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MS Glossary

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B

B-Cell - A White Blood Cell (Lymphocyte) that makes Proteins known as ImmunoGlobulins. A type of White Blood Cell that matures into AntiBody producing cells (Plasma Cells), when exposed to specific stimuli (Antigen). #09, #25

Babinski's Sign - When the sole of the foot is scratched, the big toe goes up instead of down. This is an indication that there is a Lesion (Plaque) somewhere between the Motor Cortex, on the Opposite side of the Brain, and the Lower Spinal Cord Neuron (Anterior Horn Neuron). This is a hallmark sign of Pyramidal Tract Disease (Spasticity). #01

Baclofen (Lioresal) - A prescription medication that relieves muscle Spasticity. Baclofen is an AntiSpasticity drug that interferes with the Spinal Cord activity that produces Increased Muscle Tone (Spasticity), in the Body's Smooth Muscles (ex: Legs, Arms, and Bladder).

- Baclofen is chemically related to the NeuroTransmitter, Gamma-AminoButyric Acid (GABA), and it decreases electrical activity of some Spinal Nerves, by blocking GABA's receptor sites. It inhibits Reflex Spinal Nerve Centers that initiate muscle contractions and its long-term use, leads to increased muscle weakness. #25

Basal Ganglia - Are a group of Functionally Related Nuclei, located bilaterally in the interior of the inferior aspect of the Cerebrum, the MidBrain and the DienCephalon. They are the Largest Nuclei of the Brain and play an important role in Planning and Coordinating Motor Movements and Posture.

- Exert their influence over the networks that link the Motor Cortex to other Cortical Areas. The Basal Ganglia behave as a variable filter ensurring smooth Muscle Movements. #11, #22 (View Image)

Blood-Brain Barrier - A semi-permeable cell layer of Endothelial Cells (interior walls) within Capillaries of the Central Nervous System (CNS).

- The Blood-Brain Barrier prevents large molecules, Immune Cells, all potentially damaging substances, and foreign organisms (e.g. Viruses), from passing out of the Bloodstream and into the CNS (Brain and Spinal Cord). A dysfunction in the Blood-Brain Barrier may underlie the disease process in MS. #28

BrainStem - That portion of the Brain that connects the two Cerebral Hemispheres with the Spinal Cord. It has three major divisions: MidBrain, Pons, and Medulla Oblongata. This is the oldest part of the Brain, where most involuntary functions are controlled from.

- The area of Nerve Cells and Nerve Fibers at the base of the Brain still within the Skull that connects to the Spinal Cord. The Medulla Oblongata, Pons, and MidBrain constitute the BrainStem.

- It connects the Spinal Cord's Axons to the remainder of the Brain and is responsible for many essential functions. All but two of the 12 Cranial Nerves, enter or exit the Brain through the BrainStem. (View: Image) #01, #25, #11

BrainStem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER)- A painless, diagnostic test in which electrical impulses from the base of the Brain are recorded in response to repeated clicks during ElectroEnCephalography. #25

Glossary Index

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