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Nervous System


Afferent Nerves Transmitters of nerve impulses towards the CNS; also known as sensory nerves.
Agraphia The inability to convert one's thoughts into writing.
Alexia The inability to understand written words.
Analgesia without sensitivity to pain.
Anesthesia without feeling or sensation.
Aneurysm localized dilatation in the wall of an artery that expands with each pulsation of the artery; usually cause by hypertension or atherosclerosis.
Aphasia inability to communicate through speech, writing, or signs because of an injury to or disease in certain areas of the brain.
Apraxia inability to perform coordinated movements or use objects properly.
Ataxia without muscular coordination.
Aura the sensation of an individual experiences prop to the onset of a migraine headache or an epileptic seizure. May be a sensation to light or warmth and may precede the attack by hours or only a few seconds.
Autonomic Nervous System part of the nervous system that regulates the involuntary vital functions of the body, such as the activities involving the heart muscle, smooth muscles, and the glands. The autonomic nervous system has 2 divisions: SNS and the PNS.
Axon the part of the nerve cell that transports nerve impulses away from the nerve cell body.
Blood-brain Barrier protective characteristics of the capillary walls of the brain that prevents that passage of harmful substances from the bloodstream into the brain tissue or CSF.
Bradykinesia abnormally slow movement.
Brain Stem the stemlike portion of the brain that connects the cerebral hemisphere with the spinal cord. Contains the midbrain, the pons, and the medulla oblongata.
Brudzinki's Sign a positive sign of meningitis, in which there is an involuntary flexion of the arm, hip and knee when the patient's neck is passively flexed.
Burr Hole hole drilled into the skull using a form of drill.
Cell Body the part of the cell that contains the nucleus and the cytoplasm.
Central Nervous System 1 of the 2 main divisions of the nervous system, consisting of the brain and spinal cord.
cephalagia pain in the head; headache.
Cerebellum the part of the brain responsible for coordinating voluntary muscular movement; located behind the brain stem.
Cerebral Concussion a breif interupption of the brain function, usually with the loss of conciousness lasting for a few seconds. This transient loss of consciousness is usually cause by a blow to the head.
Cerebral Contusion small scattered venous hemorrhages in the brain; better decribed as a "bruise" of the brain tissue occurring when the brain strikes the inner skull.
Cerebrospinal Fluid the fluid flowing through the brain and around the spinal cord that protects them from phsyical blow or impact.
Cerebrum the largest and uppermost part of the brain. it controls consciousness, memory, sensation, emotions, and voluntary movements.
Coma deep sleep in which the individual cannot be aroused and does not respond to external stimuli.
Craniotomy surgical incision into the cranium or skull
Deficit any deficiency or variation of the normal, as in a weakness deficit resulting from a cerebrovascular accident.
Dementia progressive irreversible mental disorder in which the person has deteriorating memory, judgement, and ability to think.
Demyelination destruction or removal of the myelin sheath that covers a nerve or nerve fiber.
Dysphasia difficult speech.
Efferent nerves transmitters of nerve impulses away from the CNS; also known as motor nerves.
Hemiplegia Paralysis of one half of the body. (right or left side)
Herpes Zoster acute infection caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, characterized by painful vesicular lesions along the path of a spinal nerve; also called shingles.
Hyperesthesia excessive sensitivity to sensory stimuli; such as pain or touch.
Internuerons connecting nureons that conduct impulses from afferent nerves to or toward motor nerves.
Lethargy a state of being sluggish
Medulla Oblongata 1 of the 3 parts of the brain stem. the most essential part of the brain in taht it contains the cadiac, vascomotor, and respiratory centers of the brain.
Meninges the 3 layers of protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.
Myelin Sheath protective sheath that covers the axons on many nerves in the body. it acts as an electrical insulator and helps to speed the conduction of nerve impulses.
Narcolepsy uncontrolled, sudden attacks of sleep.
Nerve cordlike bundle of nerve fibers that transmit impulses to and from the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body. it's macroscopic.
Nerve Block injection of a local anesthetic along the course of a nerve or nerves to eliminate sensation to the area supplied by the nerves; also called conduction anesthesia.
Neuralgia severe, sharp, spasmlike pain that extends along the course of one or more nerves.
Neuritis inflammation of a nerve.
Neurolgia the supporting tissue of the nervous system.
Neurologist physician who specializes in treating the diseases and disorders of the nervous system.
Neurology the study of the nervous system and it's disorders.
Neuron a nerve cell.
Neurosurgeon a physician who specializes in surgery of the nervous system.
Neurosurgery any surgery involving the nervous system.
Neurotransmitter a chemical substance within the body that activates or inhibits the transmission of nerve impulses at synapses.
Nuchal Rigidity rigidity of the neck. The neck is resistant to flexion. the condition is seen in patients with meningitis.
Occlusion blockage.
Oligodendrocyte type of neurogical cell found in the interstital tisue of the nervous system. it's dendrite projections coil around the axons of many neurons to form the myelin sheath.
Palliative soothing.
Paraplegia paralysis of the lower extremeties and trunk, usually due to spinal cord injuries.
Parasympathethic Nerves nerves of the ANS that regulate essential involuntary body functions such as slowing the heart rate, increasing peristalsis of the intestines, increasing glandular secretions, and relaxing sphincters.
Paresthesia a sensation of numbness or tingling.
Peripheral Nervous System the part of the nervous system outside the CNS, consisting of 12 pairs of cranial nerves and 31 pairs of spinal nerves.
Phagocytes to eat.
Pineal Body small cone-shaped structure (located in the diencephalon of the brain) thought to be involved in regulating the body's biological clock and that produces melatonin; also called the pineal gland.
Plexus a network of interwoven nerves.
Quadriplegia paralysis of all 4 extremities and the trunk of the body; cause by injury to the spinal cord at the level of the cervical vertebrae.
Receptor a sensory nerve ending.
Sciatica inflammation of the sciatic nerve. characterized by pain along the course of the nerve, radiating through the thigh and down the back of the leg.
Sensory Pertaining to sensation.
Sensory Nerves Transmitters of nerve impulses toward the CNS; also known as afferent nerves.
Somatic Nervous System the part of the PNS that provides voluntary control over skeletal muscle contractions.
Stupor a state of lethargy. the person is unresponsive and seems unaware of his or her surroundings.
Subarachnoid Space the space located just under the arachnoid membrane that contains CSF.
Sympathetic Nerves nerves of the ANS that regulate essential involuntary body functions such as increasing the heart rate, constricting blood vessels, and raising the blood pressure.
Synapse the space between the end of one nerve and the beginning of another, through which nerve impulses are transmitted.
Syncope fainting.
Thalamus the part of the brain located between the cerebral hemispheres and the midbrain. The thalamus receives all sensory stimuli, except those of smell, and relays them to the cerebral cortex.
Thrombosis an abnormal condition in which a clot develops in a blood vessel.
Ventricle, Brain a small hollow within the brain that is filled with cerebrospinal fluid.
Whiplash an injury to the cervical vertebrae and their supporting structures due to a sudden back-and-forth jerking movement of the head and neck. Whiplash may occur as a result of an automobile being struck suddenly from the rear.
Alzheimer's Disease deterioration of a person's intellectual functioning. progressive and extremely debilitating.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) a severe weakening and wasting of the involved muscle groups, usually beginning with the hands and progressing to the shoulders, upper arms, and legs. Caused by decreased nerve innervation to the muscle groups.
Anencephaly an absence of the brain and spinal cord at birth, a congenital disorder.
Bell's Palsy temporary or permanent unilateral weakness or paralysis of the muscles in the face following trauma to the face, an unknown infection, or a tumor pressing on the facial nerve rendering it paralyzed.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome a pinching or compression of the median nerve within the carpal tunnel due to inflammation and swelling of the tendons, causeing intermittent or continuous pain that is greatest at night.
Cerebral Palsy a collective term used to describe congenital (at birth) brain damage that is permanent but not progressive. Characterized by the child's lack of control of voluntary muscles.
Cerebrovascular Accident, CVA involves death of a specific portion of brain tissue, resulting from a decrease in blood flow (ischemia) to that area of the brain; also called a stroke.
Degenerative Disk the deterioration of the intervertebral disk, usually due to constant motion or wear on the disk.
Encephalitis the inflammation of the brain or spinal cord tissue largely cuase by a virus that enters the CNS when the person experiences a viral disease such as measles or mumps or through the bite of a mosquito or tick.
Epilepsy syndrome of recurring episodes of excessive irregular electrical activity of the brain resulting in involuntary muscle movements called seizures.
Grand Mal Seizure epileptic seizure characterized by a sudden loss of consciousness and by generalized involuntary muscular contractions, vascillating between rigid body extension and an alternating contracting and relaxing of muscles.
Petit Mal Seizure small seizures in which there is a sudden temporary loss of consciousness lasting only a few seconds; also known as absence seizures.
Guillain-Barre Syndrome acute polyneuritis ("inflammation of many nerves") Of the PNS in which the myelin sheaths on the axons are destroyed, resulting in decreased nerve impulses, loss of reflex response, and sudden muscle weakness.
Migraine Headache recurring, pulsating, vascular headache usually developing on one side of the head.
Cluster Headache occurs typically 2 or 3 hours after falling asleep; described as extreme pain around 1 eye that wakens the person from sleep.
Tension Headache occurs from long, endured contraction of the skeletal muscles around the face, scalp, upper back, and neck.
Hematoma, Subdural collection of blood below the dura mater and above the arachnoid layer of meninges.
Herniated Disk rupture or herniation of the disk center through the disk wall and into the spinal canal, causing pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots.
Huntington's Chorea inherited neurological disease characterized by rapid, jerky, involunatry movements and increasing dementia due to the effects of the basal ganglia on the neurons.
Hydrocephalus abnormal increase of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain that causes the ventricles of the brain to dilate, resulting in an increased head circumference in the infant with open fontanel(s); a congenital disorder.
Meningitis (acute bacterial) serious bacterial infections of the meninges- the covering of the brain and spinal cord.
Multiple Sclerosis degenerative inflammatory disease of the CNS attacking the myelin sheath in the spinal cord and brain, leaving it sclerosed (hardened) of scarred and interrupting the flow of nerve impulses
Neuroblastoma highly malignant tumor of the sympathetic nervous system.
Parkinson's Disease degenerative, slowly progressive deteriorating of nerves in the brain stem's motor system.
Reye's Syndrome acute brain encephalopathy along with fatty infiltration of the internal organs that may follow acute viral infections; occures in children (ages 5-11) often with fatal result.
Cerebral Angiography visualization of the cerebral vascular system via X-Ray after the injection of a radiopaque contrast medium into an arterial blood vessel (carotoid, femoral, or brachial).
CT Scan Of The Brain the analysis of a 3-dimensional view of brain tissue obtained as X-ray beams pass through successive horizontal layers of the brain; also called computerized axial tomography (CAT scan).
Electroencephalography, EEG measurement of electrical activity produced by the brain and recorded through electrodes placed on the scalp is termed electroencephalography.
Lumbar Puncture involves the insertion of a hollow needle and stylet into the subarachnoid space, generally between the third and fourth lumbar vertebrae below the level of the spinal cord under strict aseptic technique.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) noninvasive scanning procedure that provides visualization of fluid, soft tissue, and bony structures without the use of radiation.
Neurectomy neosurgical procedure to relieve pain in a localized or small area by incision of cranial or peripheral nerves.
PET Scan produces computerized radiographic images of various body structures when radioactive substances are inhaled or injected. (Positron Emission Tomography)
Romberg Test used to evaluate cerebellar function and balance.
TENS form of cutaneous stimulation for pain relief that supplies electrical impulses to the nerve endings of a nerve close to the pain site. (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
Created by: kmariemurray
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