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Copyright © 1998 Head Injury Hotline

TBI Glossary "T thru Z"



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   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 materials.
     Many of the entries below have been linked to corresponding pages of this site that contain related information on the topic. 
[A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [ L] [M] [N]
        [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [ V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z]
  TEMPORAL LOBES - there are two temporal lobes, one on each side of the brain, at about the level of the ears. These lobes allow a person to tell one smell from another and one sound from another. They also help in sorting out new information and are believed to be responsible for short-term memory. 

    TENDON LENGTHENING - a procedure, usually involving the Achilles tendon, to treat contractures caused by spasms. 

    TENODESIS (Hand Splint) - metal or plastic support for hand, wrist and/or fingers. Used to facilitate grater function to a disabled hand by transferring wrist extension into grip and finger control. 

    THORACIC - pertaining to the chest, vertebrae or spinal cord segments between the cervical and lumbar areas. 

    THROMBOPHLEBITIS - a clot in a vein due to diminished blood flow which can occur in a paralyzed leg. Symptoms include swelling and redness. 

    TILT TABLE - a motorized table which is used to gradually increase patients tolerance to being in a standing position. Also used to teach partial weight bearing and to give prolonged stretch in each position. 

    TRACHEOSTOMY- opening in windpipe to facilitate breathing.

    TRAUMA -  a physical injury caused by violent or disruptive action; a psychological injury caused by severe emotional shock. 

    TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI) -  an injury to the brain regardless of severity. 

UNILATERAL - pertaining to only one side. 

    UPPER MOTOR NEURONS - long nerve cells that originate in the brain and travel in tracts through the spinal cord. Any injury to these nerves cuts off contact with brain control. Reflex activity is still intact, however resulting in spasticity. For men with upper motor neuron injuries, reflex erections are possible. 

    URINARY TRACT INFECTION (UTI) - bacterial invasion of the urinary tract, which includes bladder, bladder neck and urethra. Symptoms of UTI include urine that is cloudy, contains sediment and smells foul, and fever. UTI involving the kidneys is preventable but dangerous. Medications often prescribed for UTI include Keflex, Macrodantin, Furadantin, Septra, Bactim, Mandelamine, penicillin, and amoxicillin. Side effects vary, and may include nausea and vomiting, skin rash or hives. 

  VEGETATIVE STATE - a condition in which the person utters no words and does not follow commands or make any response that is psychologically meaningful.

    VENTILATOR - mechanical device to facilitate breathing in persons with impaired diaphragm function. Also known as respirator.

    VENTRICLES, BRAIN - four natural cavities in the brain which are filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The outline of one or more of these cavities may change when a space-occupying lesion (hemorrhage, tumor) has developed in a lobe of the brain. 

    VERBOSITY a tendency to be excessively wordy in conversation. 

    VERTEBRAE - the bones that make up the spinal column.

    VESTIBULAR NERVE - a main division of the auditory nerve.  Arises in the ganglion and is concerned with equilibrium. 

    VISION THERAPY - specific therapies and corrective lenses designed to treat visual disorders resulting from brain injury or defect.

    VITAL CAPACITY- the measure of air in a full breath. It is an important consideration for people with high-level tetraplegia who also have impaired pulmonary function. 

    VITAL SIGNS - consist of taking blood pressure, pulse, respiration and temperature. 

WHIPLASH INJURY -  an injury to the neck that causes violent back and forth movement of the head and neck such as in a rear end car collision. Such injuries have been known to cause brain damage even though there was no direct injury to the head. 

    WITHDRAWAL -  a response to physical danger or severe stress characterized by a state of apathy, lethargy, depression and retreat into oneself. 

    WORK UP -  the process of performing a complete evaluation of a patient's condition including history, physical examination, laboratory tests and x-ray  or other diagnostic procedures necessary for a doctor to use in making a diagnosis and forming a treatment plan. 

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