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192 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
abscence seizure
a small seizure in which there is a sudden, temporary loss of consciousness, lasting only a few seconds.
a chemical substance in the body tissues that facilitates the transmission of nerve impulses from one nerve to another
afferent nerves
transmitters of nerve impulses towrd the central nervous system; also known as sensory nerves
loss of mental ability to understand sensory stimuli, such as sight, sound or touch, even though the sensory organs themselves are functioning properly
the inability to convert one's thoughts into writing
the inability to understand written words
without sensitivity to pain
without feeling or sensation
a localized dilatation in the wall of an artery that expands with each pulsation of the artery; usually caused by hypertension or atherosclerosis
inablility to communicate through speech, writing or signs because of an injury to or disease in certain areas of the brain
inablility to perform coordinated movements or use objects properly; not associated with sensory or motor impairment or paralysis
arachnoid membrane
the weblike, middle layer of the three membranous layers surrounding the brain and spinal cord
a star-shaped neuroglial cell found in the central nervous system
a tumor of the brain or spinal cord composed of astrocytes
without muscular coordination
the sensation an individual experiences prior to the onset of a migraine headache or an epileptic seizure; it may be a sensation of light or warmth and may precede the attack by hours or only a few seconds
autonomic nervous system
the 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 part of the nerve cell that transports nerve impulses away from the nerve cell body
blood-brain barrier
a protective characteristic of the capillary walls of the brain that prevents the passage of harmful substances from the bloodstream into the brain tissue or cerebrospinal fluid
abnormally slow movement
brain stem
the stemlike portion of the brain that connects the cerebral hemisphere with the spinal cord. The brain stem contains the midbrain, the pons, and the medulla oblongata
Brudzinski's sign
a positive sign of meningitis, in which thre is an involuntary flexion of the arm, hip and knee when the patient's neck is passively flexed
burr hole
a hole drilled into the skull using a form of drill
cauda equina
the lower end of the spinal cord and the roots of the spinal nerves that occupy the spinal canal below the level of the first lumbar vertebra; so named because it resembles a horse's tail
a sensation of an acute burning pain along the path of a peripheral nerve, somtimes accompanied by erythema of the skin; due to injury to peripheral nerve fibers
cell body
the part of the cell that contains the nucleus and the cytoplasm
central nervous system
one of the two main divisions of the nervous system, consisting of the brain and the spinal cord
pain in the head; headache
the part of the brain responsible for coordinating voluntary muscular movement; located behind the brain stem
cerebral concussion
a brief interruption of brain function, usually with a loss of consciousness lasting for a few seconds. This transient loss of consciousness is usually caused by blunt trauma to the head.
cerebral contusion
small scattered venous hemorrhages in the brain; better described as a "bruise" of the brain tissue occurring when the brain strikes the inner skull.
cerbral cortex
the thin outer layer of nerve tissue, known as gray matter, that covers the surface of the cerebrum
cerebrospinal fluid
the fluid flowing through the brain and around the spinal cord that protects them from physical blow or impact
the largest and uppermost part of the brain; it controls consciousness, memory, sensations, emotions, and voluntary movements
Cheyne-Stokes respirations
an abnormal pattern of breathing characterized by periods of apnea followed by deep, rapid breathing
a deep sleep in which the invidual cannot be aroused and does not respond to external stimuli
pertains to being in a coma
a permanent shortening of a muscle causing a joint to remain in an abnormally flexed position, whith resultant physical deformity
one of the many elevated forlds of the surface of the cerebrum; also called a gyrus
a surgical incision into the cranium or skull
any deficiency or variation of the normal, as in a weakness deficit resulting from a cerbrovascular accident
a progressive, irreversible mental disorder in which the person has deteriorating memory, judgement, and ability to think
destruction or removal of the myelin sheath that covers a nerve or nerve fiber
a projetion that extends from the nerve cell body; it receives impulses and conducts them on to the cell body
the part of the brain that is located between the cerebrum and the midbrain. Its main structures consist of the thalamus, hypothalamus and pineal gland
dura mater
the outermost of the three membranes (meninges) surrounding the brain and spinal cord
a condition characterized by an impairment of the ability to read; letters and words are often reversed when reading
difficult speech
efferent nerves
transmitters of nerve implulses away from the central nervous system; also known as motor nerves
an abnormal condition in which a blood clot (embolus) becomes lodged in a blood vessel, obsturctiong the flow of blood within the vessel
epidural space
the space immediately outside of the dura mater that contains a supporting cushion of fat and other connective tissues
a neurological condition characterized by recurrent episodes of sudden, brief attacks of seizures; the seizure may vary from mild and unnoticeable to full-scale convulsive seizures
a deep groove on the surface of an organ
fontanelle or fontanel
a space covered by tough membrane between the bones of an infants cranium, called a soft spot
the style of walking
a knotlike mass of nerve tissue found outside the brain or spinal cord (plural; ganglia)
gray matter
the part of the nervous system consisting of axons that are not coverd with myelin sheath, giving a gray appearance
one of the many elevated folds of the surface of the cerebrum; plural: gyri
slight or partial paralysis of one half of the body; left or right side
paralysis of one half of the body; left or right side
herpes zoster
an 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
excessive sensitivity to sensory stimuli, such as pain or touch
excessive muscular movement and physical activity; hyperactivity
a part of the brain located below the thalamus that controls many functions such as body temperature, sleep and appetite
connecting neurons that conduct impulses from afferent nerves to or toward motor nerves
Kernig's sign
a diagnostic sign for meningitis marked by the person's inablility to extend the leg completely when the thigh is flexed upon the abdomen and the person is sitting or lying down
the study of muscle movement
a state of being sluggish. see stupor
longitudinal fissure
a deep groove in the middle of the cerebrum that divides the cerebrum into the right and left hemispheres
medulla oblongota
one of the three parts of the brain stem. The medulla oblongata is the most essential part of the brain in that it contains the cardiac, vasomotor and respiratory centers of the brain.
the three layers of protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord
small, neuroglial cells found in the interstitial tissue of the nervous system that engulf cellular debris, waste products, and pathogens within the nerve tissue
the uppermost part of the brain stem
motor nerves
efferent nerves; transmitters of nerve implulses away from the central nervous system; also known as motor nerves
myelin sheath
a protective sheath that covers the axons of many nerves in the body; it acts as an electrical insulator and helps to speed the conduction of nerve impulses
uncontrolled, sudden attacks of sleep
a cordlike bundle of nerve fibers that transmit impulses to and from the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body; a nerve is macroscopic (able to be seen without the aid of a microscope)
nerve block
the 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
severe, sharp, spasmlike pain that extends along the course of one or more nerves
inflammation of a nerve
the supporting tissue of the nervous system
a physician who specializes in treating the diseases and disorders of the nervous system
the study of the nervous system and its disorders
a nerve cell
a physician who specializes in surgery of the nervous system
any surgery involving the nervous system (brain, spinal cord or peripheral nerves)
a chemical substance within the body that activates or inhibits te transmission of nerve impulses between synapses
nuchal rigidity
rigidity of the neck; the neck is resistant to flexion. This condition is seen in patients with meningitis
a type of neurolglial cell found in the interstitial tissue of the nervous system; its dendrite projections coil around the axons of many neurons to form the myelin sheath
paralysis of the lower extremities and trunk, usually due to spinal cord injuries
parasympathetic nerves
nerves of the autonomic nervous system that regulate involuntary, essential body functions such as slowing the heart rate, increasing peristalsis of the intestines, increasing glandular secretions and relaxing sphincters
copying or producing the same effects as those of the parasympathetic nerves; "to mimic" the parasympathetic nerves
a sensation of numbness or tingling
peripheral nervous system
the part of the nervous system outside the central nervous system, consisting of 12 pairs of cranial nerves and 31 pairs of spinal nerves
the process by which certain cells engulf and destroy microorganisms and cellular debris
pia mater
the innermost of the three membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord
pineal body
pineal gland
a small cone-shape structure located in the diencephalon of the brain; thought to be involved in regulating the body's biological clock; produces melatonin; also called the pineal gland
a network of interwoven nerves
the part of the brain that is located between the medulla oblongata and the midbrain; it acts as a bridge to connect the medulla oblongata and the cerebellum to the upper portions of the brain
paralysis of all four extremities and the trunk of the body; caused by injury to the spinal cord at the level of the cervical vertebrae
radiculotomy or rhizotomy
the surgicaal resection of a spinal nerve root; a procedure performed to relieve pain
a sensory nerve ending (a nerve ending that receives impulses and responds to various kinds of stimulation)
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
pertaining to sensation
a tube or passage that diverts or redirects body fluid from one cavity or vessel to another; may be a congenital defect or may be artificially constructed for the purpose of redirecting fluid, as a shunt used in hydrocephalus
somatic nervous system
the part of the peripheral nervous system that provides voluntary control over skeletal muscle contractions
any agent or factor capable of initiating a nerve impulse
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 cerebrospinal fluid
subdural space
the space located just beneath the dura mater that contains serous fluid
a depression or shallow groove on the surface of an organ; as a sulcus that suparates any of the convolutions of the cerebral hemispheres (plural: sulci)
sympathetic nerves
nerves of the autonomic nervous system that regulate involuntary, essential body functions such as increasing the heart rate, constricting blood vessels, and raising the blood pressure
copying or producing the same effects as those of the sympathetic nerves; "to mimic" the sympathetic nerves
the space between the end of one nerve and the beginning of another through whcih nerve impulses are transmitted
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 on to the cerebral cortex
an abnormal condition in which a clot develops in a blood vessel
tonic-clonic seizure
a seizure haracterized by the presence of muscle contraction or tension followed by relaxation, creating a "jerking" movement of the body
ventricle, brain
a small hollow within the brain that is filled with cerbrospinal fluid
an injury to the cervical verebrae and their supporting structures due to a sudden back and forth, jerking movement of the head and neck.
white matter
the part of the nervous system consisting of axons that are covered with myelin sheath, giving a white appearance.
Alzheimer's Disease (AD)
Deterioration of a person's intellectual functioning. Alzheimer's is progressive and extremely debilitating. It begins with minor memory loss and progresses to complete loss of mental, emotional and physical functioning, frequently occuring in persons over 65 years of age
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
(ALS - Lou Gehrig's disease)
A severe weakening and wasting of the involved muscle groups, usually beginning with the hands and progressing to the shoulders and upper arms then the legs, caused by decreased nerve innervation to the muscle groups
Abscence of the brain and spinal cord at birth, a congenital disorder that is incompatible with life.
Bell's palsy
a temporary or permanent unilateral weakness or paralysis of the muscles in the face following trauma to the face, and unknown infection or tumor pression on the facial nerve rendering it paralyzed
brain abscess
An accumulation of pus located anywhere in the brain tissue due to an infectious process, either a primary local infection or an infection secondary to another infectious process in the body
carpal tunnel syndrome
A pinching or compression of the median nerve within the carpal tunnel due to inflammation and swelling of the tendons causing intermittent or continuous pain that is greatest at night.
Cerebral concussion
a brief interruption of brain function usually with a loss of consciousness lasting for a few seconds
cerebral contusion
a small, scattered venous hemorrhage in the brain, or better described as a bruise of the brain tissue, occuring when the brain strikes the inner skull
Cerebral Palsy
a collective term used to describe congenital (at birth) brain damage that is permanent but not progressive. It is 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 stroke
degenerative disk
the deterioration of the intervertebral disk, usually due to constant motion and wearing on the disk.
the inflammation of the brain or spinal cord tissue largely caused 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
a syndrome of recurring epsiodes of excessive irregular electrical activity of the central nervous system called seizures
grand mal seizure
an epileptic seizure characterized by a sudden loss of consciousness, and generalized involuntary muscular contraction, vacillating 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 plyneuritits (inflammation of many nerves) of the peripheral nervous system in which the myelin sheaths on the axons are destroyed, resulting in decreased nerve impulses, loss of reflex response, and sudden muscle weakness, which usually follows a viral gastrointestinal or respiratory infection
headache (cephalalgia)
pain anywhere within the cranial cavity varying in intensity from mild to severe, may be chronic or acute and may occur as a result of a disease process or be totally benign. The majority of headches are transient and produce mild pain that is relieved by a mild analgesic.
migraine headache
is a recurring, pulsating, vascular headache usually developing on one side of the head; characterized by a slow onset that may be preceded by an aura during which a sensory disturbance occurs, such as confusion or some visual interference.
cluster headache
occurs typically 2 to 3 hours after falling asleep; described as extreme pain around one 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, epidural
a collection of blood (hematoma) located above the dura mater and just below the skull
hematoma, subdural
a collection of blood below the dura mater and above the arachnoic layer of the meninges
herniated disk
a rupture or herniation of the disk center (nucleus pulposus) through the disk wall and into the spinal canal, causing pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots
Huntington's chorea
an inherited neurological disease characterized by rapid, jerky, involuntary movements and increasing dementia due to the effects of the basal ganglia on the neurons
an abnormal increase of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain that causes the venticles of the brain to dilate, resulting in an increased head circumference in the infant with open fontanels; a congenital disorder
intracranial tumors
occur in any structural region of the brain. They may be malignant or benign, classified as primary or secondary and are named according to the tissue from which they originate
primary intracranial tumors
arise from gliomas, malignant glial cells that are support for nerve tissue, and tumors that arise from the meninges
metastatic intercranial tumors
occur as a result of a metastasis from a primary site such as the lung or breast.
meningitis (acute bacterial)
a serious bacterial infection of the meninges - the covering of the brain and spinal cord - that can have residual debilitating effects or even a fatal outcome if not diagnosed and treated promptly with appropriate antibiotic therapy
multiple sclerosis (MS)
a degenerative inflammatory disease of the central nervous system attacking the myelin sheath in the spinal cord and brain, leaving it sclerosed (hardened) or scarred.
masthenia gravis
a chronic progressive neuromuscular disorder causing servere skeletal muscle weakness (without atrophy) and fatigue, which occurs at different levels of severity
a highly malignant tumor of the sympathetic nervous system
Parkinson's Disease
a degerative, slowly progressive deterioriation of nerves in the brain stem's motor system, characterzied by a gradual onset of symptoms, such as a stooped posture with the body flexed forward; a bowed head; a shuffling gait; pill-rolling gestures; and expressionless, masklike facial appearance; muffled speech; and swallowing difficulty
peripheral neuritis
a general term indicating inflammation of one or more peripheral nerves, the effects being dependent upon the particular nerve involved.
an infectious viral disease entering through the upper respiratory tract and affecting the ability of spinal cord and brain motor neurons to receive stimulation. Muscles affected become paralyzd without the motor nerve stimulation (ie respiratory paralysis requires ventilatory support.)
postpolio syndrome
progressive weakness occurring at least 30 years after the initial poliomyelitis attack
Reye's syndrome
an acute brain encephalopathy along with fatty infiltration of the internal organs that may follow accute viral infections; occurs in children under the age of 18, often with a fatal result. There are confirmed studies linking the onset of Reye's syndrome to aspirin administration during a viral illness.
skull fracture (depressed)
a broken segment fo the skull bone thrust into the brain as a result of a direct force, usually a blunt object, is a skull fracture
spina bifida cystica
a congenital defect of the central nervous system in which the back portion of one or more vertebrae is not closed normally and a cyst protrudes through the opening in the back, usually at the level of the fifth lumbar or first sacral vertebrae.
a cystlike sac covered with skin or a thin membrane protruding through the bony defect in the vertebraae containing meninges and CSF
a cystlike sac covered with skin or a thin membrane protruding through the bony defect in the vertebrae that contains meninges, CSF adn spinal cord segments
spina bifida occulta
a congenital defect of the central nervous system in which the back portion of one or more vertebrae is not closed A dimpling over the area may occur.
spinal cord injuries
(paraplegia & quadriplegia)
severe injuries to the spinal cord, such a vertebral dislocation or vertebral fractures, resulting in impairment of spinal cord function below the level of the injury
paralysis of the lower extremities, is caused by severe injury to the spinal cord in the thoracic or lumbar region, resulting in loss of sensory and motor control below the level of injury.
follows severe trauma to the spinal cord between the 5th & 8th cervical vertebrae, generally resulting in loss of motor and sensory function below the level of injury
Tay-Sachs disease
a congenital disorder caused by altered lipid metabolism, resulting from an enzyme deficiency
trigeminal neuralgia
(tic douloureux)
short periods of severe unilateral pain, which radiates along the fifth cranial nerve
Babinski's reflex
can be tested by stroking the sole of the foot, beginning at midheel and moving upward and lateral to the toes. A positive Babinski's occurs when there is dorsiflexion of the great toe and fanning of the other toes. Indicates upper motor neuron disease
brain scan
a brain scan is a nuclear counter scanning of cranial contents 2 hours after an intravenous injection of radioisotopes
cerebral angiography
visualization fo the cerebral vascular system via x-ray after the injection of a radiopaque contrast medium into an arterial blood vessel (carotid, femoral or brachial)
cerebrospinal fluid analysis
cerebrospinal fluid that is obtained from a lumbar puncture is analyzed for the presence of bacteria, blook or malignant cells, as well as the amount f protein and glucose present.
CT scan of the brain
computerized tomography is the analysis of three-dimensional view of brain tissue obtained as x-ray beams pass through successive horizontal layers of the brain
a neurosurgical procedure for pain control accomplished through a laminectomy in which there is surgical interference of pathways within the spinal cord that control pain
cisternal puncture
involves insertion of a short, beveled spinal needle into the cisterna magna (a shallow reservoir of CSF between the medulla and the cerebellum) to drain CSF or obtain a CSF specimen
a surgical procedure that makes and opening into the skull
ultrasound used to analyze the intracranial structures of the brain
electroencephalography (EEG)
measurement of electrical activity produced by the brain and recorded through electrodes placed on the scalp
the surgical removal of the bony arches from one or more vertebrae to relieve pressure from the spinal cord
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
MRI of the brain
this noninvasive scanning procedure provides visualization of fluid, soft tissue, and bony structures without the use of radiation
the introduction of contrast medium into the lumbar subarachnoid space through a lumbar puncture in order to visualize the spinal cord and vertebral canal through x-ray examination
is a neurosurgical procedure to relieve pain in a localized or small area by incision of cranial or peripheral nerves
used to radiographically visualize one of the ventricles or fluid occupying spaces in the central nervous system
positron emission tomography (PET scan)
produces computerized radiographic images of various body structures when radioactive substances are inhaled or injected
Romberg test
used to evaluate cerebellar function and balance
sterotaxic neurosurgery
performed on a precise locatoin of an area within the brain that controls specific functions and may involve destruction of brain tissue with various agents such as heat, cold and sclerosing or corrosive fluids
a surgical procedure used to interrupt a portion of the sympathetic nerve pathway, for the purpose of relieving chronic pain.
involves a craniotomy, through which the anterolateral pathway in the brain stem is surgically divided in an attempt to relieve pain
transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
a form of cutaneous stimulation for pain relief that supplies electrical impulses to the nerve endings of a nerve close to the pain site