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Glossary Of Clinical Terms

How can the Brain Injury Group help you?

About Glossary Of Clinical Terms

Here you can find lay man’s definitions of many of the clinical conditions, procedures and terms associated with brain injury.

Please Note: This glossary is for information only and does not constitute medical advice.

We also have a glossary of legal terms explaining the basic meaning of some of the laws and legal terms commonly referred to in brain injury claims.

Glossary of Legal Terms

A Glossary of Clinical Terms

Demyelination

Loss of fatty insulating sheath (myelin) surrounding certain nerve fibres, which impairs their ability to conduct trains of nerve impulses.

Injuries caused by a sudden change in direction or speed of travel (of the head) that jolts the brain against the inside of the skull, causing damage to the brain at its point of impact with the skull. In addition, the inevitable movement of the opposite side of the brain away from the inside of the skull may distort brain tissue there, causing an additional ‘contra-coup’ injury.

 

In ACT a negative thought is accepted as a thought but reflected upon using one or a combination of three broad approaches: mindfulness, acceptance and review of values.

Injury to the brain not due to congenital or developmental disorders. Causes include a lack of oxygen to the brain at or since birth, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), intracranial infection, tumour or stroke.

Routine personal health and hygiene activities that people do on a daily basis without needing assistance. The six basic ADLs are: eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring (walking) and continence.

The period of time immediately after a sudden injury has occurred, when the person may be at their most vulnerable and needing urgent treatment.

A pattern of psychological and emotional response to a traumatic event that unintentionally impedes rather than assists recovery, rehabilitation and re-integration into society.

The science of establishing the causes and origins of disease.

Impaired formation and/or retrieval of memories. The duration of Post-Traumatic Amnesia (PTA) is the lapse of time after the injury before new memories can be formed. The duration of Retrograde Amnesia is the length of time immediately prior to the injury for which memory of events that occurred (and information that had been acquired) has been lost.

Relief of or masking of pain.

Loss of the sense of smell.

Swelling or dilation of an artery due to a weakened wall.

Severe hypoxia (lack of oxygen supply to brain tissue).

Medication used to control or prevent epileptic fits (seizures), whether major or minor in severity.

Medication used to reduce or prevent nausea or vomiting.

Lack of interest, emotion, enthusiasm or excitement. Could result from brain injury to frontal lobe structures which concern emotion, and which affect motivation and forward planning – but apathy is also commonly experienced in depression and boredom.

Inability to express oneself in words or to understand what is said or written. (Strictly speaking, aphasia means a complete loss of language function while dysphasia is a partial loss of language but in practice the two terms tend to be used interchangeably.)

Inability to plan and perform purposeful or skilled movements, while still having the basic ability to move and be aware of movement. Apraxia is the complete loss of this ability, dyspraxia implies partial loss.

A very thin tube inserted into an artery to allow direct, real-time measurement of blood pressure and to obtain samples for blood gas analysis.

Tests and procedures carried out to establish what is going on with an individual and determine how best to deal with the situation.

Any product or service that maintains or improves the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities or impairments, allowing them to perform additional tasks.

A type of clumsiness of movement in which the limb may overshoot or undershoot its target due impaired function of the brain or spinal cord.

A characteristic pattern of writhing movements, seen in a number of brain disorders.

Inability to name objects or items.

Occurring on both sides of the body or both left and right limbs.

Bleeding in or around the brain caused by a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or as a result of a leaking artery or vein in the brain bursting and causing localised bleeding in the surrounding tissues.

Damage to the brain.

The ability of intact brain nerve cells (neurones) to make new connections and, in some cases, to take over the functions of damaged cells. Neuronal plasticity enables new skills to be acquired by practising. The ability to acquire new skills tends to become gradually more slow and more restricted once a person has reached the age of 30 years but on the other hand, increasing experience can result in better decision-making.

There are several types of brain tumour, some cancerous and some benign. Knowing the type and location helps to determine the best treatment.

A hole made in the skull during surgery to inspect and gain access to the surface of the brain.

A small tube placed through the skin and into a vein, usually in an arm or hand, in order for example to deliver medication, or to infuse fluids or blood directly into the circulation.

The heart stops beating and therefore there is no effective circulation of blood round the body so that the brain and other organs rapidly become starved of oxygen and waste products build up in the tissues.

Having mental capacity implies that individuals can legally make a particular decision for themselves. This involves an individual being able to understand information and its implications, to remember this for long enough to make an informed decision, and then to be able to tell someone else what their decision is. If a person is assessed to lack capacity (i.e. unable to make a particular decision or decisions for themselves), the law allows someone else to decide what should happen, depending on the specific circumstances.

Symptoms depend on the extent and nature of exposure. Acute CO poisoning may lead to unconsciousness and then to severe brain damage that can affect memory, language, cognition, mood or behaviour, or result in death.

A combination of services put together to meet an individual’s agreed needs in respect of health and social care, services or equipment to enable them to live their life in the best way possible.

Describes the care package needed to meet an individual’s needs for care and support, which may be drawn up by a member of staff for people in a hospital or nursing home, or by a case manager or social worker for someone living in other community settings including their own home.

A very thin tube inserted into an artery to allow direct, real-time measurement of blood pressure and to obtain samples for blood gas analysis.

Of or concerning the brain.

An x-ray depiction of the blood vessels inside the head, requiring a dye that shows up on x-ray to be injected via a catheter inserted into an artery (often one in the groin) and then manipulated so as to allow the dye to enter the brain circulation.

Brief, involuntary jerky movements involving the limbs and face, seen in a number of brain disorders and very occasionally following brain injury.

An illness, pain or condition that persists for a long time.

A progressive, degenerative complication seen in some individuals with a history of repeated episodes of physical trauma to the brain (e.g. in professional boxers).

Damage to the brain where there is no penetration through the skull to brain tissue.

General term used to cover all areas of intellectual functioning including skills such as thinking, remembering, planning, understanding, reasoning, concentrating and using language.

A type of talking treatment that focuses on how a person’s thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect their feelings and habits of behaviour, and teaches them coping skills for dealing more effectively with day to day situations.

A term used to describe difficulties with communication or social skills which may result from impaired cognition.

A temporary disturbance of brain function after a blow to the head expected to resolve completely within a few days or occasionally weeks. It may or may not involve a loss of consciousness at the time of the blow. Often described as a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI).

A disorder of brain function characterised by verbalisations about people, places or events that appear to have little or no basis in reality (and are not due to intentional deception).

A state of deep unconsciousness.

Bruising of brain tissue.

Physical shortening of a muscle that results from its being held in an unstretched position for prolonged periods. This then restricts the range of the movement at the joint with which the muscle is involved.

A prolonged period (usually a few minutes) of involuntary muscular contractions causing strong contraction or twitching movements of muscles, usually accompanied by loss of consciousness.

Loss of visual function resulting from damage to the main visual perception areas located in the occipital lobes at the back of the brain.

Surgical removal of a piece of the skull to allow a neurosurgeon access to the brain.

Local authorities have a legal duty to carry out a care needs assessment for anyone who requires assistance with everyday tasks. Once complete, the authority will decide what care services it can provide or arrange by reference to a set of locally agreed criteria.

Uses a sophisticated series of x-rays to create detailed images of different tissues inside the body, based upon their differing physical abilities to allow x-rays to pass through them.

A bluish tinge to the skin, caused by a deficiency of oxygen in the blood, often most apparent around the lips and mouth and in the fingertips

Loss of fatty insulating sheath (myelin) surrounding certain nerve fibres, which impairs their ability to conduct trains of nerve impulses.

Injury to cells throughout many areas of the brain rather than in one specific location (focal brain injury).

Widespread tearing of the nerve fibres across the whole of the brain.

Imaging method that uses the directional movement of water molecules to generate contrast in MR images. DTI may be able to detect abnormalities in the brain that do not show up in standard MRI or CT scans.

Imaging method that uses the directional movement of water molecules to generate contrast in MR images. DTI may be able to detect abnormalities in the brain that do not show up in standard MRI or CT scans.

Double vision.

Leaving one care setting such as a hospital to move to another or to go home.

How can the Brain Injury Group help you?

About Glossary Of Clinical Terms

Here you can find lay man’s definitions of many of the clinical conditions, procedures and terms associated with brain injury.

Please Note: This glossary is for information only and does not constitute medical advice.

We also have a glossary of legal terms explaining the basic meaning of some of the laws and legal terms commonly referred to in brain injury claims.

Injuries caused by a sudden change in direction or speed of travel (of the head) that jolts the brain against the inside of the skull, causing damage to the brain at its point of impact with the skull. In addition, the inevitable movement of the opposite side of the brain away from the inside of the skull may distort brain tissue there, causing an additional ‘contra-coup’ injury.

 

In ACT a negative thought is accepted as a thought but reflected upon using one or a combination of three broad approaches: mindfulness, acceptance and review of values.

Injury to the brain not due to congenital or developmental disorders. Causes include a lack of oxygen to the brain at or since birth, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), intracranial infection, tumour or stroke.

Routine personal health and hygiene activities that people do on a daily basis without needing assistance. The six basic ADLs are: eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring (walking) and continence.

The period of time immediately after a sudden injury has occurred, when the person may be at their most vulnerable and needing urgent treatment.

A pattern of psychological and emotional response to a traumatic event that unintentionally impedes rather than assists recovery, rehabilitation and re-integration into society.

The science of establishing the causes and origins of disease.

Impaired formation and/or retrieval of memories. The duration of Post-Traumatic Amnesia (PTA) is the lapse of time after the injury before new memories can be formed. The duration of Retrograde Amnesia is the length of time immediately prior to the injury for which memory of events that occurred (and information that had been acquired) has been lost.

Relief of or masking of pain.

Loss of the sense of smell.

Swelling or dilation of an artery due to a weakened wall.

Severe hypoxia (lack of oxygen supply to brain tissue).

Medication used to control or prevent epileptic fits (seizures), whether major or minor in severity.

Medication used to reduce or prevent nausea or vomiting.

Lack of interest, emotion, enthusiasm or excitement. Could result from brain injury to frontal lobe structures which concern emotion, and which affect motivation and forward planning – but apathy is also commonly experienced in depression and boredom.

Inability to express oneself in words or to understand what is said or written. (Strictly speaking, aphasia means a complete loss of language function while dysphasia is a partial loss of language but in practice the two terms tend to be used interchangeably.)

Inability to plan and perform purposeful or skilled movements, while still having the basic ability to move and be aware of movement. Apraxia is the complete loss of this ability, dyspraxia implies partial loss.

A very thin tube inserted into an artery to allow direct, real-time measurement of blood pressure and to obtain samples for blood gas analysis.

Tests and procedures carried out to establish what is going on with an individual and determine how best to deal with the situation.

Any product or service that maintains or improves the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities or impairments, allowing them to perform additional tasks.

A type of clumsiness of movement in which the limb may overshoot or undershoot its target due impaired function of the brain or spinal cord.

A characteristic pattern of writhing movements, seen in a number of brain disorders.

Inability to name objects or items.

Occurring on both sides of the body or both left and right limbs.

Bleeding in or around the brain caused by a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or as a result of a leaking artery or vein in the brain bursting and causing localised bleeding in the surrounding tissues.

Damage to the brain.

The ability of intact brain nerve cells (neurones) to make new connections and, in some cases, to take over the functions of damaged cells. Neuronal plasticity enables new skills to be acquired by practising. The ability to acquire new skills tends to become gradually more slow and more restricted once a person has reached the age of 30 years but on the other hand, increasing experience can result in better decision-making.

There are several types of brain tumour, some cancerous and some benign. Knowing the type and location helps to determine the best treatment.

A hole made in the skull during surgery to inspect and gain access to the surface of the brain.

A small tube placed through the skin and into a vein, usually in an arm or hand, in order for example to deliver medication, or to infuse fluids or blood directly into the circulation.

The heart stops beating and therefore there is no effective circulation of blood round the body so that the brain and other organs rapidly become starved of oxygen and waste products build up in the tissues.

Having mental capacity implies that individuals can legally make a particular decision for themselves. This involves an individual being able to understand information and its implications, to remember this for long enough to make an informed decision, and then to be able to tell someone else what their decision is. If a person is assessed to lack capacity (i.e. unable to make a particular decision or decisions for themselves), the law allows someone else to decide what should happen, depending on the specific circumstances.

Symptoms depend on the extent and nature of exposure. Acute CO poisoning may lead to unconsciousness and then to severe brain damage that can affect memory, language, cognition, mood or behaviour, or result in death.

A combination of services put together to meet an individual’s agreed needs in respect of health and social care, services or equipment to enable them to live their life in the best way possible.

Describes the care package needed to meet an individual’s needs for care and support, which may be drawn up by a member of staff for people in a hospital or nursing home, or by a case manager or social worker for someone living in other community settings including their own home.

A very thin tube inserted into an artery to allow direct, real-time measurement of blood pressure and to obtain samples for blood gas analysis.

Of or concerning the brain.

An x-ray depiction of the blood vessels inside the head, requiring a dye that shows up on x-ray to be injected via a catheter inserted into an artery (often one in the groin) and then manipulated so as to allow the dye to enter the brain circulation.

Brief, involuntary jerky movements involving the limbs and face, seen in a number of brain disorders and very occasionally following brain injury.

An illness, pain or condition that persists for a long time.

A progressive, degenerative complication seen in some individuals with a history of repeated episodes of physical trauma to the brain (e.g. in professional boxers).

Damage to the brain where there is no penetration through the skull to brain tissue.

General term used to cover all areas of intellectual functioning including skills such as thinking, remembering, planning, understanding, reasoning, concentrating and using language.

A type of talking treatment that focuses on how a person’s thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect their feelings and habits of behaviour, and teaches them coping skills for dealing more effectively with day to day situations.

A term used to describe difficulties with communication or social skills which may result from impaired cognition.

A temporary disturbance of brain function after a blow to the head expected to resolve completely within a few days or occasionally weeks. It may or may not involve a loss of consciousness at the time of the blow. Often described as a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI).

A disorder of brain function characterised by verbalisations about people, places or events that appear to have little or no basis in reality (and are not due to intentional deception).

A state of deep unconsciousness.

Bruising of brain tissue.

Physical shortening of a muscle that results from its being held in an unstretched position for prolonged periods. This then restricts the range of the movement at the joint with which the muscle is involved.

A prolonged period (usually a few minutes) of involuntary muscular contractions causing strong contraction or twitching movements of muscles, usually accompanied by loss of consciousness.

Loss of visual function resulting from damage to the main visual perception areas located in the occipital lobes at the back of the brain.

Surgical removal of a piece of the skull to allow a neurosurgeon access to the brain.

Local authorities have a legal duty to carry out a care needs assessment for anyone who requires assistance with everyday tasks. Once complete, the authority will decide what care services it can provide or arrange by reference to a set of locally agreed criteria.

Uses a sophisticated series of x-rays to create detailed images of different tissues inside the body, based upon their differing physical abilities to allow x-rays to pass through them.

A bluish tinge to the skin, caused by a deficiency of oxygen in the blood, often most apparent around the lips and mouth and in the fingertips

Loss of fatty insulating sheath (myelin) surrounding certain nerve fibres, which impairs their ability to conduct trains of nerve impulses.

Injury to cells throughout many areas of the brain rather than in one specific location (focal brain injury).

Widespread tearing of the nerve fibres across the whole of the brain.

Imaging method that uses the directional movement of water molecules to generate contrast in MR images. DTI may be able to detect abnormalities in the brain that do not show up in standard MRI or CT scans.

Imaging method that uses the directional movement of water molecules to generate contrast in MR images. DTI may be able to detect abnormalities in the brain that do not show up in standard MRI or CT scans.

Double vision.

Leaving one care setting such as a hospital to move to another or to go home.

Glossary of Clinical Terms

A Glossary of Clinical Terms

Demyelination

Loss of fatty insulating sheath (myelin) surrounding certain nerve fibres, which impairs their ability to conduct trains of nerve impulses.

Supporting individuals and families affected by brain injury

Contact

03300 569 510

enquiries@braininjurygroup.co.uk

Brain Injury Group, 55 Spring Gardens, Manchester, M2 2BY.

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