- a blood-filled sac formed by diseaserelated stretching of an artery or blood vessel.
- an absence of oxygen supply to an organ's tissues leading to cell death.
- difficulty understanding and/or producing spoken and written language. (
- cell death that occurs naturally as part of normal development, maintenance, and renewal of tissues within an organism.
- one of the three membranes that cover the brain; it is between the pia mater and the dura. Collectively, these three membranes form the meninges.
- an irreversible cessation of measurable brain function.
cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
- the fluid that bathes and protects the brain and spinal cord.
closed head injury
- an injury that occurs when the head suddenly and violently hits an object but the object does not break through the skull.
- a state of profound unconsciousness caused by disease, injury, or poison.
compressive cranial neuropathies
- degeneration of nerves in the brain caused by pressure on those nerves.
computed tomography (CT)
- a scan that creates a series of cross-sectional X-rays of the head and brain; also called computerized axial tomography or CAT scan.
- injury to the brain caused by a hard blow or violent shaking, causing a sudden and temporary impairment of brain function, such as a short loss of consciousness or disturbance of vision and equilibrium.
- a contusion caused by the shaking of the brain back and forth within the confines of the skull.
- distinct area of swollen brain tissue mixed with blood released from broken blood vessels.
- a tear between two of the three membranes - the dura and arachnoid membranes - that encase the brain.
deep vein thrombosis
- formation of a blood clot deep within a vein.
- brain damage caused by cumulative and repetitive head trauma; common in career boxers.
depressed skull fracture
- a fracture occurring when pieces of broken skull press into the tissues of the brain.
diffuse axonal injury
- inability or difficulty articulating words due to emotional stress, brain injury, paralysis, or spasticity of the muscles needed for speech.
- a tough, fibrous membrane lining the brain; the outermost of the three membranes collectively called the meninges.
- seizures that occur within 1 week after a traumatic brain injury.
- bleeding into the area between the skull and the dura.
- inflammation and degeneration of the tissues of the stomach.
- a condition in which patients display little meaning in their speech even though they speak in complete sentences. Also called Wernicke's or motor aphasia.
Glasgow Coma Scale
- a clinical tool used to assess the degree of consciousness and neurological functioning - and therefore severity of brain injury - by testing motor responsiveness, verbal acuity, and eye opening.
- a condition in which patients suffer severe communication disabilities as a result of extensive damage to portions of the brain responsible for language.
- heavy bleeding into or around the brain caused by damage to a major blood vessel in the head.
- stroke caused by bleeding out of one of the major arteries leading to the brain.
- a condition in which the body produces too much heat energy.
- decreased production of thyroid hormone leading to low metabolic rate, weight gain, chronic drowsiness, dry skin and hair, and/or fluid accumulation and retention in connective tissues.
- decreased oxygen levels in an organ, such as the brain; less severe than anoxia.
- seizures that occur within 24 hours of a traumatic brain injury.
- bleeding within the brain caused by damage to a major blood vessel.
- buildup of pressure in the brain as a result of injury.
- stroke caused by the formation of a clot that blocks blood flow through an artery to the brain.
- a condition in which a patient is aware and awake, but cannot move or communicate due to complete paralysis of the body.
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- a noninvasive diagnostic technique that uses magnetic fields to detect subtle changes in brain tissue.
- inflammation of the three membranes that envelop the brain and spinal cord, collectively known as the meninges; the meninges include the dura, pia mater, and arachnoid.
neural stem cells
- cells found only in adult neural tissue that can develop into several different cell types in the central nervous system.
- the electrical activation of cells in the brain; neuroexcitation is part of the normal functioning of the brain or can also be the result of abnormal activity related to an injury.
- a nerve cell that is one of the main functional cells of the brain and nervous system.
-chemicals that transmit nerve signals from one neuron to another.
- a condition in which patients have trouble recalling words and speaking in complete sentences. Also called Broca's or motor aphasia.
- a type of support cell in the brain that produces myelin, the fatty sheath that surrounds and insulates axons.
penetrating head injury
- a brain injury in which an object pierces the skull and enters the brain tissue.
penetrating skull fracture
- a brain injury in which an object pierces the skull and injures brain tissue.
persistent vegetative state
- an ongoing state of severely impaired consciousness, in which the patient is incapable of voluntary motion.
- ability of the brain to adapt to deficits and injury.
- a condition in which air or gas is trapped within the intracranial cavity.
post-concussion syndrome (PCS)
- a complex, poorly understood problem that may cause headache after head injury; in most cases, patients cannot remember the event that caused the concussion and a variable period of time prior to the injury.
post-traumatic amnesia (PTA)
- a state of acute confusion due to a traumatic brain injury, marked by difficulty with perception, thinking, remembering, and concentration; during this acute stage, patients often cannot form new memories.
- a condition marked by mental deterioration and emotional apathy following trauma.
- recurrent seizures occurring more than 1 week after a traumatic brain injury.
- problems with speech intonation or inflection.
- process whereby an injury destroys an important neural network in children, and another less useful neural network that would have eventually died takes over the responsibilities of the damaged network.
- abnormal activity of nerve cells in the brain causing strange sensations, emotions, and behavior, or sometimes convulsions, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness.
shaken baby syndrome
- a severe form of head injury that occurs when an infant or small child is shaken forcibly enough to cause the brain to bounce against the skull; the degree of brain damage depends on the extent and duration of the shaking. Minor symptoms include irritability, lethargy, tremors, or vomiting; major symptoms include seizures, coma, stupor, or death.
shearing (or diffuse axonal injury)
- damage to individual neurons resulting in disruption of neural networks and the breakdown of overall communication among neurons in the brain.
- a state of impaired consciousness in which the patient is unresponsive but can be aroused briefly by a strong stimulus.
- bleeding confined to the area between the dura and the arachnoid membranes.
- a buildup of proteinrich fluid in the area between the dura and the arachnoid membranes, usually caused by a tear in the arachnoid membrane.
syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone (SIADH)
- a condition in which excessive secretion of antidiuretic hormone leads to a sodium deficiency in the blood and abnormally concentrated urine; symptoms include weakness, lethargy, confusion, coma, seizures, or death if left untreated.
thrombosis or thrombus
- the formation of a blood clot at the site of an injury.
- exaggerated, persistent contraction of the walls of a blood vessel.
- a condition in which patients are unconscious and unaware of their surroundings, but continue to have a sleep/wake cycle and can have periods of alertness.
- a surgical procedure that drains cerebrospinal fluid from the brain by creating an opening in one of the small cavities called ventricles.