous system that regulates involuntary activities, controlling smooth muscles, cardiac muscle, and glands; the visceral nervous system
axon The fiber of a neuron that conducts impulses away from the cell body
brain The nervous tissue contained within the cranium; consists of the cerebrum, diencephalon, brainstem, and cerebellum (root: encephal/o)
brainstem The part of the brain that consists of the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata
central nervous system (CNS) The brain and spinal cord
cerebellum The posterior portion of the brain dorsal to the pons and medulla; helps to coordinate movement and to maintain balance and posture (cerebellum means "little brain") (root: cerebell/o)
cerebral cortex The cerebrum's thin surface layer of gray matter (the cortex is the outer region of an organ) (root: cortic/o)
cerebrum The large upper portion of the brain; it is divided into two hemispheres by the longitudinal fissure (root: cerebr/o)
cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) The watery fluid that circulates in and around the brain and spinal cord for protection
cranial nerves The 12 pairs of nerves that are connected to the brain
dendrite A fiber of a neuron that conducts impulses toward the cell body
diencephalon The part of the brain that contains the thalamus, hypothalamus, and pituitary gland; located between the cerebrum and the brainstem
dura mater The strong, fibrous outermost layer of the meninges
efferent Carrying away from a given point, such as the motor neurons and nerves that carry impulses away from the CNS (root fer means "to carry")
ganglion A collection of neuron cell bodies outside the CNS (plural: ganglia) (roots: gangli/o, ganglion/o)
gray matter Unmyelinated tissue of the nervous system
gyrus A raised convolution of the surface of the cerebrum (plural: gyri)
hypothalamus The part of the brain that controls the pituitary gland and maintains homeostasis
interneuron Any neuron located between a sensory and a motor neuron in a neural pathway, such as the neurons that transmit impulses within the CNS
medulla oblongata The portion of the brain that connects with the spinal cord; it has vital centers for control of respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure (root: medull/o); often called simply medulla
meninges The three membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord (singular: meninx) (roots: mening/o, meninge/o)
midbrain The part of the brainstem between the diencephalon and the pons; contains centers for coordination of reflexes for vision and hearing
motor Producing movement; describes efferent neurons and nerves that carry impulses away from the CNS
myelin A whitish, fatty substance that surrounds certain axons of the nervous system
neuroglia The support cells of the nervous system; also called glial cells (from glia meaning "glue") (root: gli/o)
neuron The basic unit of the nervous system; a nerve cell
neurotransmitter A chemical that transmits energy across a synapse; examples are norepinephrine, acetylcholine, serotonin, and dopamine
nerve A bundle of neuron fibers outside the CNS (root: neur/o)
parasympathetic nervous system The part of the autonomic nervous system that reverses the response to stress and restores homeostasis; it slows heart rate and respiration rate and stimulates digestive, urinary, and reproductive activities
peripheral nervous system (PNS) The portion of the nervous system outside the CNS
pia mater The innermost layer of the meninges
pons A rounded area on the ventral surface of the brainstem; contains fibers that connect brain regions (adjective: pontine)
reflex A simple, rapid, and automatic response to a stimulus
root A branch of a spinal nerve that connects with the spinal cord; the dorsal (posterior) root joins the spinal cord's dorsal gray horn; the ventral (anterior) root joins the spinal cord's ventral gray horn (root: radicul/o)
sensory Pertaining to the senses or sensation; describing afferent neurons and nerves that carry impulses toward the CNS
somatic nervous system The division of the nervous system that controls skeletal (voluntary) muscles
spinal cord The nervous tissue contained within the spinal column; extends from the medulla oblongata to the second lumbar vertebra (root: myel/o)
spinal nerves The 31 pairs of nerves that connect with the spinal cord
sulcus A shallow furrow or groove, as on the surface of the cerebrum (plural: sulci)
sympathetic nervous system The part of the autonomic nervous system that mobilizes a response to stress, increases heart rate and respiration rate, and delivers more blood to skeletal muscles
synapse The junction between two neurons; also the junction between a motor neuron and a muscle or gland
thalamus The part of the brain that receives all sensory impulses, except those for the sense of smell, and directs them to the proper portion of the cerebral cortex (root: thalam/o)
tract A bundle of neuron fibers within the CNS
ventricle A small cavity, such as one of the cavities in the brain in which CSF is formed (root: ventricul/o)
visceral nervous system The autonomic nervous system
white matter Myelinated tissue of the nervous system
neur/o, neur/i nervous system, nervous tissue, nerve
gli/o neuroglia
gangli/o, ganglion/o ganglion
mening/o, meninge/o meninges
myel/o spinal cord (also bone marrow)
radicul/o spinal nerve root
encephal/o brain
cerebr/o cerebrum (loosely, brain)
cortic/o cerebral cortex, outer portion
cerebell/o cerebellum
thalam/o thalamus
ventricul/o cavity, ventricle
medull/o medulla oblongata (also spinal cord)
psych/o mind
narc/o stupor, unconsciousness
somn/o, somn/i sleep
-phasia speech
-lalia speech, babble
-lexia reading
-plegia paralysis
-paresis partial paralysis, weakness
-lepsy seizure
-phobia persistent, irrational fear
-mania excited state, obsession
Alzheimer disease (AD) A form of dementia caused by atrophy of the cerebral cortex; presenile dementia
amyloid A starch-like substance of unknown composition that accumulates in the brain in Alzheimer and other diseases
aneurysm A localized abnormal dilation of a blood vessel that results from weakness of the vessel wall; an aneurysm may eventually burst
aphasia Specifically, loss or defect in speech communication (from Greek phasis, meaning "speech")
astrocytoma A neuroglial tumor composed of astrocytes
cerebral contusion A bruise to the surface of the brain following a blow to the head
cerebrovascular accident (CVA) Sudden damage to the brain resulting from reduction of cerebral blood flow; possible causes are atherosclerosis, thrombosis, or a ruptured aneurysm; commonly called stroke
coma State of deep unconsciousness from which one cannot be roused
concussion Injury resulting from a violent blow or shock; a brain concussion usually results in loss of consciousness
confusion A state of reduced comprehension, coherence, and reasoning ability resulting in inappropriate responses to environmental stimuli
contrecoup injury Damage to the brain on the side opposite the point of a blow as a result of the brain hitting the skull (from French, meaning "counterblow")
convulsion A series of violent, involuntary muscle contractions; a tonic convulsion involves prolonged muscle contraction; in a clonic convulsion, there is alternation of contraction and relaxation; both forms appear in grand mal epilepsy
dementia A gradual and usually irreversible loss of intellectual function
embolism Obstruction of a blood vessel by a blood clot or other material carried in the circulation
encephalitis Inflammation of the brain
epidural hematoma Accumulation of blood in the epidural space (between the dura mater and the skull)
epilepsy A chronic disease involving periodic sudden bursts of electric activity from the brain, resulting in seizures
glioma A tumor of neuroglial cells
hemiparesis Partial paralysis or weakness of one side of the body
hemiplegia Paralysis of one side of the body
hydrocephalus Increased accumulation of CSF in or around the brain as a result of obstructed flow; may be caused by tumor, inflammation, hemorrhage, or congenital abnormality
insomnia Insufficient or nonrestorative sleep despite ample opportunity to sleep
meningioma Tumor of the meninges
meningitis Inflammation of the meninges
multi-infarct dementia (MID) Dementia caused by chronic cerebral ischemia (lack of blood supply) as a result of multiple small strokes; there is progressive loss of cognitive function, memory, and judgment as well as altered motor and sensory function
multiple sclerosis (MS) A chronic, progressive disease involving loss of myelin in the CNS
narcolepsy Brief, uncontrollable episodes of sleep during the day
neurilemmoma A tumor of a peripheral nerve sheath (neurilemma); schwannoma
paralysis Temporary or permanent loss of function; flaccid paralysis involves loss of muscle tone and reflexes and muscular degeneration; spastic paralysis involves excess muscle tone and reflexes but no degeneration
parkinsonism A disorder originating in the brain's basal ganglia (nuclei) and characterized by slow movements, tremor, rigidity, and mask-like face; also called Parkinson disease
seizure A sudden attack, as seen in epilepsy; the most common forms of seizure are tonic-clonic, or grand mal (from French, meaning "great illness"); absence seizure, or petit mal, meaning "small illness;" and psychomotor seizure
shingles An acute viral infection that follows nerve pathways causing small lesions on the skin; caused by reactivation of the virus that also causes chickenpox (varicella-zoster virus); also called herpes zoster
sleep apnea Brief periods of breathing cessation during sleep
stroke, cerebrovascular accident (CVA) Sudden interference with blood flow in one or more cerebral vessels leading to oxygen deprivation and necrosis of brain tissue; caused by a blood clot in a vessel (ischemic stroke) or rupture of a vessel (hemorrhagic stroke)
subdural hematoma Accumulation of blood beneath the dura mater
thrombosis Development of a blood clot within a vessel
tremor A shaking or involuntary movement
carotid endarterectomy Surgical removal of the lining of the carotid artery, the large artery in the neck that supplies blood to the brain
cerebral angiography Radiographic study of the brain's blood vessels after injection of a contrast medium
electroencephalography (EEG) Amplification, recording, and interpretation of the brain's electric activity
L-dopa A drug used in the treatment of parkinsonism; levodopa
lumbar puncture Puncture of the subarachnoid space in the lumbar region of the spinal cord to remove spinal fluid for diagnosis or to inject anesthesia; spinal tap
polysomnography Simultaneous monitoring of a variety of physiologic functions during sleep to diagnose sleep disorders
anxiety A feeling of fear, worry, uneasiness, or dread
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) A condition that begins in childhood and is characterized by attention problems, easy boredom, impulsive behavior, and hyperactivity
autism A disorder of unknown cause consisting of self-absorption, lack of response to social contact and affection, preoccupations, stereotyped behavior, and resistance to change (from auto-, "self," and -ism, "condition of")
autism spectrum disorder (ASD) A disability that falls within a range of neurodevelopmental impairments that appears early in life and affects social interactions and communications skills
bipolar disorder A form of depression with episodes of mania (a state of elation); manic depressive illness
delusion A false belief inconsistent with knowledge and experience
depression A mental state characterized by profound feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, and lack of interest or pleasure in activities
dysthymia A mild form of depression that usually develops in response to a serious life event (from dys- and Greek thymos, meaning "mind, emotion")
hallucination A false perception unrelated to reality or external stimuli
mania A state of elation, which may include agitation, hyperexcitability, or hyperactivity (adjective: manic)
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) A condition associated with recurrent and intrusive thoughts, images, and repetitive behaviors performed to relieve anxiety
panic disorder A form of anxiety disorder marked by episodes of intense fear
paranoia A mental state characterized by jealousy, delusions of persecution, or perceptions of threat or harm
phobia An extreme, persistent fear of a specific object or situation
posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Persistent emotional disturbances that follow exposure to life-threatening, catastrophic events, such as trauma, abuse, natural disasters, and warfare
psychosis A mental disorder extreme enough to cause gross misperception of reality with delusions and hallucinations
schizophrenia A poorly understood group of severe mental disorders with features of psychosis, delusions, hallucinations, and withdrawn or bizarre behavior (schizo means "split," and phren/o means "mind")
acetylcholine (ACh) A neurotransmitter; activity involving acetylcholine is described as cholinergic
basal ganglia Four masses of gray matter in the cerebrum and upper brainstem that are involved in movement and coordination; basal nuclei
blood-brain barrier A special membrane between circulating blood and the brain that prevents certain damaging substances from reaching brain tissue
Broca area An area in the left frontal lobe of the cerebrum that controls speech production
cerebral arterial circle An interconnection (anastomosis) of several arteries supplying the brain; located at the base of the cerebrum; circle of Willis
contralateral Affecting the opposite side of the body
corpus callosum A large band of connecting fibers between the cerebral hemispheres
dermatome The area of the skin supplied by a spinal nerve; term also refers to an instrument used to cut skin for grafting
ipsilateral On the same side; unilateral
leptomeninges The pia mater and arachnoid together
norepinephrine A neurotransmitter very similar in chemical composition and function to the hormone epinephrine; also called noradrenaline
nucleus A collection of nerve cells within the central nervous system
plexus A network, as of nerves or blood vessels
pyramidal tracts A group of motor tracts involved in fine coordination; most of the fibers in these tracts cross in the medulla to the opposite side of the spinal cord and affect the opposite side of the body
reticular activating system (RAS) A widespread system in the brain that maintains wakefulness
Schwann cells Cells that produce the myelin sheath around peripheral axons
Wernicke area An area in the temporal lobe concerned with speech comprehension
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) A disorder marked by muscular weakness, spasticity, and exaggerated reflexes caused by degeneration of motor neurons; Lou Gehrig disease
amnesia Loss of memory (from Greek word mneme meaning "memory" and the negative prefix a-)
apraxia Inability to move with purpose or to use objects properly
ataxia Lack of muscle coordination; dyssynergia
athetosis Involuntary, slow, twisting movements in the arms, especially the hands and fingers
Bell palsy Paralysis of the facial nerve
berry aneurysm A small sac-like aneurysm of a cerebral artery
catatonia A phrase of schizophrenia in which the patient is unresponsive; there is a tendency to remain in a fixed position without moving or talking
cerebral palsy A nonprogressive neuromuscular disorder usually caused by damage to the CNS near the time of birth; may include spasticity, involuntary movements, or ataxia
chorea A nervous condition marked by involuntary twitching of the limbs or facial muscles
claustrophobia Fear of being shut in or enclosed (from Latin claudere, "to shut")
compulsion A repetitive, stereotyped act performed to relieve tension
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) A slow-growing degenerative brain disease caused by a prion, an infectious protein; related to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, "mad cow disease") in cattle
delirium A sudden and temporary state of confusion marked by excitement, physical restlessness, and incoherence
dysarthria Defect in speech articulation caused by lack of control over the required muscles
dysmetria Disturbance in the path or placement of a limb during active movement; in hypometria, the limb falls short; in hypermetria, the limb extends beyond the target
euphoria An exaggerated feeling of well-being; elation
glioblastoma A malignant astrocytoma
Guillain-Barré syndrome An acute polyneuritis with progressive muscular weakness that usually occurs after a viral infection; in most cases recovery is complete, but it may take several months to years
hematomyelia Hemorrhage of blood into the spinal cord, as from an injury
hemiballism Jerking, twitching movements of one side of the body
Huntington disease A hereditary disease of the CNS that usually appears between ages 30 and 50; the patient shows progressive dementia and chorea, and death occurs within 10 to 15 years
hypochondriasis Abnormal anxiety about one's health
ictus A blow or sudden attack, such as an epileptic seizure
lethargy A state of sluggishness or stupor
migraine Chronic intense, throbbing headache that may result from vascular changes in cerebral arteries; possible causes include genetic factors, stress, trauma, and hormonal fluctuations
neurofibromatosis A condition involving multiple tumors of peripheral nerves
neurosis An emotional disorder caused by unresolved conflicts, with anxiety as a main characteristic
paraplegia Paralysis of the legs and lower part of the body
parasomnia Condition of having undesirable phenomena, such as nightmares, occur during sleep or become worse during sleep
quadriplegia Paralysis of all four limbs; tetraplegia
Reye syndrome A rare acute encephalopathy occurring in children after viral infections; the liver, kidney, and heart may be involved; linked to administration of aspirin during a viral illness
sciatica Neuritis characterized by severe pain along the sciatic nerve and its branches
somatoform disorders Conditions associated with symptoms of physical disease, such as pain, hypertension, or chronic fatigue, with no physical basis
somnambulism Walking or performing other motor functions while asleep and out of bed; sleepwalking
stupor A state of unconsciousness or lethargy with loss of responsiveness
syringomyelia A progressive disease marked by formation of fluid-filled cavities in the spinal cord
tic Involuntary, spasmodic, recurrent, and purposeless motor movements or vocalizations
tic douloureux Episodes of extreme pain in the area supplied by the trigeminal nerve; also called trigeminal neuralgia
tabes dorsalis Destruction of the dorsal (posterior) portion of the spinal cord with loss of sensation and awareness of body position, as seen in advanced cases of syphilis
Tourette syndrome A tic disorder with intermittent motor and vocal manifestations that begins in childhood; there also may be obsessive and compulsive behavior, hyperactivity, and distractibility
transient ischemic attack (TIA) A sudden, brief, and temporary cerebral dysfunction usually caused by interruption of blood flow to the brain
Wallerian degeneration Degeneration of a nerve distal to an injury
whiplash Cervical injury caused by rapid acceleration and deceleration, resulting in damage to muscles, ligaments, disks, and nerves
Babinski reflex A spreading of the outer toes and extension of the big toe over the others when the sole of the foot is stroked; this response is normal in infants but indicates a lesion of specific motor tracts in adults
evoked potentials Record of the brain's electric activity after sensory stimulation; included are visual evoked potentials (VEPs), brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs), and somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs), obtained by stimulating the hand or leg
Glasgow Coma Scale A system for assessing level of consciousness by assigning a score to each of three responses: eye opening, motor responses, and verbal responses
positron emission tomography (PET) Use of radioactive glucose or other metabolically active substance to produce images of biochemical activity in tissues; used for study of the living brain, both healthy and diseased, and also in cardiology
Romberg sign Inability to maintain balance when the eyes are shut and the feet are close together
sympathectomy Interruption of sympathetic nerve transmission either surgically or chemically
trephination Cutting a piece of bone out of the skull; the instrument used is a trepan or trephine
antianxiety agent Relieves anxiety by means of a calming, sedative effect on the CNS; examples are chlordiazepoxide (Librium), diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax); anxiolytic
antidepressant Blocks the reuptake of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, alone or in combination; examples are bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban), mirtazapine (Remeron), nefazodone (Serzone), venlafaxine (Effexor XR), atomoxetine (Strattera)
monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) Blocks an enzyme that breaks down norepinephrine and serotonin, thus prolonging their action; examples are phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), isocarboxazid (Marplan)
neuroleptic Drug used to treat psychosis, including schizophrenia; examples are clozapine (Clozaril), haloperidol (Haldol), risperidone (Risperdal), olanzapine (Zyprexa); antipsychotic; action mechanism unknown, but may interfere with neurotransmitters
selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) Blocks the reuptake of serotonin in the brain, thus increasing levels; examples are fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft)
stimulant Promotes activity and a sense of well-being; examples are methylphenidate (Ritalin), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), amphetamine + dextroamphetamine (Adderall)
tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) Blocks the reuptake of norepinephrine, serotonin, or both; examples are amitriptyline (Elavil), clomipramine (Anafranil), imipramine (Tofranil), doxepin (Sinequan), trimipramine (Surmontil)
Ach Acetylcholine
AD Alzheimer disease
ADHD Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
ALS Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
ANS Autonomic nervous system
ASD Autism spectrum disorder
BAEP Brainstem auditory evoked potentials
CBF Cerebral blood flow
CJD Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
CNS Central nervous system
CP Cerebral palsy
CSF Cerebrospinal fluid
CTE Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
CVA Cerebrovascular accident
CVD Cerebrovascular disease; also cardiovascular disease
DSM Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
DTR Deep tendon reflexes
EEG Electroencephalogram; electroencephalograph(y)
GAD Generalized anxiety disorder
ICP Intracranial pressure
LMN Lower motor neuron
LOC Level of consciousness
LP Lumbar puncture
MAOI Monoamine oxidase inhibitor
MID Mutli-infarct dementia
MS Multiple sclerosis
NICU Neurologic intensive care unit; also neonatal intensive care unit
NPH Normal pressure hydrocephalus
NREM Nonrapid eye movement (sleep)
OCD Obsessive-compulsive disorder
PDD Pervasive developmental disorder
PET Positron emission tomography
PNS Peripheral nervous system
PTSD Posttraumatic stress disorder
RAS Reticular activating system
REM Rapid eye movement (sleep)
SSEP Somatosensory evoked potentials
SSRI Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
TBI Traumatic brain injury, thrombotic brain infarction
TCAV Tricyclic antidepressant
TIA Transient ischemic attack
UMN Upper motor neuron
VEP Visual evoked potentials
Created by: SeedyVampire