Plain English - Layman's Terminology
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Book Medical Ref# Condition Plain English Or Layman's Terminology
#9 ACTH Abbreviation for AdrenoCorticoTrophic Hormone; used for short term treatment of an acute exa- cerbation (attack), no value as a long term treatment of MS. #1 Acuity,Visual Clarity of vision. Visual acuity is expressed as a fraction of normal vision. 20/400 means an eye that sees at 20 feet what an average eye sees at 400 feet. (#17-3) p83 Anoxia is a condition in which there is not enough Oxygen for tissue Oxygenation. #1 Anterior Horn In the Gray Matter of the Spinal Cord, it (Spinal Cord) contains Motor Neurons. The Posterior Horn (top) contains Sensory Neurons. #2 Anterior Horn Cells They command Skeletal muscles to perform the quick or the repetitive movements. They are the final target of all Neural activity. Plaques or DeMyelination anywhere in the CNS must affect their function. ex: unstable Gait, or Incoordinate fingers. #1 Anterior Horn Cell A Motor Neuron in the Anterior Horn Gray (Anterior Horn Neuron) Matter. These cells innervate muscle fibres directly to produce movement of body parts. #9 AntiBodies Substances produced by cells in response to stimullating agents such as viruses or bacteria they are tailor made for a particular Antigen. #9 Antigen A molecular protein substance such as a virus, Antigens stimulate an "Immune Response". #1 Asymmetry Not the same on the two sides of the body. #4 Ataxia The inability to maintain balance, while p46 walking. The failure of muscular coordination. #1 Atrophy,Optic Pallor and loss of blood vessels on the Optic Nerve Head as is seen through the Ophthalmo- scope. This is caused by loss of Myelin or of Optic Nerve fibers and blood vessels in the Optic Nerve. #1 Babinski's When the sole of the foot is scratched, the big Sign toe goes up instead of down. This is an indica- tion (sign) that there is a lesion between the p18 Motor Cortex on the opposite side of the Brain and the lower Spinal Cord. This is a sign of (plaque or lesion) Pyramidal Tract Disease. #1 BrainStem That portion of the Brain that connects the Cerebral Hemispheres with the Spinal Cord. It has three major divisions: MidBrain, Pons, and Medulla. This is the oldest part of the Brain, where most involuntary functions are controlled from. #9 B-Cell A blood cell that makes proteins known as"Imm- unoGlobulins." #9 Cell The body is made up almost entirely of many different kinds of cells. Each cell has a dis- crete inner core called the Nucleus, surrounded by CytoPlasm, and is encased in a membrane separating it from other cells. #9 Cellular One of the body's Immune systems. Immunology #1 Cell Membrane The thin layer made of Proteins, Fats and Car- bohydrates, which form the Capsule of a cell, and is its outside "skin". #1 Cerebellum A part of the Brain located above the BrainStem its chief function concerns Balance and Coordi- nation of movements. #2 Cerebellum Because Cerebellar activity never enters into Consciousness, Cerebellar Disease is only dis- p315 cernnible as complex Motor dysfunction. It has no direct connection to any specific movement. The Cerebellum has no ability to learn, hence once damaged, it will always continue to mal- function. ex: Posture Imbalance; Changes the Speed and the Cadence of Speech; Willed Move- Ments Resemble Tremor; and Abnormalities of Eye Movements. #20 Cerebellar Function Disorders The severity of symptoms seems to depend on the p112 amount of tissue destroyed and not on where the damage is. Among the most characteristic signs of Cerebellar damage are the following: Asthenia This refers to a lack of muscular strength, either during voluntary muscle contraction or in holding posture. #20 Fatigability p112 Muscles on the same side as where Cerebellar damage has occurred tire more easily and have slower than normal contraction and relaxtion times, leading to slowed movements. Hypotonia The muscles feel flabby and offer less resistance to passive displacement. This may be from lack of response to Spinal Tract input. Dysmetria Literally "difficulty measuring" this term refers to failure to stop a motion at the intended point with overshoot occurring. Pre- diction would seem to be faulty here. Ataxia This term indicates Incoordination of muscular activity involving Tremor, Failure of Progres- sion, and failure accurately to perform rapid alternating movements such as tapping a finger. A swaying, unsteady and wide based Gait is often the most obvious Sign. #9 Cerebrospinal The fluid surrounding the Brain and the Spinal Fluid (CSF) Cord. #1 Clonus Rapidly alternating contraction and relaxation of a muscle. Aankle Clonus is the most common form of Clonus. The spasms in the calf muscle p18 makes the foot and leg bounce up and down. Is a symptom of Spasticity. #9 Complement A substance in Serum that combines with Antigen AntiBody compound. Symbol C' #1 Cortex Is the outer layer of any organ. #1 Cortex, The outer layer of Nerve cells that covers the Cerebral entire surface of the Cerebral Hemispheres. Thinking and other complex Neuronal activity occur in the Cerebral Cortex. #1 Cortex The Cortex immediately adjacent to and closely (Association) connected to the primary Sensory Cortex. Asso- ciation Cortex gives form and meaning to raw Sensory messages received at the Primary Senso- ry Cortex thru widespread connections to many parts of both sides of the Brain. #1 DeMyelination Loss of the Myelin sheath that normally covers a Nerve or an Axon. #9 The destruction or removal of the Myelin cov- ering Nerve tissue. #1 Dendrite The part of a Neuron that carries impulses towards the Cell Body. #9 Disseminated Scattered or distributed (multiple). Dyspepsia Indigestion, a feeling of being over stuffed. Dysarthria Problems with the clarity or rhythm of speech. (#17-3) p82 Emboli are small particles that occlude (block) the circulation of smaller blood vessels. (#17-3) p82 Embolization is the process of occlusion by Emboli. #9 Encephalitis Inflalmmation of the Brain, sometimes called "Sleeping Sickness" caused by viruses and other microscopic organizms. #9 Epidemiology The science concerned with the cause, frequency and distribution of an infectious process or a physiological state in a human community. #1 Exacerbation An increase in the severity of symptoms. Exacerbations of MS usually involve an increase in definite symptoms, lasting weeks or months. During the attack, numerous individual symptoms may come and go in succession. Acute attacks are usually followed by complete or partial Remission - the abatement or diminution of symptoms. #1 Fasciculus, Medial A Nerve fiber tract in the BrainStem that helps Longitudinal to control Horizontal Eye Movements. The (MLF) coordinates the two eyes, when they look to the left or to the right. A lesion in the MLF interrups that coordination so that the eyes do p18 not turn in precisely the same direction at exactly the same time. Thereby producing two images in the Brain of the same scene - Double Vision. #1 Gamma Globulin Blood proteins that carry AntiBody activity. White Blood Cells in MS plaques make gamma glo- bulins that may be found in the Spinal Fluid. Increased percentage of Gamma Gloublin, and p37 presence of OligoClonal Gamma Globulin bands are characteristic of the Spinal Fluid in MS. #9 - A protein fraction of the blood Serum which contains many different kinds of AntiBodies. #1 Gene The biological unit of heredity. Genes deter- mine the structure and function of all proteins in the body. In turn, these proteins govern body shape and function. #9 Genetic Pertaining to heredity, ie, HL-A Antigen. Determinant #1 Glands A collection of cells specialized to secrete materials unrelated to their ordinary needs. For instance, the Salivary Gland is a collec- tion of cells that secrete saliva. Those cells have no use for the product, which aids diges- tion in the mouth and stomach. (#17-3) p82 Glial Scars are produced by enlargement of the fibrils of Astrocytes (a type of Glia) that normally support the Nerve cells and their Nerve fibers. When a portion of the Nervous System is damaged, these fibers enlarge and replace the damaged area. This process is referred to as Gliosis. #20 Glial Cells Glial cells outnumber Neurons by about five to one in the Nervous System. They have Processes but do not form or conduct Nerve impulses. p81 They possess the capacity to divide throughout life. The following are included as types of Glial cells and their assigned functions: 1 - Astrocytes are of two types, depending on number and degree of branching of their Processes. Fibrous Astrocytes have fewer and less branched Processes; Protoplasmic (Mossy) Astrocytes have more and highly branched Processes. Both types of cells are believed to be the major force creating cohesion of the Central Nervous Tissue. In other words, they hold things together and maintain the structural relationship of the cells and their vascular supply. 2 - Oligodendrocytes are Myelin forming cells of the CNS. An internode of CNS Myelin is the product of a single Oligodendrocyte. 3 - Ependymal Cells act as an Epithelial lining for the Cavities within the CNS - Ventricles of the Brain and Central Canal of the Spinal Cord. Very small amounts of CerebroSpinal Fluid are formed by secretion by these cells, and they p83 form a part of the Choroid Plexuses of the Brain, wherein the vast bulk of CerebroSpinal fluid is formed by filtration and secretion from the blood vessels composing the Plexuses. 4 - Microglia are sometimes called Brain Macrophages. They seem to migrate into Nerve tissue from the bloodstream, perhaps being derived from blood cells called Monocytes. They come to lie around both Neurons and fobers, and remain quiesent until there is injury or inflammation in the CNS. They then become mobile, Phagocytic and assume a role in cleaning up the traumatized area. They are the only Mesodermally derived cells of the Nervous System. #20 5 - Satellite Cells are formed in Peripheral p83 GanGlia and serve to support the Cell Bodies of Neurons in those GanGlia. 6 - Schwann Cells are peripheral in location and are involved in peripheral Myelin formation and in the formation of the Neurilemma. #1 Gray Matter Portions of the CNS where Nerve Cell Bodies are concentrated. Cortex is Gray Matter. So are the Anterior and Posterior Horns of the Spinal Cord and more. (#17-3) p87 Hypoxia indicates a severe Oxygen shortage in tissue. #9 Immunity Security against any particular disease or poison, ie, Gamma Globulin. #9 Interferon An interfering protein that neutralizes Virus. It is produced by the body's cells in response to foreign Nucleic Acid, such as Viruses. It protects uninfected cells. (#17-3) p83 Ischemia is an insufficient blood supply to an organ or tissue. #1 Lateral A tract in the Anterior-Lateral portion of the Spinothalamic Spinal Cord. Interruption of the LST results Tract in Loss of Pain and Temperature Sensation below p10-12 the level of the interruption on the opposite side of the body. #1 Lesion Any abnormal damage to tissue structure or fun- ction. A scar is a lesion. So is Cancer, an MS plaque, a Stomach Ulcer or a pimple. #1 Lobe A major division of the Cerebral Hemisphere. (Of the Brain) The Cerebral Hemisphere is divided into: Frontal Lobe, Parietal Lobe, Occipital Lobe, Temporal P13 Lobe, and Limbic Lobe. #9 Lymphocyte A variety of white blood cells which are part of the Immune systems of the body. #1 Medulla The lowest major segment of the BrainStem. (#17-3) p82 Microemboli Refers to any small Emboli that predominantly occlude the MicroCirculation. #1 Myelin Fatty substance which forms a sheath around some Nerve fibers in the CNS and the Peripheral Nervous System. Myelin is formed by specialized cells and consists largely of their cell membr- anes, which wrap themselves around the Nerve Axons. #9 Myxovirus A Virus which causes disease in mucous tissue such as the throat, mouth, or lung. (Influenza) (#17-3) p82 Necrosis is the death or decay of tissue in a part of the body which is the result of loss of blood supply, burning, and other severe injuries. #1 Nerve Impulse The electrochemical charge carried by an Axon. #1 Organelle Particles within cells that are covered with (Little Organ) their own membrane. Many different kinds of Organelle occur within cells, each with a special function. #1 Peripheral All the Nerves and Nerve cells outside the Nervous System Central Nervous System. #1 Plaque The DeMyelinating scarring of the Axons. Which comprise the bulk of the White Matter in the p26 Central Nervous System. #1 Posterior Column Bundle of Axons in the Posterior part of the Spinal Cord. Interruption of this column on one side of the Spinal Cord causes loss of Position p12 Sense below the level of the interruption on the same side of the body. #1 Protein Any of a large group of complex organic compounds chiefly of Amino Acids. Proteins govern the structure and function of all body parts. #1 Pyramidal Tract One of the major Motor tracts from the Brain to (Corticospinal) the Spinal Cord. Its fibers form the Pyramids #2 of the Medulla. It originates in the Cortex of p313 the Frontal Lobe. #2 It communicates directly with Motor Neurons in the Anterior Horns of the Spinal Cord, to activate fine Motor control ex: tying shoelaces writing, etc. #2 It orchestrates the Motor response and helps to specify Body Posture at all levels of the Spinal Cord. #2 It adjusts Muscle Tone to counter the changing centers of gravity. #2 Plaque here causes the symptoms of Spasticity: p314 Muscle Tightness, Ankle Clonus, Flexor Spasms, Exhaustion, Loss Of Muscle Power and Paralysis. #25 Romberg Sign Loss of Position Sense indicated by patient's p453 inability to remain immobile with his feet together and eyes closed. #1 Segment One defined portion of the Spinal Cord, which (Of The Spinal Cord) are: eight Cervical Segments (Neck & Upper ex- tremities); twelve Thoracic Segments (chest); five Lumbar Segments (lower trunk & lower extremities); and five Sacral Segments (buttocks, Bowel, Bladder and Sexual function). #9 Sequela A condition following or caused by a previous disease; an aftereffect of illness. #4 Spasticity Increased muscle tone - tightness or stiff p84 muscles, usually around a joint. #1 Symptom Any evidence of malfunction perceived by a patient. #1 Sign Any evidence of malfunction perceived by a physican. #20 Synapse The term Synapse refers to the anatomically specialized junction between two Neurons. The p83 end branches of a PreSynaptic Neuron's Axons make contact with the Dendrites, Cell Body, or Axon of a PostSynaptic Neuron. There is no anatomical continuity between the two Neurons. Synapses are of two types: chemical and electrical. The chemical type predominates in Mammalian Nervous Systems. #9 Titer A level or strength of a substance such as AntiBodies in Serum. #1 Tract A bundle of Axons traveling together. In most cases, the origin and destination of Axons in a tract are quite similar. #9 Virus A living agent, the smallest and simplest form of life, which depends on other living cells in order to reproduce itself. Discovered in 1898 #1 White Matter That part of the CNS containing mostly Axons, their Myelin coating and supporting cells. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~{END}~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~^~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~^~~ ^ ^/^ ^/^ ^.^ ^ = ^ ^ = ^ = ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^.^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ = ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~^^^^~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~^^^^~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~^^~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~^^~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


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