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Nervous System


Terminology- Patholog
  
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acetylcholine
 
Neurotransmitter chemical released at the end of nerve cells
afferent nerve
 
Carries messages toward brain and spinal cord
arachnoid membrane
 
Middle layer of the three membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord
astrocyte
 
Type of glial cell that transports water and salts from capillaries
autonomic nervous system
 
Nerves that contol involuntary body functions of muscles, glands, and internal organs
axon
 
Microscopic fiber that carries the nervous impulse along a nerve cell
blood-brain barrier
 
Blood vessels (capillaries) that selectively let certain substances enter the brain tissue and keep other substances out
brainstem
 
Lower portion of the brain that connects the cerebrum with the spinal cord; includes the pons and medulla oblongata
cauda equina
 
Collection of spinal nerves below the end of the spinal cord
cell body
 
Part of a nerve cell that contains the nucleus
Central Nervous System (CNS)
 
Brain and spinal cord
cerebellum
 
Posterior part of the brain that coordinates muscle movements and maintains balance
cerebral cortex
 
Outer region of the cerebrum, containing sheets of nerve cells; gray matter of brain
cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
 
Circulates throughout the brain and spinal cord
cerebrum
 
Largest part of the brain; responsible for voluntary muscular activity, vision, speech, taste, hearing, thought and memory
cranial nerves
 
Twelve pairs of nerves that carry messages to and from the brain with regard to the head and neck (except the vagus nerve)
dendrite
 
Microscopic branching fiber of a nerve cell that is the first part to receive the nervous impulse
dura mater
 
Outermost layer of meninges surround/protecting brain and spinal cord
efferent nerve
 
Carries messages away from brain and spinal cord; motor nerve
ependymal cell
 
Glial cell, lines membranes in brain and spinal cord and helps form CSF
ganglion (pl: ganglia)
 
Collection of nerve cell bodies in the PNS
glial cell (neuroglial cell)
 
Supportive and connective nerve cell. Does not carry impulses
gyrus (pl: gyri)
 
Sheet of nerve cells that produces round ridge on surface of cerebral cortex; aka convolution
hypothalamus
 
Portion of brain beneath Thalamus. Controls sleep, apetite, body temperature and secretions from pituatary gland
medulla oblongata
 
In brain just above spinal cord. Controls breathing, heartbeat, and size of blood vessels. Nerve fibers cross over here
meninges
 
Three protective membranes surround brain and spinal cord
microglial cell
 
Phagocytic glial cell that removes waste products from CNS
motor nerve
 
Carries messages away from brain and spinal cord to muscles and organs. Efferent nerve
myelin sheath
 
Covering of white fatty tissue surrounding and insulates axon. Myelin speeds impulse conduction along axons
nerve
 
Macroscopic cord-like collection of fibers (axons and dendrites) that carry electrical impulses
neuron
 
nerve cell that carries impulses throughout body
neurotransmitter
 
chemical messenger released at end of nerve cell. stimulates or inhibits another cell which can be a nerve, musce or gland cell
oligodendroglial cell
 
Glial cell that forms the myelin sheath covering axons. aka oligodendrocyte
parasympathetic nerves
 
Involuntary, autonomic nerves that regulate normal body functions such as a heart rate, breathing, and muscles of the intestinal tract
parenchyma
 
Essential tissue of organ/system. Nervous System- Brain, spinal cord and neurons. Liver- Hepatocytes. Kidney- Nephrons
Peripheral Nervous System
 
Nerves outside the brain and spinal cord; cranial, spinal and autonomic nerves
pia mater
 
Thin, delicate inner membrane of the meninges
plexus (pl: plexuses)
 
Large, interlacing network of nerves, Ex. lumbosacral, cervical and brachial
pons
 
Part of brain anterior to cerebellum and between medulla and rest of midbrain. It's a bridge connecting various parts of brain.
receptor
 
Organ that receives a nervous stimulus and passes it on to afferent nerves. Skin, ears, eyes and taste buds are receptors.
sciatic nerve
 
Nerve extending from base of spine down the thigh, lower leg, and foot. Sciatica is pain or inflammation along course of nerve.
sensory nerve
 
Carries messages toward the brain and spinal cord from a receptor; afferent nerve.
spinal nerves
 
Thirty-one pairs of nerves arising from spinal cord
stimulus (pl:stimuli)
 
Agent of change (light, sound, touch) in internal or external environment that evokes a response
stroma
 
Connective and supporting tissue of an organ. Glial cells are stromal tissue of the brain
sulcus (pl: sulci)
 
Depression or groove in the surface of cerebral cortex; fissure
sympathetic nerves
 
Autonomic nerves that influence bodily functions involuntarily in times of stress
synapse
 
Space through which a nervous impulse travels between nerve cells or between nerve and muscle or glandular cells
thalamus
 
Main relay center in brain. Conducts impulses between spine and cerebrum. Incoming sensory messages relayed through this to cerebellum
vagus nerve
 
10th cranial nerve.Branches reach larynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs, aorta, esophagus and stomach.It leaves head and wanders to abdom. and thoracic.
ventricles of the brain
 
Canals in the brain the contain cerebrospinal fluid
absence seizure
 
Minor form of seizure, consists of momentary clouding of consciousness and loss of awareness of surroundings
aneurysm
 
Enlarged, weakened area in arterial wall, may rupture leading to hemorrhage and CVA (stroke)
astrocytoma
 
malignant tumor of astrocytes (glial brain cells)
aura
 
Peculiar symptom or sensation occuring before onset (prodromal) of an attack of migraine or an epileptic seizure
dementia
 
Mental decline and deterioration
demyelination
 
Destruction of myelin on axons of neurons (as in multiple sclerosis)
dopamine
 
CNS neurotransmitter, deficient in patient with Parkinsons
embolus
 
Clot of material that travels through the blood stream and suddenly blocks a vessel
gait
 
Manner of walking
ictal event
 
Sudden, acute onset, as with the convulsions of an epileptic seizure
occlusion
 
Blockage
palliative
 
Relieving symptoms but not curing them
thymectomy
 
removal of thymus gland (a lymphocyte-producing gland); used as treatment for myasthenia gravis
TIA
 
Transient ischemic attack
tic
 
Involuntary movement of a small group of muscles, as of the face; characteristic of Tourette syndrome
tonic-clonic seizure
 
Major convulsive seizure by sudden loss of consciousness, stiffening of muscles, and twitching and jerking movements

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