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Nervous System Words

Nervous System Word List

LETHARGY Abnormal inactivity or lack of response to normal stimuli, also called sluggishness
COMA Abnormally deep unconsciousness with absence of voluntary response to stimuli
HYDROCEPHALUS Accumulation of fluid in the ventricles of the brain, causing increased intracranial pressure (ICP), thinning of brain tissue and separation of cranial bones
LOCAL Act upon nerves or nerve tracts to affect a local area only
GENERAL Act upon the brain to produce complete loss of feeling with loss of consciousness
REYE SYNDROME Acute encephalopathy and fatty infiltration of the brain, liver and possibly the pancreas, heart, kidney, speen and lymph nodes
NEURILEMMA Additional sheath external to myelin that is formed by Schwann cells and found only on axons in the peripheral nervous system
CONVULSION Any sudden and violent contraction of one or more muscles
GUILLAIN-BARRE SYNDROME Autoimmune condition that causes acute inflammation of the peripheral nerves in which myelin sheaths on the axons are destroyed, resulting in decreased nerve impulses, loss of reflex response and sudden muscle weakness
DEMENTIA Broad term that refers to cognitive deficit, including memory impairment
EFFERENT Carry or move away from a central structure
AFFERENT Carry or move inward or toward a central structure
VENTRICLE Chamber or cavity of an organ that receives or holds a fluid
ANTIPARKINSONIAN AGENTS Control tremors and muscle rigidity associated with Parkinson disease by increasing dopamine in the brain
SPINA BIFIDA Defect in which the neural tube fails to close during embryogenesis
HYPNOTICS Depress Central Nervous System (CNS) functions, promote sedation and sleep and relieve agitation, anxiousness and restlessness
AUTISM Developmental disorder characterized by extreme withdrawal and an abnormal absorption in fantasy, usually accompanied by an inability to communicate even on a basic level
MYELOGRAPHY Diagnostic radiological examination of the spinal canal, nerve roots and spinal cord after injection of contrast medium into the spinal canal
ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER Disorder affecting children and adults characterized by impulsiveness, overactivity and the inability to remain focused on a task
ANOREXIA NERVOSA Eating disorder characterized by a refusal to maintain adequate weight for age and height and an all-consuming desire to remain thin
BULIMIA NERVOSA Eating disorder characterized by binging and purging
TONIC-CLONIC SEIZURE General type of seizure characterized by the loss of consciousness and stiffening of the body (tonic phase) followed by rhythmic, jerking movements (clonic phase)
ULTRASONOGRAPHY Imaging procedure using high-frequency sound waves that display the reflected "echoes" on a monitor; also called ultrasound, sonography, echo and echogram
COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY Imaging technique achieved by rotating an x-ray emitter around the area to be scanned and measuring the intensity of transmitted rays from different angles
AGNOSIA Inability to comprehend auditory, visual, spatial, olfactory or other sensations even though the sensory sphere is intact
DYSLEXIA Inability to learn and process written language despite adequate intelligence, sensory ability and exposure
POLIOMYELITIS Inflammation of the gray matter of the spinal cord caused by a virus, commonly resulting in spinal muscle deformity and paralysis
HUNTINGTON CHOREA Inherited disease of the central nervous system (CNS) characterized by quick, involuntary movements, speech disturbances and mental deterioration
CONCUSSION Injury to the brain, occasionally with transient loss of consciousness as a result of injury or trauma to the head
CLOSED HEAD TRAUMA Injury to the head in which the dura mater remains intact and brain tissue is not exposed
VAGOTOMY Interruption of the function of the vagus nerve to relieve peptic ulcer
ATAXIA Lack of muscle coordination in the execution of voluntary movement
PARALYSIS Loss of voluntary motion in one or more muscle groups with or without loss of sensation
PSYCHOSIS Major emotional disorder in which contact with reality is lost to the point that the individual is incapable of meeting challenges of daily life
BIPOLAR DISORDER Mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, emotion, energy and ability to function; also called manic-depressive illness
DEPRESSION Mood disorder associated with sadness, despair, discouragement and, commonly, feelings of low self-esteem, guilt and withdrawal
MANIA Mood disorder characterized by mental and physical hyperactivity, disorganized behaviour and excessively elevated mood
LUMBAR PUNCTURE Needle puncture of the spinal cavity to extract spinal fluid for diagnostic purposes, introduce anesthetic agents into the spinal canal or remove fluid to allow other fluids to be injected; also called spinal puncture or spinal tap
CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM Network of nervous tissue found in the brain and spinal cord
NEUROSIS Nonpsychotic mental illness that triggers feelings of distress and anxiety and impairs normal behaviour
HERPES ZOSTER Painful, acute infectious disease of the posterior root ganglia of only a few segments of the spinal or cranial nerves; also called shingles
PALSY Paralysis, usually partial, and commonly characterized by weakness and shaking or uncontrolled tremor
THALAMOTOMY Partial destruction of the thalamus to treat intractable pain, involuntary movements or emotional disturbances
STEREOTAXIC RADIOSURGERY Precise method of locating and destroying sharply circumscribed lesions on specific, tiny areas of pathological tissue in deep-seated structures of the central nervous system (CNS); also called stereotaxy or stereotactic surgery
AURA Premonitory awareness of an approaching physical or mental disorder; peculiar sensation that precedes seizures
ANTICONVULSANTS Prevent uncontrolled neuron activity associated with seizures by altering electrical transmission along neurons or altering the chemical composition of neurotransmitters; also called anti-epileptics
ANESTHETICS Produce partial or complete loss of sensation with or without loss of consciousness
NERVE FIBER Projection of a neuron, especially the axon that transmits impulses
BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER Protective mechanism that blocks specific substances found in the bloodstream from entering delicate brain tissue
ANXIETY Psychological "worry" disorder characterized by excessive pondering or thinking "what if.."
AFFECTIVE DISORDER Psychological disorder in which the major characteristic is an abnormal mood, usually mania or depression
ANGIOGRAPHY Radiography of the blood vessels after introduction of a contrast medium
ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHY Recording of electrical activity in the brain, whose cells emit distinct patterns of rhythmic electrical impulses
ELECTROMYOGRAPHY Recording of electrical signals that occur in a muscle when it is at rest and during contraction to assess nerve damage
PSYCHOSTIMULANTS Reduce impulsive behaviour by increasing the level of neurotransmitters
POSITRON EMISSION TOMOGRAPHY Scan using computed tomography to record the positrons emitted from a radiopharmaceutical and produce a cross-sectional image of metaboloic activity in body tissues to determine the presence of disease
PARESTHESIA Sensation of numbness, prickling, tingling or heightened sensitivity
CEREBROSPINAL FLUID ANALYSIS Series of chemical, microscopic and microbial tests used to diagnose disorders of the central nervous system (CNS), including viral and bacterial infections, tumors and hemorrhage
SCIATICA Severe pain in the leg along the course of the sciatic nerve felt at the base of the spine, down the thigh, and radiating down the leg due to a compressed nerve
PANIC ATTACK Sudden, intense, overwhelming feeling of fear that comes without warning and is not attributable to any immediate danger
TREPHINATION Technique that cuts a circular opening into the skull to reveal brain tissue and decrease intracranial pressure (ICP)
CRYOSURGERY Technique that exposes abnormal tissue to extreme cold to destroy it
TRANSIENT ISCHEMIC ATTACK (TIA) Temporary interference with blood supply to the brain lasting from a few minutes to a few hours
SYNCOPE Temporary loss of consciousness due to the sudden decline of blood flow to the brain; also called fainting
NERVE CONDUCTION VELOCITY Test that measures the speed at which impulses travel through a nerve
TRACTOTOMY Transection of a nerve tract in the brainstem or spinal cord
ANTIDEPRESSANTS Treat multiple symptoms of depression by increasing levels of specific neurotransmitters
ANTIPSYCHOTICS Treat psychosis, paranoia, and schizophrenia by altering chemicals in the brain, including the limbic system (group of brain structure), which controls emotions
ASTHENIA Weakness, debility or loss of strength
NEUROGLIA Nerve glue
MICROCEPHALY Abnormally small head
Epilepsy Disorder characterized by seizures
HYPERKINESIA Excessive movement
APHASIA Inability to speak
ANAESTHESIA Without feeling, loss of sensation
NEURON A nerve cell; the functional cell of the nervous system; is responsible for impulse conduction
IDIOPATHIC Occurring without a known cause
ENCEPHALITIS Inflammation of the brain
MYELALGIA Pain in the spinal cord/bone marrow
DYSTROPHY Poor development
ANALGESICS Relieves or eliminates pain
CATATONIC Stuporous or unresponsiveness; inability to move or talk
Created by: Helen Swales