||D. Mortz Inspirational Award
The pages linked in this section of our web site lists medical terms commonly
associated with brain injury. Entries in this glossary have been
simplified for ease of understanding by lay persons. Terms in this section
were drawn from Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 14th edition, 1981,
Mosby's Medical and Nursing Dictionary, 2nd edition, 1986, The Merck Manual,
13th edition, 1977, DSM-IV. See our Resources
page for information on and links to these and other medical reference
Many of the entries below have been linked
to corresponding pages of this site that contain related information on
TRAINING - instruction in walking, with or without equipment.
GANGLION - a
mass of nervous tissue composed principally of nerve-cell bodies and lying
outside the brain or spinal cord
GI TUBE - a
tube inserted through a surgical opening into the stomach. It is used to
introduce liquids, food or medication into the stomach when the person
is unable to take these substances by mouth.
GLASGOW COMA SCALE
- a standardized system used to assess the degree of brain impairment and
to identify the seriousness of injury in relation to outcome. The system
involves three determinants: eye opening, verbal responses and motor response.
These three determinants are evaluated independently according to a numerical
value. The resultant value indicates the level of consciousness
and degree of dysfunction. Scores run from a high of 15 to a low of 3.
Persons are considered to have experienced a 'mild brain' injury when their
score is 13 to 15. A score of 9 to 12 is considered to reflect a 'moderate'
brain injury and a score of 8 or less reflects a 'severe' brain injury.
GLOSS PHARYNGEAL BREATHING
(GPB) - a means of forcing extra air into the lungs to expand the chest
and achieve a functional cough. Also called "frog breathing."
- boastfulness; bragging; self praising.
the physical and emotional responses to the death, separation or loss of
a beloved person or thing.
- emotional responses to grief which progress from alarm to disbelief
and denial, to anger and guilt, to finding a source of comfort, and finally
- a sensory perception that does not result from a external stimulus.
It can occur in any of the sense; hearing, taste, smell, touch or sight.
- The process of immobilizing the upper body and cervical spine with a
traction device. The device consists of a metal ring around the head, held
in place with pins into the skull. A supporting frame is at tached to the
ring and to a body jacket or vest to provide immobilization.
- a person who has a congenital or acquired mental or physical defect
that interferes with normal functioning of the body, or the ability to
be self sufficient in modern society.
INJURY - any traumatic injury to the head regardless
of severity. Types of head injury include penetration of the skull
by a foreign object such as a bullet. Others result from a
blow to the head as in an impact injury. Others are caused by a violent
shaking pr whiplash of the head.
combining form indicating blood.
- the collection of blood in tissues or a space following rupture of a
blood vessel. Epidural - Outside the brain and its fibrous covering,
but under the skull. Subdural - Between the brain and its fibrous
covering. Intracerebral - In the brain tissue.
prefix meaning half.
- visual field cut. Blindness for one half of the field of vision. This
is not the right or left eye, but the right or left half of vision in each
paralysis of one side of the body as a result of injury to neurons carrying
signals to muscles from the motor areas of the brain.
- weakness, paralysis or loss of movement on one side of the body.
- loss of part of one's visual field in one or both eyes.
- abnormal internal or external discharge of blood. May be venous,
arterial or capillary from blood vessels into tissues, into or from the
body. Venous blood is dark red; flow is continuous. Arterial blood
is bright red; flows in jets. Capillary blood is of a reddish color; exudes
prefix indicating different, or relationship to another.
(HO) - the formation of new bone deposits in the connective tissue surrounding
the major joints, primarily the hip and knee. Twenty to 50 percent of spinal
cord injury patients have HO. HO is more common in people with higher
level injuries. HO is most likely to occur four months post injury. The
cause of HO is unknown. Treatment typically involves weight bearing activities
and surgical removal can be recommended if severe loss of function occurs.
Some people respond to treatment with Didronel, a calcium limiting drug.
an account of the medical, psychological and social events in a patient's
life as well as certain details about family, ancestors and the environment
that may have a bearing on the patient's condition.
HISTORY OF PRESENT ILLNESS
(HPI) - an account by the patient of the onset, duration and character
of the present illness or condition as well as any acts or situations which
aggravate or alleviate the symptoms. Includes the patient's statement regarding
what he or she believes to be the cause of the symptoms, and whether or
not a similar condition has happened in the past.
- Increased action of the reflexes.
- a technique used to cool the spinal cord after injury. Hypothermia may
reduce metabolic and oxygen requirements of the injured tissue and may
reduce edema (swelling), which in turn may reduce secondary nerve fiber
damage. Because of technical problems (it may involve exposing the spinal
cord), hypothermia is not widely in use at spinal centers in the U.S.
HYPOXIA - lack
of blood oxygen due to impaired lung function. Important in emergency treatment
for quads. Hypoxia can further damage oxygen sensitive nerve tissue.
CRISIS - the critical point in an individual's life when
he experiences intense emotional pain and confusion about his worth and
his view of himself as a member of society.
- the body's defense function that produces antibodies to foreign antigens.
It is important in organ and tissue transplantation since the body is likely
to reject new tissues. Some theorize that injury to the nervous system
exposes the immune system to previously unrecognized central nervous system
autoantigens, which interfere with regeneration.
a deficiency that interferes with normal activity.
- diminished ability to take the first step in beginning an action.
IMPAIRED SOCIAL SENSITIVITY
- diminished capacity to feel, act or react with an appreciation
of the expectations, standards and needs of others.
- a tendency to act without thinking; the acting out of a sudden,
irresistible and irrational urge or desire; the spontaneous physical activity
that results when an irritation caused by stimuli passes through tissue,
especially muscle and nerve tissue.
- some sensation or motor control preserved below spinal cord lesion.
- a spinal cord lesion in which some sensation or muscle function below
the level of injury is preserved.
- lack of bowel and/or bladder control.
inability or unwillingness to adjust to changes.
-a patient's right to know the risks and benefits of a medical procedure.
refers to the individual's ability to begin a series of behaviors directed
toward a goal.
(ICP) - cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) pressure measured from a needle or bolt
introduced into the CSF space surrounding the brain. It reflects the pressure
inside of the skull.
INTRACRANIAL PRESSURE MONITOR
- an ICP monitor. A monitoring device to determine the pressure within
the brain. It consists of a small tube (catheter) attached to the person
at the skull by either a ventriculostomy, subarachnoid bolt, or screw,
and is then connected to a transducer, which registers the pressure.
(IVP) - an x-ray of the kidney to determine function.
- easy to excite to annoyance, impatience or anger; the action of nerve
cells in generating and transmitting electrical impulses in response to
ISCHEMIA - a
reduction of blood flow that is thought to be a major cause of secondary
injury to the brain or spinal cord after trauma.