A type of seizure involving staring spells. This type of seizure is a brief (usually less than 15 seconds) disturbance of brain function due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
Acetylcholine Receptor Antibody (AChR)
A Protein found in the blood which affects a chemical that sends signals from nerves to muscles and between nerves in the brain.
Acquired Brain Injury
Any type of brain damage that occurs after birth. It can include damage sustained by infection, disease, lack of oxygen or a blow to the head.
The reduced ability to experience pleasure, often seen in neuropsychiatric disorders.
A protein produced by the body's immune system when it detects harmful substances, called antigens.
A medication used to control (prevent) seizures (convulsions) or stop an ongoing series of seizures.
Antibodies that target an enzyme called Glutamic Acid Decaroxylase. This enzyme is responsible for converting f
glutamic acid to GABA, a chemical found in high concentrations in the cerebellum. It is believed that the lack of GABA results in cerebellar ataxia.
A substance that stimulates the production of an antibody when introduced into the body. Antigens include toxins, bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances.
Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis
A disease occurring when antibodies produced by the body's own immune system attack NMDA receptors in the brain. NMDA receptors are proteins that control electrical impulses in the brain. Their functions are critical for judgement, perception of reality, human interaction, the formation and retrieval of memory, and the control of unconscious activities (such as breathing, swallowing, etc.), also known as autonomic functions.
Antinuclear Antibody (ANA)
Substances produced by the immune system that attack the body's own tissues.
A disorder characterized by elevated levels of multiple different antibodies that are associated with clots in both the arteries and veins.
Antibodies directed against the thyroid gland. Antithyroid antibodies can be associated with inflammation of the thyroid gland and affect its function. Antithyroglobulin and antimicrosomal antibodies are examples of antithyroid antibodies.
Antithyroid Peroxidase Antibody Test
The most sensitive test for detecting autoimmune thyroid disease.
A neurological disorder caused by damage to the portions of the brain that are responsible for language production or processing. It may occur suddenly or progressively, depending on the type and location of brain tissue involved. Primary signs of the disorder include difficulty in expressing oneself when speaking, trouble understanding speech, and difficultry with reading and writing. Aphasia is not a disease, but a symptom of brain damage. Although it is primarily seen in individuals who have suffered a stroke, aphasia can also result from a brain tumor, infection, inflammation, head injury, or dementia that affect language-associated regions of the brain.
A cerebrospinal fluid-filled sac that is locatd between the brain or spinal cord and the arachnoid membrane, one of the three membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.
A problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. It means that the heart beats too quickly, too slowly, or with an irregular pattern.
A lack of muscle control during voluntary movements, such as walking or picking up objects. A sign of an underlying condition, ataxia can affect movement, speech, eye movement and swallowing.
Antibodies, or immune proteins that mistakenly target and react with a person's own tissues or organs.
Disease which develops when the immune system, which defends the body against disease, decides healthy cells are foreign, and begins attacking healthy cells. Depending on the type, an autoimmune disease can affect one or many different types of body tissue. It can also cause abnormal organ growth and changes in organ fuction.
Autonomic Nervous System
A part of the nervous system that regulates key involuntary functions of the body, including the activity of the heart muscle; the smooth muscles, including the muscles of the intestinal tract; and the glands. The autonomic nervous system has two divisions: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.
Death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply. Also called osteonecrosis, it can lead to tiny breaks in the bone and the bone's eventual collapse. The blood flow to a section of bone can be interrupted if the bone is fractured or the joint becomes dislocated. It is also associated with long-term use of high-dose steroid medications and excessive alcohol intake.
A distinct biochemical, genetic or molecular characteristic or substance that is an indicator of a particular biological condition or process.
Blood Brain Barrier
A network of vessels that form a structural and chemical barrier between the brain and systemic circulation.
A condition that affects all ages and which is characterized by confusion, decreased clarity of thought, and forgetfulness.
A large portion of the brain, serving to coordinate voluntary movements, posture, and balance in humans. It is located in back of and below the cerebrum and consisting of two lateral lobes and a central lobe.
Also known as an ischemic stroke, this occurs when the blood vessels that supply the brain are disturbed so that blood flow is interrupted. There are two common types of ischemic stroke: atherothrombotic, embolic, as well as other less common causes. The cause of an ischemic stroke cannot be determined in approximately 40% of cases.
Inflammation of the brain casued by infection or inflammation from disease.
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)
A clear, colorless liquid that surrounds and protects the CNS. It bathes the brain and spine in nutrients and eliminates waste products. It also cushions them to help prevent injury in the event of trauma.
Of, relating to, or affecting the cerebrum and its associated blood vessels.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
A debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental activity.
Complex Partial Seizure
A type of seizure that usually starts in a small area of the temporal lobe or frontal lobe of the brain, and quickly involve other areas of the brain that affect alertness and awareness.
Computed Tomography (CT)
An imaging procedure that uses special x-ray equiptment to create detailed pictures or scans of areas inside the body.
A disorder characterized by the presence of symptoms, such as paralysis, tremor, visual or auditory problems, that resemble those of nervous system dysfunction but cannot be explained by a neurological disorder. Developement of the disorder is often associated with psychological stress or trauma.
Man-made drugs that closely resemble cortisol, a hormone that the adrenal glands produce naturally. Corticosteroids are often referred to by the shortened term "steroids." (Corticosteroids are different from the male hormone-related steroid compounds that some athletes abuse.)
The reaction between an antigen and an antibody that was generated against a different but similar antigen; also the reaction between two different species as opposed to self-reactivity.
Any of a class of immunoregulatory proteins that are secreted by cells especially of the immune system.
Situated away from the center of the body,or from the point of origin; specifically applied to the extremity or distant part of a limb or organ.
A neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure center.
Speech that is characteristically slurred, slow, and difficult to understand due to disease of the central nervous system causing paralysis, incoordination or spasticity of the muscles used for speaking. A person with dysarthria may also have problems controlling the pitch, loudness, rhythm, and voice qualities of his or her speech.
Involuntary contration or twitching of groups of muscle fibers.
An experience that occurs after a brain injury because the filters that normally work to allow a person to filter through everything that comes into the brain no longer work properly. The result is an inability to rationally deal with the situation; fear prevails, and the amygdala creates a fight or flight or freeze reaction. Flooding can cause an overflow of extreme emotion, irratibility, sensory issues or other.
The most common abnormality associated with focal lesions of any type, including (but not limited to) neoplastic, vascular, subdural collections, traumatic, and infectious.
A condition of abnormally large fluid volume in the circulatory system or in tissues between the body's cells or interstitial spaces.
A test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of the heart. An EKG shows the heart's electrical activity as line tracings on paper.
An instrument for recording the changes of electrical potential occuring during the heartbeat used especially in diagnosing abnormalities of heart action.
A test that measures and records the electrical activity of the brain. Special sensors are attached to the head and hooked by wires to a computer which then records the brain's electrical activity on the screen or on paper as wavy lines.
An instrument for measuring and recording the electric activity of the brain.
A machine used to detect and record the electrical potential generated by muscle cells when they are activated.
A test that measures the electrical activity of muscles at rest and during contraction.
An acute inflammation of the brain that is caused by either a viral infection or the immune system mistakenly attacking brain tissue.
Plural of encephalitis.
An inflammation of both the brain (encephalitis) and spinal cord (myelitis).
A general term describing a disease that affects the fuction or structure of your brain. There are many types of encephalopathy and brain disease. Some types are permanent and some are temporary. Some types are present from birth and never change, while others are acquired after birth and may get progressively worse.
A physician who has the training to diagnose and treat hormone imbalances and problems by helping to respore the normal balance of hormones in the body. The common diseases and disorders of the endocrine system that are dealt with enclude diabetes mellitus and thyroid disease. Most endocrinologists are not able to diagnose or treat Hashimoto's encephalopathy.
Epidural blood patch
A treatment for spinal headaches. In the procedure, a doctor will take a blood sample from a patient and then inject that blood back into a hole in the epidural space. The blood clots, helping to “patch” punctures after a spinal tap procedure.