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MS Glossary

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R

Recent Memory - The ability to remember conversations, events, content of reading material, or television programs from a short time ago (i.e. an hour or two ago, or last night). MSers with MS-related memory impairment, typically experience the greatest difficulity remembering these types of things from the recent past. #28

Reflex - An involuntary response of the Nervous System to a stimulus, such as the Stretch Reflex, which is elicited by tapping a Tendon with a reflex hammer; or Absent Reflexes can be indicative of Neurological damage, including MS, and are therefore tested during the standard Neurological Exam.

- An unconscious muscle tightening that is mediated by Anterior Horn Neurons, in the Spinal Cord. Increased muscle tone (tightness, spasticity) is normally an early finding in Multiple Sclerosis. #01, #28

Relapsing/Remitting MS - A clinical phase having distinct relapses (also called acute attacks or exacerbations), with either full recovery (no disability), or partial recovery and lasting disability. There is no visible disease progression (worsening) between attacks; but *stable* periods, span and mask, the continuing subclinical disease process.

- Relapsing forms of MS are the most common beginning types, comprising 85% of the total. However, 50% of cases will have progression within 10 - 15 years, and an additional 40% within 25 years of onset; as the disease evolves, into the Secondary/Progressive phase. #29

Remission - A decrease in the severity or number of MS symptoms and signs, or their temporary disappearance. The opposite of remission is Exacerbation. #25, #28

Remote Memory - The ability to remember people or events from the distant past. MSers tend to experience few if any problems with Remote Memory. #28

ReMyelination - The repair or replacement of damaged Myelin, which usually occurs spontaneously in the early course of MS, but is a very slow process. Early MS damage (Lesion) is repaired (ReMyelinated) by Oligodendrocytes extending new cytoplamic extensions that spiral around (rewrap) Axons, to form new Myelin sections (InterNodes). #28

Reticular Formation - A vital part of the Autonomic Nervous System, which is scattered like a cloud throughout most of the length of the BrainStem. These nuclei receive Nerves innervating the Face and play an important role in Arousing and Maintaining Consciousness. Visual, or Acoustical Stimuli, and Mental Activities can stimulate this system to maintain Attention and Alertness. #01

Retrobulbar Neuritis - Inflammation of the second part of the Optic Nerve (behind the Eye), which cannot be seen during an Eye Examination. It is one of the most common beginning symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis; but it can also be an isolated Neurological Lesion incident, with full recovery of Vision and without progression to Clinically Definite MS.
(Also See: Optic NeuritisAfferent Pupillary DefectNystagmus)

RetroVirus - A type of Virus named for its ability to convert RNA to DNA and thus use Genetic material to make the proteins it needs to survive and reproduce itself, causing several diseases in the process. #27

Romberg's Sign - Loss of Position Sense indicated by, the inability to remain immobile (without swaying), while standing with Feet together and Eyes closed.  (Also See: Babinski's Sign)

Romberg Test - An examination by a physician during which your positional sense of balance is tested. It entails you standing with feet together, arms outstretched in front, and eyes open, and then closed. #25, #26

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