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153 terms

Medical Terminology - Chapter 10

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Acetylcholine
Neurotransmitter chemical released at the ends of nerve cells.
Afferent nerves
Carry nervous impulses toward the brain and spinal cord; sensory nerves.
Akinetic
Pertaining to loss or absence of voluntary movement.
Analgesia
Absence of sensitivity to pain.
Anencephaly
Congenital condition of partial or complete absence of brain matter.
Anesthesia
Lack of feeling or sensation.
Aphasia
Inability to speak; language function is impaired due to injury to the cerebral cortex.
Apraxia
Inability to perform purposeful acts or manipulate objects.
Arachnoid membrane
Middle layer of the meninges that surround the brain and spinal cord.
Astrocyte
Glial (neuroglial) cell that transports salts and water from capillaries.
Ataxia
Without coordination.
Autonomic nervous system
Nerves that control involuntary body functions of muscles, glands, and internal organs.
Axon
Microscopic fiber that carries a nervous impulse along a nerve cell.
Blood-brain barrier
Blood vessels that let certain substances enter the brain tissue and keep other substances out.
Bradykinesia
Slow movement.
Brainstem
Lower portion of the brain that connects the cerebrum with the spinal cord.
Cauda equina
Collection of spinal nerves below the end of the spinal cord.
Causalgia
Intensely unpleasant burning pain in a limb following damage to nerves.
Cell body
Part of the nerve cell (neuron) that contains the nucleus.
Central nervous system
Brain and spinal cord.
Cephalgia
Head pain; headache.
Cerebellar
Pertaining to the cerebellum.
Cerebellopontine
Pertaining to the cerebellum and pons.
Cerebellum
Part of the brain that coordinates muscle movements and maintains balance.
Cerebral cortex
Outer region of the cerebrum.
Cerebrospinal fluid
Clear, watery fluid that 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, among other functions.
Coma
State of unconsciousness from which a patient cannot be aroused.
Comatose
Pertaining to a coma.
Cranial nerves
Twelve pairs of nerves that carry messages to and from the brain.
Dendrite
Microscopic branching portion of a nerve cell; first part of the nerve cell to receive the nervous impulse.
Dura mater
Thick, outermost layer of the meninges surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Dyskinesia
Impairment of the ability to perform voluntary movements.
Dyslexia
Difficulty in reading, writing, and learning.
Efferent nerves
Carry messages away from the brain the spinal cord; motor nerves.
Encephalitis
Inflammation of the brain.
Encephalopathy
Disease of the brain.
Ependymal cell
A glial cell that lines the membranes within the brain and spinal cord and helps form cerebrospinal fluid.
Epidural hematoma
Collection of blood located above the dura mater.
Ganglion
Collection of nerve cell bodies in the peripheral nervous system; plural is ganglia.
Glial cell
Nervous system cell that is supportive and connective in function: Astrocyte, microglial cell, ependymal cell.
Glioblastoma
Rapidly growing malignant tumor of the brain.
Gyrus
Sheet of nerve cells that produces a rounded fold on the surface of the cerebrum.
Hemiparesis
Slight paralysis of the right or left half of the body.
Hemiplegia
Paralysis of the right or left half of the body.
Hypalgesia
Diminished sensitivity to pain.
Hyperesthesia
Excessive sensitivity or feeling, especially of the skin in response to touch or pain.
Hyperkinesis
Excessive movement.
Hypothalamus
Portion of the brain beneath the thalamus; controls sleep, appetite, body temperature, and secretions from the pituitary gland.
Intrathecal
Pertaining to within the membranes (meninges) surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Leptomeningitis
Inflammation of the two thinner membranes (arachnoid and pia mater) surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Medulla oblongata
Lower part of the brain, closest to the spinal cord; controls breathing heartbeat, and size of blood vessels.
Meningeal
Pertaining to the meninges.
Meninges
Three membranes surrounding and protecting the brain and spinal cord.
Meningioma
Tumor (benign) of the meninges.
Microglial cell
Phagocytic glial cell that removes waste products from the central nervous system.
Migraine
A severe headache, often unilateral, and sometimes accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
Motor nerves
Carry impulses from the brain and spinal cord to muscles.
Myelin sheath
Fatty, white covering over the axon of a nerve cell.
Myelogram
X-ray record (with contrast) of the spinal cord.
Myelomeningocele
Congenital hernia (protrusion) of the spinal cord and meninges through a defect (gap) in the vertebral column. This defect is often associated with spina bifida.
Myoneural
Pertaining to muscle and nerve.
Narcolepsy
Sudden seizures of sleep.
Nerve
Macroscopic cordlike collection of fibers that carry electrical impulses.
Neuralgia
Nerve pain.
Neurasthenia
Lack of strength in nerves; a feeling of weakness and exhaustion.
Neuroglia
Supporting cells (stroma) of the nervous system; glial cells.
Neuron
Nerve cell.
Neuropathy
Disease of nerves; primarily in the peripheral nervous system.
Neurotransmitter
Chemical messenger released at the end of a nerve cell.
Oligodendroglial cell
Glial (neuroglial) cell that forms the myelin sheath covering the axon of a neuron.
Paraplegia
Paralysis of the lower part of the body and both legs.
Parasympathetic nerves
Involuntary, autonomic nerves that regulate normal body functions, such as heart rate, breathing, and the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract.
Parenchyma
Essential, functioning cells of any organ. Neurons (nerve cells) are the parenchyma of the nervous system.
Paresis
Slight paralysis.
Paresthesia
Abnormal nervous sensation occurring without apparent cause. Examples are tingling, numbness or prickling sensations.
Peripheral nervous system
Nerves outside the brain and spinal cord; cranial, spinal, and autonomic nerves.
Pia mater
Thin, delicate, innermost membrane of the meninges.
Plexus
Network of nerves outside of the central nervous system; brachial, cervical, lumbosacral plexuses are examples.
Poliomyelitis
Inflammation of the gray matter of the spinal cord.
Polyneuritis
Inflammation of many nerves.
Pons
Part of the brainstem anterior to the cerebellum, between the medulla and the rest of the brain. The pons connects the upper and lower portions of the brain.
Quadriplegia
Paralysis of all four limbs; both arms and both legs.
Radiculitis
Inflammation of a spinal nerve root.
Radiculopathy
Disease of a spinal nerve root.
Receptor
Organ that receives nervous stimulation and passes it on to nerves that carry the stimulation to the brain and spinal cord; skin, ears, eyes and taste buds.
Sciatic nerve
Extends from the base of the spine down the thigh, lower leg, and foot. Sciatica is pain along the course of the nerve.
Sensory nerves
Carry messages to the brain and spinal cord from a receptor; afferent nerves.
Spinal nerves
Thirty-one pairs of nerves arising from the spinal cord. Each spinal nerve affects a particular area of the skin.
Stimulus
Agent of change (light, sound, touch) that evokes a response.
Stroma
Connective and supportive tissue of an organ.
Subdural hematoma
Collection of blood in the space below the dura mater surrounding the brain.
Sulcus
Depression or groove in the surface of the cerebral cortex; fissure.
Sympathetic nerves
Autonomic nerves that activate responses in times of stress; heartbeat, respiration, and blood pressure are affected.
Synapse
Space between nerve cells or between nerve cells and muscle and glandular cells.
Syncopal
Pertaining to syncope (fainting).
Syncope
Fainting; temporary loss of consciousness.
Thalamic
Pertaining to the thalamus.
Thalamus
Main relay center of the brain; located in the central region or diencephalon of the brain.
Trigeminal neuralgia
Flashes of stab like pain along the course of a branch of the trigeminal nerve (5th cranial nerve). The trigeminal nerve has branches to the eye, upper jaw and lower jaw.
Vagal
Pertaining to the vagus nerve.
Vagus nerve
Tenth cranial nerve with branches to the chest and abdominal organs.
Ventricles of the brain
Fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) filled canals in the brain.
Absence seizure
Minor form of seizure, consisting of momentary clouding of consciousness and loss of contact with the environment.
Alzheimer disease
Brain disorder marked by progressive, gradual mental deterioration (dementia) along with personality changes and impairment of daily functioning.
Amyotropic lateral sclerosis
Degenerative disorder of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brainstem and resulting in total body paralysis.
Aneurysm
Weakening of an arterial wall, which may lead to hemorrhage and cerebrovascular accident (stroke).
Astrocytoma
Brain tumor composed of astrocytes (glial cells). The most serious of these tumors is a glioblastoma multiforme (Grades III and IV malignant brain tumor).
Aura
Peculiar sensation appearing before more definite symptoms.
Bell palsy
Unilateral paralysis of the face caused by a disorder of the facial nerve.
Cerebral angiography
X-ray record of blood vessels in the brain after intravenous injection of contrast material.
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 disorder persists longer than 24 hours.
Cerebral hemorrhage
Bursting of an artery in the brain.
Cerebral palsy
Partial paralysis and muscular coordination caused by loss of oxygen or blood flow to the cerebrum during pregnancy or in the perinatal period.
Cerebrospinal fluid analysis
Samples of cerebrospinal fluid are examined for blood cells, protein, glucose, tumor cells, bacteria and other substances.
Cerebrovascular accident (CVA)
Disruption of the normal blood supply to the brain; stroke.
Computed tomography
Cross-sectional x-ray imaging of an organ (such as the brain or spinal cord), with or without contrast material.
Dementia
Mental decline and deterioration.
Demyelination
Destruction of myelin on axons of nerves (as in multiple sclerosis).
Dopamine
Neurotransmitter in the central nervous system; deficient in patients with Parkinson disease.
Doppler/ultrasound studies
Sound waves are used to detect blood flow in arteries within the brain and leading to the brain.
Electroencephalography (EEG)
Process of recording the electricity within the brain.
Embolus
Blood clot that is carried by the bloodstream from one area of the body to another where it blocks a blood vessel.
Epilepsy
Brain disorder marked by recurrent attacks (seizures) of abnormal nervous impulses.
Gait
Manner of walking.
Glioblastoma multiforme
Highly malignant brain tumor composed of glial cells (astrocytes).
Herpes zoster
Viral infection affecting peripheral nerves.
HIV encephalopathy
Disease of the brain (dementia) caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
Huntington disease
Hereditary disorder affecting the cerebrum and involving abrupt, involuntary, jerking movements and mental deterioration in later stages.
Hydrocephalus
Abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles (canals) of the brain.
Ictal event
Pertaining to a sudden, acute onset, as the convulsion of an epileptic seizure.
Leptomeningeal
The two thinner membranes—the pia mater and the arachnoid membrane—surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Lumbar puncture
Withdrawal of cerebrospinal fluid from the subarachnoid space between two lumbar vertebrae; spinal tap.
Magnetic resonance imaging
Magnetic and radio waves create an image of an organ three planes of the body. The brain and spinal cord can be imaged to detect lesions.
Meningitis
Inflammation of the meninges.
Meningocele
Hernia of the meninges through a defect or space between vertebrae; a form of spina bifida cystica.
Migraine
A severe headache that is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
Multiple sclerosis
Chronic neurologic disorder marked by destruction of the myelin sheath on neuronal axons in the CNS and replacement by plaques of sclerotic tissue.
Myasthenia gravis
Autoimmune neuromuscular disorder characterized by weakness of voluntary muscles.
Occlusion
Blockage or obstruction.
Palliative
Relieving symptoms, but not curative.
Palsy
Paralysis.
Parkinson disease
Degeneration of nerve cells that produce the neurotransmitter, dopamine in the brain; leads to tremors, weakness of muscles, and slowness of movement.
Positron emission tomography
Computerized radiologic procedure using radioactive glucose or oxygen to image the metabolic activity of cells, such as brain cells.
Shingles
Viral (herpes zoster) illness that affects peripheral nerves; produces blisters and pain on the skin overlying the path of peripheral nerves.
Spina bifida
Congenital defect in the lumbar spinal column caused by imperfect union of vertebral parts; spinal cord and meninges may herniate through the vertebral gap.
Stereotactic radiosurgery
Use of a specialized instrument using three-dimensional coordinates to locate the site to be operated on.
Thrombosis
Abnormal condition of clot formation in a blood vessel.
Tic
Involuntary movement of a small group of muscles, as of the face.
Tonic-clonic seizure
A major seizure affecting the brain in epilepsy.
Tourette syndrome
Neurologic disorder characterized by multiple facial and other body tics.
Transient ischemic attack
Fleeting episode of ischemia (holding back blood) in the brain.