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Chapter 10

Nervous System

acetylcholine Neurotransmitter chemical released at the ends of nerve cells.
afferent nerve Carries messages TOWARD the brain and spinal cord (sensory nerve).
arachnoid membrane Middle layer of the three membranes (meninges) that surround the brain and spinal cord.
astrocyte Type of glial (neuroglial) cell that transports water and salts from capillaries.
autonomic nervous system Nerves that control involuntary body functions of muscles, glands, and internal organs.
axon Microscopic fiber that carries the nervous impulse along a nerve cell.
blood-brain barrier Blood vessels (capillaries)that selectively let certain substances enter the brain tissue and keep other substances out.
brainstem Lower portion of the brain that connects the cerebrum with the spinal cord; includes the pons and medulla oblongata.
cauda equina Collection of spinal nerves below the end of the spinal cord
cell body Part of a nerve cell that contains the nucleus.
central nervous system (CNS) Brain and the spinal cord
cerebellum Posterior part of the brain that coordinates muscle movements and maintains balance.
cerebral cortex Outer region of the cerebrum, containing sheets of nerve cells; gray matter of the brain.
cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Circulates throughout the brain and spinal cord.
cerebrum Largest part of the brain; responsible for voluntary muscular activity, vision, speech, taste, hearing, thought, and memory.
cranial nerves Twelve pairs of nerves that carry messages to and from the brain with regard to the head and neck (except the vagus nerve).
dendrite Microscopic branching fiber of a nerve cell that is the first part to receive the nervous impulse.
dura mater Thick, outermost layer of the meninges surrounding and protecting the brain and spinal cord.
efferent nerve Carries messages AWAY FROM the brain and spinal cord; motor nerve.
ependymal cell Glial cell that lines membranes within the brain and spinal cord and helps form cerebrospinal fluid.
ganglion (ganglia - plural) Collection of nerve cell bodies in the peripheral nervous system.
glial cell (neuroglial cell) Supportive and connective nerve cell that does not carry nervous impulses. Examples are astrocytes, microglial cells, ependymal cells, and oligodendrocytes.
gyrus (gyri - plural) Sheet of nerve cells that produces a rounded ridge on the surface of the cerebral cortex; convolution.
hypothalamus Portion of the brain beneath the thalamus; controls sleep, appetite, body temperature, and secretions from the pituitary gland.
medulla oblongata Part of the brain just above the spinal cord; controls breathing, heartbeat, and the size of blood vessels; nerve fibers cross over here.
meninges Three protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.
microglial cell Phagocytic glial cell that removes waste products from the central nervous system.
motor nerve Carries messages away from the brain and spinal cord to muscles and organs; efferent nerve.
myelin sheath Covering of white fatty tissue that surrounds and insulates the axon of a nerve cell. Myelin speeds impulse conduction along axons.
nerve Macroscopic cord-like collections of fibers (axons and dendrites) that carry electrical impulses.
neuron Nerve cell that carries impulses throughout the body.
neurotransmitter Chemical messenger released at the end of a nerve cell. It stimulates or inhibits another cell, which can be a nerve cell, muscle cell, or gland cell. Examples of neurotransmitters are acetylcholine, norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin.
oligodendroglial cell Glial cell that forms the myelin sheath covering axons. Also called oligodendrocyte.
parasympathetic nerves Involuntary, autonomic nerves that regulate normal body functions such as heart rate, breathing, and muscles of the gastrointestinal tract.
parenchyma (par EN ki ma) Essential, distinguishing tissue of organ/system. NERVOUS = brain, spinal cord, neurons. LIVER = hepatocytes. KIDNEY = nephrons where urines forms.
peripheral nervous system Nerves outside the brain and spinal cord; cranial, spinal, and autonomic nerves.
pia mater Thin, delicate inner membrane of the meninges.
plexus (plexuses - plural) Large, interlacing network of nerves. Examples are lumbosacral, cervical, and brachial plexuses.
pons Part of the brain anterior to the cerebellum and between the medulla and the rest of the midbrain. It is a bridge connecting various parts of the brain.
receptor Organ that receives a nervous stimulus and passes it on to afferent nerves. The skin, ears, eyes, and taste buds are receptors.
sciatic nerve Nerve extending from the base of the spine down the thigh, lower leg, and foot. Sciatica is pain or inflammation along the course of the nerve.
sensory nerves Thirty-one pairs of nerves arising from the spinal cord.
stimulus (stimuli - plural) Agent of change (light, sound, touch)in the internal or external environment that evokes a response.
stroma Connective and supporting tissue of an organ. Glial cells are the stromal tissue of the brain.
sulcus (sulci - plural) Depression or groove in the surface of the cerebral cortex; fissure.
sympathetic nerves Autonomic nerves that influence bodily functions involuntarily in times of stress.
synapse Space through which a nervous impulse travels between nerve cells or between nerve and muscle or glandular cells.
thalamus Main relay center of the brain. It conducts impulses between the spinal cord and the cerebrum; incoming sensory messages are relayed through the thalamus to appropriate centers in the cerebrum.
vagus nerve Tenth cranial nerve; its branches reach to the larynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs, aorta, esophagus, and stomach. Unlike other nerves, vagus leaves head and wanders into abdominal and thoracic cavities.
ventricles of the brain Canals in the brain that contain cerebrospinal fluid.
hydrocephalus Abnormal Accumulation of fluid (CSF) in the brain.
spina bifida Congenital defects in the lumbar spinal column caused by imperfect union of vertebral parts(neural tube defect).
spina bifida occulta vertebral defect is covered over with skin and only evident in x-ray.
spina bifida cystica More severe with cyst-like protrustions.
spina bifida cystica with meningocele Meninges protrudes to outside of body.
Alzheimer disease (AD) Brain disorder marked by gradual and progressive mental deterioration (dementia), personality changes, and impairment of daily functioning.
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Degenerative disorder of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brainstem. Lou Gehrig disease
epilepsy Chronic brain disorder characterized by recurrent seizure activity.
Huntington disease Hereditary disorder marked by degenerative changes in the cerebrum leading to abrupt involuntary movements and mental deterioration.
multiple sclerosis (MS) Destruction of the myelin sheath on neurons in the CNS and its replacement by plaques of sclerotic (hard) tissue.
myasthenia gravis (MG) Autoimmune neuromuscular disorder characterized by weakness of voluntary muscles.
palsy Paralysis (partial or complete loss of motor function).
cerebral palsy Partial paralysis & lack of muscular coordination caused by loss of oxygen or blood flow to the cerebrum during pregnancy or perinatal period.
bell palsy Paralysis on one side of face. Likely caused by a viral infection.
Parkinson disease (parkinsonism) Degeneration of neurons in the basal ganglia, occurring in later life and leading to tremors, weakness of muscles, and slowness of movement. Cause by a deficiency of dopamine.
Tourette syndrome Involuntary, spasmodic, twitching movements; uncontrollable vocal sounds; and inappropriate words.
herpes zoster (shingles) Viral infection affecting peripheral nerves.
meningitis Inflammation of the meninges; leptomeningitis.
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) encephalopathy Brain disease and dementia occurring with AIDS.
brain tumor Abnormal growth of brain tissue and meninges.
cerebral concussion Temporary brain dysfunction (brief loss of consciousness) after injury, usually clearing within 24 hours.
cerebral contusion Bruising of brain tissue as a result of direct trauma to the head; neurologic deficits persist longer than 24 hours.
cerebrovascular accident (CVA) Disruption in the normal blood supply to the brain; stroke.
migraine Severe, recurring, unilateral, vascular headache.
absence seizure Minor form of seizure, consisting of momentary clouding of consciousness and loss of awareness of surroundings.
aneurysm Enlarged, weakened area in an arterial wall, which may rupture, leading to hemorrhage and CVA (stroke).
astrocytoma Malignant tumor of astrocytes (glial brain cells).
aura Peculiar symptom or sensation occurring before the onset of an attack of migraine or an epileptic seizure.
dementia Mental decline and deterioration.
demyelination Destruction of myelin on axons of neurons (as in multiple sclerosis).
dopamine CNS neurotransmitter, deficient in patient with Parkinson disease.
embolus Clot of material that travels through the bloodstream and suddenly blocks a vessel.
gait Manner of walking.
ictal event Pertaining to a sudden, acute onset, as with the convulsions of a epileptic seizure.
occlusion Blockage
palliative Relieving symptoms but not curing them.
thymectomy Removal of the thymus gland; used as treatment for myasthenia gravis.
TIA Transient ischemic attack.
tic Involuntary movement of a small group of muscles, as of the face; characteristic of Tourette syndrome.
tonic-clonic seizure Major convulsive seizure marked by sudden loss of consciousness, stiffening of muscles, and twitching and jerking movements.
cerebrospinal fluid analysis Samples of CSF are examined. Used to diagnose infection, tumors, or multiple sclerosis.
cerebral angiography X-ray imaging of the arterial blood vessel in the brain after injection of contrast material. Used to diagnose vascular disease (aneurysm, occlusion, hemorrhage) in the brain.
computed tomography (CT) of the brain X-ray technique that generates computerized multiple images of the brain and spinal cord.
myelography X-ray imaging of the spinal canal after injection of contrast medium into the subarachnoid space. Now being replaced with CT & MRI scans.
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Magnetic field and pulses of radiowave energy create images of the brain and spinal cord.
positron emission tomography (PET) scan Radioactive glucose is injected and then detected in the brain to image the metabolic activity of cells. Used to diagnose Alzheimer disease, stroke, schizophrenia, and epilepsy.
Doppler ultrasound studies Sound waves detect blood flow in the carotid and intracranial arteries. Detects occlusion in blood vessels.
electroencephalography (EEG) Recording of the electrical activity of the brain.
lumbar puncture (LP) CSF is withdrawn from between two lumbar vertebrae for analysis. Another name is spinal tap.
stereotactic radiosurgery Use of a specialized instrument to locate and treat targets in the brain. A high-energy radiation beam treats deep tumors and abnormal blood vessel masses.
AD Alzheimer disease
AFP alpha-fetoprotein; elevated levels in amniotic fluid and maternal blood are associated with congenital malformations of nervous system. Anencephaly and spina bifida
ALS amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - Lou Gehrig disease
AVM arteriovenous malformation; congenital tangle of arteries and veins in the cerebrum.
CNS central nervous system
CSF cerebrospinal fluid
CT computed tomography
CVA cerebrovascular accident
EEG electroencephalography
GABA gamma-aminobutyric acid (neurotransmitter)
ICP intracranial pressure (normal pressure is 5 to 15 MM Hg)
LP lumbar puncture
MAC monitored anesthetic care
MG myasthenia gravis
MRA magnetic resonance angiography
MRI magnetic resonance imaging
MS multiple sclerosis
1/2P hemiparesis
PCA patient-controlled anesthesia
PET positron emission tomography
PNS peripheral nervous system
PSRS proton stereotactic radiosurgery
Sz seizure
TBI traumatic brain injury
TENS transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation; technique using a battery-powered device to relieve acute and chronic pain.
TIA transient ischemic attack; temporary interference with the blood supply to the brain
TLE temporal lobe epilepsy
tPA tissue plasminogen activator; a clot-dissolving drug used as therapy for stroke.
cerebell/o cerebellum
cerebr/o cerebrum
dur/o dura mater
encephal/o brain
gli/o glial cells
lept/o thin, slender
my/o muscle
myel/o spinal cord (means bone marrow in other contexts)
neur/o nerve
pont/o pons
radicul/o nerve root (of spinal nerves)
thalam/o thalamus
thec/o sheath (refers to the meninges)
vag/o vagus nerve (10th cranial nerve)
alges/o, -algesia excessive sensitivity to pain
-algia pain
caus/o burning
comat/o deep sleep (coma)
esthesi/o, -esthesia feeling, nervous sensation
kines/o kinesi/o -kinesia -kinesis -kinetic movement
-lepsy seizure
lex/o word, phrase
-paresis weakness
-phasia speech
-plegia paralysis (loss or impairment of the ability to move parts of the body)
-praxia action
-sthenia strength
syncop/o to cut off, cut short
tax/o order, coordination
meningi/o meninges
spinal bifida cystica with myelomeningocele Both spinal cord and meninges protrude from body
Created by: S1159017



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