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The Language of medicine CHAPTER 10
NERVOUS SYSTEM
TERMS
DEFINITIONS
ACETYLCHOLINE
NEUROTRANSMITTER CHEMICAL RELEASED AT THE ENDS (SYNAPSES) OF NERVE CELLS
AFFERENT NERVES
CARRY MESSAGES TOWARD THE BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD (SENSORY NERVES)
ARACHNOID MEMBRANE
MIDDLE LAYER OF THE THREE MEMBRANES (MENINGES) THAT SURROUND THE BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD. THE GREEK ARACHNE MEANS SPIDER.
ASTROCYTE
A TYPE OF GLIAL (NEUROLOGIC) CELL THAT TRANSPORTS WATER AND SALTS FROM CAPILLARIES.
AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM
NERVES THAT CONTROL 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 . THE PONS AND MEDULLA OBLONGATA ARE PART OF THE BRAINSTEM
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 THE 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 THE BRAIN.
CEREBROSPINAL FLUID (CFS)
FLUID THAT CIRCULATES THROUGHOUT THE BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD.
CEREBRUM
LARGEST PART OF THE BRAIN; REPONSIBLE FOR VOLUNTARY MUSCULAR ACTIVITY, VISION, SPEECH, TASTE, HEARING, THOUGHT, AND MEMORY
CRANAL NERVES
TWELVE PAIRS OF NERVES THAT CARRY MESSAGES TO AND FROM THE BRAIN.
DENDRITE
MICROSCOPIC BRANCHING FIBER OF A NERVE CELL THAT IS THE FIRST PART TO RECEIVE THE NERVOUS IMPULSE.
DURA MATTER
THICK, OUTERMOST LAYER OF THE MENINGES SURROUNDING AND PROTECTING THE BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD (LATIN FOR HARD MOTHER).
EFFERENT NERVES
CARRY MESSAGES AWAY FROM THE BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD; MOTOR NERVES.
EPENDYMAL CELL
A GLIAL CELL THAT LINES MEMBRANES WITHIN THE BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD AND HELPS FORM CEREBROSPINAL FLUID.
GANGLION (PLURAL: GANGLIA)
COLLECTION OF NERVE CELL BODIES IN THE PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.
GLIAL CELL (NEUROGLIAL CELL)
CELL IN THE NERVOUS SYSTEM THAT IS SUPPORTIVE AND CONNECTIVE IN FUNCTION. EXAMPLES ARE ASTROCYTES, MICROGLIAL CELLS, EPENDYMAL CELLS, AND OLIGODENDROCYTES.
GYRUS (PLURAL: GYRI)
SHEET OF NERVE CELLS THAT PRODUCES A ROUNDED FOLD ON THE SURFACE OF THE CEREBELLUM; CONVOLUTION.
HYPOTHALAMUS
PORTION OF THE BRAIN BENEARTH THE THALAMUS; CONTROLS SLEEP, APPETITE, BODY TEMPERATURE, AND SECRETIONS FROM THE PITUITARY GLAND.
MEDULLA OBLONGATA
PART OF THE BRAIN JUST ABOVE THE SPIANL CORD; CONTROLS BREATHING, HEARTBEAT, AND THE SIZE OF BLOOD VESSELS; NERVE FIBERS CROSS OVER HERE.
MENINGES
THREE PROTECTIVE MEMBRANES THAT SURROUND THE BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD.
PIA MATER
THIN, DELICATE INNER MEMBRANE OF THE NENINGES.
PLEXUS (PLURAL: PLEXUSES)
LARGE, INTERLACING NETWORK OF NERVES. EXAMPLES ARE LUMBOSACRAL, CERVICAL, AND BRACHIAL(BRACHI/O MEANS ARM) PLEXUSES. THE TERM ORIGINATED FROM THE INDO-EUROPEAN PLEK MEANING TO WEAVE TOGETHER.
SCIATIC NERVE
NERVE EXTENDING FROM THE BASE OF THE SPINE DOWN THE THIGH, LOWER LEG, AND FOOT. SCIATICA IS PAIN OR INFLAMMATION ALONG THE COURSE OF THE NERVE.
SENSORY NERVES
CARRY MASSAGES TO THE BRAINA ND SPINAL CORD FROM A RECEPTOR; AFFERENT (AF [A FORM OF AD] = TOWARD) NERVES
SPINAL NERVES
THIRTY-ONE PAIRS OF NERVES ARISING FROM THE SPINAL CORD. EACH SPINAL NERVE AFFECTS A PARTICULAR AREA OF THE SKIN.
STIMULUS (PLURAL: STIMULI)
AGENT OF CHANGE (LIGHT, SOUND, TOUCH) IN THE INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT THAT EVOKES A RESPONSE.
STROMA
CONNECTIVE AND SUPPORTING TISSUE OF AN ORGAN. GLIAL CELLS ARE THE STROMAL TISSUE OF THE BRAIN.
SULCUS (PLURAL; SULCI)
DEPRESSION OR GROOVE IN THE SURFACE OF THE CEREBRAL CORTEX; FISSURE.
SYMPATHETIC NERVES
AUTONOMIC NERVES THAT INFLUENCE BODILY FUNCTIONS INVOLUNTARILY IN TIMES OF STRESS.
SYNAPES
SPACE THROUGH WHICH A NERVOUS IMPULSE IS TRANSMITTED FROM ONE NEURON TO ANOTHER OR FROM A NEURON TO ANOTHER CELL, SUCH AS A MUSCLE OR GLAND CELL. FROM THE GREEK SYNAPSIS, A POINT OF CONTACT
THALAMUS
MAIN RELAY CENTER OF THE BRAIN. IT CONDUCTS IMPULSES BETWEEN THE SPINAL CORD AND THE CEREBRUMP; INCOMING SENSORY MESSAGES ARE RELAYED THROUGH THE THALAMUS TO APPROPRIATE CENTERS IN THE CEREBRUM. LATIN THALAMUS MEANS ROOM. THE ROMANS, WHO NAMED THIS STRUCTURE, THOUGHT THIS PART OF THE BRAIN WAS HOLLOW, LIKE A LITTLE ROOM.
VAGUS NERVE
TENTH CRANIAL NERVE; ITS BRANCES REACH TO THE LARYNX, TRACHEA, BRONCHI, LUNGS, AORTA, ESPHAGUS, AND STOMACH. LATIN VAGUS MEANS WANDERING. UNLIKE THE OTHER CRANIAL NERVES, THE VAGUSLEAVES THE HEAD AND "WANDERS" INTO THE ABDOMINAL AND THORACIC CAVITIES.
VENTRICLES OF THE BRAIN
CANALS IN THE BRAIN THAT CONTAIN CEREBROSPINAL FLUID.
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