Medical Terminology Gylys and Wedding Chapter 15 Nervous System


Terms in this set (...)

swallowing or eating
partial paralysis
carry or move inward or toward a central structure.

In the nervous system, afferent impulses travel toward the central nervous system.
carry or move away from a central structure.

In the nervous system, efferent impulses travel away from the central nervous system.
blood-brain barrier
protective mechanism that blocks specific substances found int he blood stream from entering delicate brain tissue.
limbic system
complex neural system located beneath the cerebrum that controls basic emotions and drives and plays an important role in memory.

The limbic system is primarily related to survival and includes such emotions as fear, anger, and pleasure (food and sexual behavior).
additional external myelin sheath that is formed by Schwann cells and found only on axons in the peripheral nervous system.

Because the neurilemma does not disintegrate after injury to the axon it's enclosed hollow tube provides an avenue for regeneration of injured axons
organ chamber or cavity that receives or holds fluid.

In the nervous system, cerebrospinal fluid flows through the ventricles into the spinal cavity and back toward the brain where it is absorbed into the blood
transmit impulses. impulse travels in an afferent direction (toward the brain or spinal cord) or an efferent direction which is away from the brain or spinal cord.
"nerve glue". support neurons and bind them to other neurons or other tissues of the body. Do not transmit impulses. neur/o = nerve; gli/o = glue; neurological tissue
Nervous system
two divisions: Central Nervous System (CNS) and Peripheral nervous system (PNS)
Central Nervous System (CNS)
consists of brain and spinal cord.

Considered/classified as White matter or Gray matter.
Peripheral nervous System (PNS)
composed of all nervous tissue located outside of the spinal column and skull.

Consists of sensory neurons that carry impulses from body to the CNS (afferent) and motor neurons that carry impulses from brain and spinal cord to muscles and glands (efferent)

cerebr/o/tomy = incision of the cerebrum
-tomy = incision
cranium (skull)

crani/o/malacia = softening of the cranium
-malacia = softening

encephal/o/cele = herniation of the brain
-cele = hernia, swelling

encephalocele is a condition in which portions of the brain and meninges protrude through a bony midline defect in the skull
ganglion (knot or knot like mass)

gangli/ectomy = excision of a ganglion
-ectomy = excision, removal

a ganglion is a mass of nerve cell bodies (gray matter) in the peripheral nervous system.
glue; neurologlial tissue

gli/oma = tumor (composed of) neuroglial tissue

-kinesia = movement

brady/kines/ia = condition of slow movement
brady- = slow
-ia = condition
thin, slender

lept/o/mening/o/pathy= disease of the thin meninges
-mening/o = meninges (membranes covering the brain and spinal cord)
-pathy = disease

leptomeninges include the pia mater and arachnoid, both of which are thin and delicate in structure, as opposed to the dura mater.

dys/lex/ia = difficulty using words
dys- = bad, painful, difficult
-ia = condition
meninges (membranes covering the brain and spinal cord)

mening/o/cele = herniation of the meninges
-cele = hernia, swelling
meninges (membranes covering the brain and spinal cord)

meningi/oma: tumor of the meninges
-oma = tumor
hemorrhage of meninges

mening/o = meninges
-rrhagia = bursting for (same as -rrhage)
two elements or combining forms that mean meninges

bone marrow; spinal cord

poli/o/myel/itis = inflammation of the gray matter of the spinal cord

poli/o = gray; gray matter (of brain or spinal cord)
-itis = inflammation
stupor; numbness; sleep

narc/o/tic = relating to sleep
-tic = pertaining to

Narcotics depress the CNS, thus relieving pain and producing sleep

neur/o/lysis = destruction of a nerve
-lysis = separation, destruction, loosening

neurolysis is sometimes performed using cryoablation or radio-frequency techniques to relieve intractable pain as a temporary or permanent measure.
nerve root

radicul/algia = pain in the nerve root
-algia =pain

radicul/itis = inflammation of the nerve root (aka: radiculopathy) associated with the spinal column
inflammation/disease of a nerve root

radicul/o = nerve root
-pathy = disease

hyper/sthen/ia =condition of excessive strength
-ia = condition

hypersthenia is a condition of strength or tonicity of the body or a body part
my/o = muscle
-asthenia = weakness, debility

weakness or debility of muscles

thalam/o/tomy = incision of the thalamus
-tomy = incision

thalamotomy is performed to treat intractable pain of psychoses
sheath (usually refers to meninges)

intra/thec/al = pertaining to the space within a sheath
intra- = in, within
-al = pertaining to

dys/ton/ia = poor (muscle) tone

dys- = bad, painful, difficult
-ia = condition

dystonia usually refers to a movement disorder characterized by sustained muscle contractions, resulting in a persistently abnormal posture.
ventricle (of the heart or brain)

ventricul/itis = inflammation of the ventricles (of the heart or brain)
-itis = inflammation.

an/algesia = absence of (a normal sense) of pain
an- = without, not

syn/algia = joined (referred) pain
syn- = union, together, joined

synalgia is pain experienced in a part of the body other than the place of pathology. For example, right shoulder pain is commonly associated with gallstones
name 3 elements/combining forms that mean "pain"


weakness, debility

my/asthenia = muscle weakness
my = muscle

hyper/esthesia = increased feeling

hyper- = excessive, above normal

hyperesthesia involved a marked sensitivity to touch, pain or other sensory stimuli
an/esthesia = without feeling

hyper/kinesia = excessive movement, also called hyperactivity

hyper-=excessive, above normal

narc/o/lepsy = seizure of sleep
narc/o = sleep

in narcolepsy, the individual has a sudden and uncontrollable urge to sleep at an inappropriate time, such as when driving
partial paralysis

hemi/paresis = partial paralysis of one-half of the body
hemi- = one half

a/phasia = without speech
a- = without

quadri/plegia = paralysis of 4 extremeities

quadri- = four
order, coordination

a/taxia = without coordination
a- = without, not
ataxia refers to poor muscle coordination, especially when voluntary movements are attempted

pachy/mening/itis = inflammation of the dura mater
mening =meninges (membranes covering the brain and spinal cord)
-itis = inflammation

the dura mater is a thick membrane that provides protection for hte brain and spinal cord
near, beside, beyond

para/plegia = paralysis of the lower body and limbs
-plegia - paralysis
union, together, joined

syn/algia = referred pain
-algia = pain

pain in a deteriorated hip commonly causes referred pain in a healthy knee

uni/later/al = pertaining to one side
later = side, to one side
-al = pertaining to
cerebrovascular disease
any functional abnormality of the cerebrum caused by disorders of the blood vessels of the brain.

aka: stroke or cerebrovascular accident (CVA)
3 major types of stroke
ischemic - (most common) - narrowing of arteries due to atherosclerosis - leads to decreased O2 to brain tissue > death

intracerebral hemorrhage = sudden rupture of of an artery within the brain and the released blood compresses brain structures and destroys them

subarachnoid hemorrhage = blood releases into surrounding area = caused by a ruptured aneurysm and is usually fatal
signs of strokes
hemiparesis - weakness of 1/2 of the body

hemiplegia = paralysis in 1/2 of the body

aphasia = inability to speak

ataxia = lack of muscle coordination

loss of conciousness
transient ischemic attack (TIA)
stroke symptoms that resolve within 24 hours
seizure disorders
characterized by sudden changes in behavior or consciousness due to uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain

epilepsies = chronic, recurring seizures

tonic - clonic seizure
*tonic =body is rigid
*clonic = uncontrolled jerking = alternating muscle contraction and relaxation
parkinsons disease
aka = shaking palsy

progressive - neurologic

uncontrollable nodding, slow movement, tremors, joint stiffness, shuffling gait
multiple sclerosis
progressive, degenerative disease of the CNS
mental disorder where there is severe loss of contact with reality, false beliefs, delusions, hallucinations;

become incapable of meeting challenges of daily life.
mental disorder caused by an emotion experienced in the past that interferes/affects a present emotion.

i.e.: phobias, hysterias, OCD

example: being bitten by a dog and now fear of dogs
affective disorder
psychological disorder where the major characteristic is an abnormal mood, usually mania or depression
anorexia nervosa
eating disorder characterized by refusal to maintain adequate weight for age/height and desire to remain thin.
worry disorder - excessive pondering of "what if".

feel worry, dread, lack of energy, loss of interest in life
attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder/ADHD
disorder affecting children and adults.

impulsiveness, over activity, inability to focus.
mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, emotion and energy
mental disorder characterized by extreme withdrawal and abnormal absorption in fantasy
bulimia nervosa
eating disorder = binging and purging or use of laxatives
mood disorder r/t sadness, despair, discouragement and feeling low self esteem, guilt and withdrawal.
mood disorder - mental and physical hyperactivity, disorganized, excessive elevated mood
panic attack
sudden intense feeling of fear that comes without warning and not attributed to immediate danger
inability to comprehend auditory, visual, spatial, olfactory, or other sensations, even though the sensory sphere is intact.

a- = without, not
gnos = knowing
-ia = condition

the type of agnosia is usually identified by the sense or senses affected, such as visual agnosia. Agnosia is common in parietal lobe tumors
weakness, debility, or loss of strength

a- = without, not
sthen = strength
-ia = condition

asthenia is a characteristic of multiple sclerosis (MS)
lack of muscle coordination in the execution of voluntary movement.

a- = without
tax = order, coordination
-ia = condition

ataxia may be the result of head injury, stroke, MS, alcoholism, or other hereditary disorders
closed head trauma
injury to the head in which the dura mater remains intact and the brain tissue is not exposed.

In closed head trauma the injury site may occur at the impact site, where the brain hits the inside of the skull (coup) or at the rebound site where the opposite side of the brain strikes the skull (contrecoup)
abnormally deep unconciousness with an absence of voluntary response to stimuli
injury to the brain, occasionally with transient loss of consciousness, as a result of trauma to the head.

Delayed symptoms of concussion may include headache, nausea, vomiting and blurred vision.
any sudden and violent contraction of one or more voluntary muscles
broad term that refers to cognitive deficit, including memory impairment

de- = cessation
ment = mind
-ia = condition
inability to learn and process written language, despite adequate intelligence, sensory ability and exposure

dys- = painful, difficult
lex = word, phrase
-ia = condition
guillane-barr 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.

This disease usually follows a viral gastrointestinal or respiratory infection, stress or trauma. the muscle weakness involves the entire body and the patient may temporarily require respiratory support until the inflammation subsides.
herpes zoster
also called: Shingles

acute inflammatory eruption - highly painful - on trunk or occasionally the face

caused by same virus as chickenpox
huntington chorea
inherited disease of the CNS characterized by quick, involuntary movements, speech disturbances and mental deterioration
accumulation of fluid in the ventricles of the brain, causing increased intracranial pressure (ICP), thinning of brain tissue and separation of cranial bones

acquired hydrocephalus that develops at birth or any time afterward as a result of injury or disease

congenital hydrocephalus caused by factors that occur during fetal development or as a result of genetic abnormalities
abnormal inactivity or lack of response to normal stimuli
congenital deformity in which some or all of fetal brain is missing.

an- = without
encephal = brain
-y = noun ending
spina bifida
congenital deformity of the neural tube (embryonic structure that becomes the fetal brain and spinal cord and fails to close during fetal development. AKA: neural tube defect

spina bifida meningocele = form where spinal cord develops properly but the meninges protrude through the spine

spina bifida myelomeningocele =most severe form - spinal cord and meninges protrude thru the spine

spina bifida occulta = form where one or more vertebrae are malformed and the spinal cord is covered with a layer of skin
paralysis - usually partial and commonly characterized by weakness and shaking or uncontrolled tremor

Bells Palsy = facial paralysis caused by functional disorder of the 7th cranial nerve

Cerebral palsy = paralysis that affects movement and body position and sometimes speech and learning = can result from trauma to the brain during birthing process
loss of voluntary motion in one or more muscle groups with or without sensation.

Strokes and spinal injuries are most common cause
paralysis of one side of the body - usually result of a stroke

also called unilateral paralysis

hemi - = one half
-plegia = paralysis
paralysis of both lower limbs - typically result of trauma or disease of lower spinal cord

para - near, beside, beyond
-plegia = paralysis
paralysis of both arms and legs commonly resulting in bowel., bladder and sexual dysfunction

quadri- = four
-plegia = paralysis
sensation of numbness, prickling, tingling or heightened sensitivity.

can be caused by disorders affecting teh CNS like a stroke, transient ischemic attack, MS etc.
disease that causes inflammation of the gray matter of the spinal cord.

caused by a virus, commonly resulting in spinal and muscle deformity and paralysis
Reye syndrome
acute encephalopathy and fatty infiltration of the brain, liver and possibly the pancreas, heart, kidney, spleen and lymph nodes.

See in children <15 and had an acute viral infection
brief loss of consciousness and posture caused by a temporary decrease of blood flow to the brain. AKA - fainting
electroencephalography (EEG)
recording of electrical activity in the brain, whose cells emit distinct patterns of rythmic electrical impulses.

Different wave patterns in the EEG are associated w/normal and abnormal waking and sleeping states. They help diagnose such conditions as tumors and infections and help locate seizure focus or areas of inactivity.

electr/o = electricity
encephal/o = brain
-graphy = process of recording
electromyography (EMG)
recording of electrical signals (action potentials) that occur in a muscle when it is at rest and during contraction to assess muscular disease or nerve damage.

in an EMG - electrode is inserted in a muscle transmits electrical activity of the muscle and displays it on a monitor to assess the health of a muscle and motor neurons that control it

electr/o = electricity
my/o = muscle
-graphy = process of recording
lumbar puncture (LP)
needle puncture of the spinal cavity to extract spinal fluid for diagnostic purposes, introducing anesthetic agents in to the spinal canal or remove fluid to allow other fluids to be injected.
nerve conduction velocity (NCV)
test that measures the speed of impulses through a nerve

used for diagnosing muscular dystrophy and neurological disorders that destroy myelin
technique that exposes abnormal tissue to extreme cold to destroy it.

sometimes used to destroy malignant tumors of the brain
stereotactic radiosurgery
focused radiation beams to treat tumors and other abnormal growths in the brain, spinal column and other body sites - delivers high doses of radiation to the tumor
surgical treatment for intractable pain, involuntary movements like tremors in parkinsons disease or emotional disturbances. (partial destruction of the thalamus)
transection of a nerve tract in the brain stem or spinal cord.

Used to relieve intractable pain
incision that cuts a circular opening into the skull to reveal brain tissue and decrease intracranial pressure.
ventriculoperitoneal shunting
relieves intracranial pressure due to hydrocephalus by diverting (shunting) excess cerebrospinal fluid from the ventricles into the peritoneal or throacic cavity
cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis
lab test to examine a sample of fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

used to diagnose disorders of the CNS - including viral and bacterial infections, tumors and hemorrhage.

Fluid is withdrawn using a needle in the procedure called "LUMBAR PUNCTURE"
radiographic image (angiogram) of the inside of a blood vessel after injection of contrast medium. AKA: arteriography

Used to diagnose vascular disorders, especially blockages, narrowed areas and aneurysms.

angi/o = vessel (usually blood or lymph)
-graphy = process of recording
computed tomography angiography
angiography in combination with a CT scan to produce three dimensional vascular images of blood vessels.

identify blocked blood vessels, aneurysms, and build up of plaque in a blood vessel. Differentiates a hemorrhagic stroke and an ischemic stroke.
CT scan of the lumbar region after injection of a contrast medium to detect problems with the spine and spinal nerve roots
ultrasound technique used to study intracranial structures of the brain and diagnose conditions that cause a shift in the midline structures of the brain.

Bedside procedure - detects hemorrhage and hydrocephalus in children <2 years and infants in neonatal unit
magnetic source imaging (MSI)
noninvasive neuro imaging technique to pinpoint the specific location where seizure activity originates and enable custom surgical treatment for tumor and epileptic tissue resection.

Medically necessary for presurgical evaluation of person with epilepsy to identify and localize areas of epileptic activity.
radiographic examination to detect pathology of the spinal cord, including the location of a spinal cord injury, cysts and tumors following injection of a contrast medium

myel/o = bone marrow, spinal cord
-graphy = process of recording
positron emission tomography (PET)
computed tomography that records the positrons emitted from a radiopharmaceutical and produces a cross-sectional image of metabolic activity of body tissues to determine the presence of disease.

Useful in scanning the brain and nervous system to diagnose disorders that involve abnormal tissue metabolism like schizophrenia, brain tumors, epilepsy, stroke, etc.
produce partial or complete loss of sensation - with or without loss of consciousness
an = without
-esthetic (esthesia) = feeling

TYpes: general = local = and nerve block
General anesthetic
acts on brain to produce complete loss of feeling and loss of consciousness. Suppress all reflexes including coughing, swallowing = breathing tubes are required
local anesthetic
act upon nerve or nerve tracts to affect only a local area.

injected directly into the area involved in the local surgery. Can remain fully awake unless added meds are included to induce sleep
nerve block anesthetic
blocks pain from the area supplied by that nerve.

Used for procedures on the arms, legs, hands, feet and face
prevent uncontrolled neuron activity associated with seizures by altering electrical transmission along neurons or altering the chemical composition of neurotransmitters. AKA: antipileptics.

also used as mood stabilizors
control tremors and muscle rigidity associated with parkinsons disease by increasing dopamine in the brain.
treat psychosis, paranoia and schizophrenia by altering chemicals in brain, including limbic (controls emotions)
treat multiple symptoms of depressions by increasing levels of specific neurotransmitters.

also treat anxiety and pain
depress central nervous system (CNS) function, promote sedation, sleep and relieve agitations, anxiousness and restlessness.
reduce impulsive behavior by increasing the level of neurotransmitters. have a calming effect on people with ADHD and also treat narcolepsy