Neuro Terms to Know

The following are some neuro lingo that you may find throughout the site. It may be interesting also to you the glossary to put your knowledge of your nervous system and your health to the test.

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There are currently 344 names in this directory
Axon
An electrically sensitive fiber of a neuron responsible for the transmission of information away from the nerve cell.

Ataxia
Incoordination of a person's movements, especially voluntary movements, balance, speech, eye movements and muscle tone. A person's gait speech and eye movements are typically abnormal when they have ataxia.

Autism
A neurological disorder of development with symptoms of communication and social interaction impairment , including unusual interests and behaviors.

Aphasia
A brain disorder affecting a person's ability to understand or express language. Causes include: stroke, brain trauma and dementia. It can be associated with impaired reading (alexia) and impairment writing (agraphia).

Apraxia
A nervous system disorder which interferes with a person's ability to perform coordinated muscle movements, such as writing or typing, even though the muscles, such as hands or legs, are not weak or damaged.

Amygdala
A section in your forebrain which is a part of your limbic system and regulates your response to fear and terror.

Analgesic
A pharmaceutical or non-pharmaceutical substance that reduces pain.

Athetosis
A movement disorder that is linked to an overstimulation of the basal ganglia causing slow, continuous movements of your body parts.

Acetylcholine
A neurotransmitter that makes your muscles contract. It also controls attention, memory and sleep. Alzheimer's drugs target this neurotransmitter.

Adrenaline
A hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It regulates metabolism, blood flow and volume. It is a signaling molecule in the "flight or fight response."

Aerobic Exercise
This type of exercise is defined by a specific intensity and duration of physical movement that causes the body to meet a threshold energy expenditure level.

Alcohol (Ethanol)
The most common social drug such as wine, beer, vodka, it causes the release of dopamine causing calmness, euphoria, loss of inhibitions.

Alpha Waves
A type of brain wave which corresponds to a relaxed, alert state as measured on an electroencephalogram (EEG). This states allows learning and processing information.

Alzheimer's Disease
A degenerative disease of the nervous system and the most common cause of dementia. Symptoms include problems with memory, thinking and reasoning. As the disease progresses, the whole brain and nervous system can become impaired.

Amphetamines
Drugs that cause increasing the release of and also stop the natural reuptake of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. As a result, these drugs cause euphoria, energy, increased work efficiency and concentration, alertness and reduced appetite. Examples are Adderall, which is often prescribed by doctors to  treats ADHD and Sudafed, which is an over-the-counter cold medicine.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease)
A neurodegenerative disease of unknown cause that affects motor function in the face and body.

Angiography
An invasive x-ray imaging of the brain's blood vessels using a catheter to directly inject contrast into a person's blood vessels.

Anticonvulsants
A group of pharmaceutical drugs that work by preventing seizures, and can also be used for other neurological conditions, such as pain.

Arteriovenous Malformation
A congenital vessel abnormality in which a person artery are vein is connected. A typical vascular structure called a capillary bed lies in between the connected artery and brain.

Ascending Reticular Formation
Part of a branch of interconnected cells called nuclei located in your brain stem which are involved in keep you awake.

Associate Learning
A process in which learning occurs by associating an action with its consequence.

Atherosclerosis
A blood vessel disease associated with hardening of a person's artery walls due to the buildup of fatty deposits.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD)
A nervous system disorder in which you have difficulty concentrating and multi-tasking and are easily distracted. The prevalence is up to 5% in children and effects may continue into adulthood.

Attentional Blink
Your brain's inability to detect a new target object flashed milliseconds after the first object appears in your visual field.

Autonomic Nervous System
Controls your involuntary nerve functions. This part of your nervous system consists of your motor never fibers that innervate your visceral organs, i.e. your heart, digestive tract and glands.

Autonomic Reflex Testing
This testing, also known a ART, is a  noninvasive neurological procedure designed to detect and quantify autonomic nerve failure by evaluating typical function of a person's autonomic nervous system.

Barbiturates
A group of pharmaceutical drugs that cause sedation in a person's nervous system by activating a specific neural receptor called GABA-A. Major effects of these drugs include calmness, sleepiness and euphoria. An example is phenobarbital, which is an epilepsy drug.

Basal Ganglia
A group of specialized brain cells that are associated with control of your voluntary motor movements, learning, habitual movements (like riding a bike) thinking and emotions.

Bell's Palsy
Also known as facial palsy, typically  a syndrome of one-sided weakness of facial muscles, which can occur as a nerve reaction to infection, inflammation pregnancy and other medical conditions.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
A neurological disorder, also known as BBPV, a common cause of vertigo. Vertigo which is a spinning sensation, can last for seconds or minutes. It can be repeatedly provoked by changes in a person's head position relative to gravity, for example, when a person lies back or rolls over in a bed.

Benzodiazepine Agonists
A group of pharmaceutical drugs that cause sedation by activating a specific neural receptor called GABA-A. Major effects of this drug class include sleepiness, relaxed muscles, behavioral changes and incoordination. An example is diazepam or Valium.

Benzodiazepines
A group of pharmaceutical drugs that cause sedation of a person's nervous system by activating a specific neural receptor called GABA-A. Major effects include calmness, relaxed muscles and sleepiness. Examples include: Diazepam (Valium) and Clonazepam (Klonopin). They are used to treat neurological symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, as well as disorders such as epilepsy.

Beta Blockers
A group of pharmaceutical drugs that work by blocking the effects of epinephrine (adrenaline), which causes a lowering of blood pressure. These drugs are used to treat hypertension as well as certain neurological conditions such as performance anxiety and migraine headaches.

Beta Waves
A type of brain wave which corresponds to your active mental state as measured on an electroencephalogram (EEG). In this state we problem solving and think critically.

Beta-Amyloid
A protein that forms a plaque like substance within the brain of people with Alzheimer's Disease.

Bipolar Disorder
A neuro behavioral disorder with symptoms of extreme mood swings, including mania and depression.

Blood Brain Barrier
A protective membrane between you brain and blood vessels which limits what substance can be transferred from your blood stream into your brain tissue

Brain Death
When a person has no neural activity and no brain function. A human being does not exist after brain death.

Coma
A neurological disorder of unconsciousness in which a person can not be awakened and does not respond to stimuli.

Chorea
A movement disorder of the nervous system in which a person has involuntary, irregular jerky motions of their limbs, trunk or legs.

Cocaine
A non pharmaceutical drug that stimulates a person's nervous system by inhibiting the natural process of re-uptake of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. It can cause euphoria, energy, abnormal thought patterns and behaviors, as well as sense of heightened emotion and contentment.

Cannabis
A non pharmaceutical drug that stimulates a person's nervous system by acting as an agonist at the cannabis receptors in a person's nervous system. It causes unusual thoughts and feelings. You can feel calm, happy, and hungry with cannabis. Pills forms of the drug have now been legalized for medical purposes.

Cataract
A disorder of aging of the eye, where the typically clear lens of a person's eye clouds up from protein buildup. This disorder can also be genetic.

Chunking
The learning technique of dividing a large amount of information into smaller groups for the purpose of memorization.

Cortisol
A hormone released by the adrenal gland during periods in which you are experiencing extended stress, also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Cranium
The fused bones that encase and protect your brain and its attachments. Also called your skull.

Caffeine
A non-pharmaceutical drug that is a naturally occurring in common beverages like coffee and teak. It works by blocking the brain's adenosine receptor and inhibits certain enzymes. It cause alertness, wakefulness, energy, appetite suppression. It is sometimes used to treat headaches and used by people world-wide for all-nighters.

Cataplexy
A sudden loss of muscle tone, either all over the body or in a part of the body, provoked by a person's intense positive emotion.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
A type of neuropathy which is caused by compression of a person's median nerve within the a bony tunnel of the wrist made of tendon and small wrist bones called the carpal tunnel.

Celiac Plexus
A network of nerve fibers in your abdomen, controlled by the autonomic branch of the nervous system. These nerves send signals to and from organs such as the liver, spleen. stomach and pancreas.

Central Fissure
A groove that separates your frontal lobe from your parietal lobe.

Central Nervous System
The brain and spinal cord. Your control center that manages incoming sensory information and executes your motor responses.

Cerebellum
The part of your brain that controls smooth, coordinated muscle movements.

Cerebral Cortex
The outer layer of your brain that controls your creativity, planning, language and perception.

Cerebral Palsy
A neurological disorder associated with dysfunction of a person's motor function due to a direct injury to the developing brain. Symptoms manifest before age 3-5 years.

Cerebrospinal Fluid
The plasma-like fluid within your nervous system that cushions, protects and nourishes your brain and nervous system tissues.

Cervical Nerves
Your eight pairs of spinal nerves that originate from your spinal cord and shoot out between your first seven spine or vertebral column. Cervical nerves supply movement and feeling to the arms, neck and upper chest.

Cervical Stenosis
A neurological disease associated with intervertebral disc degeneration, disc space narrowing and cervical vertebral bone changes. More common with aging.

Chemoreceptors
Your neural receptors that respond to the presence of chemicals.

Chiari Malformation
A spectrum of brain structure variations that result in an abnormal position of the lower part of the brain called the cerebellum.

Cholinesterase Inhibitor
A group of pharmaceutical drugs that work by slowing down the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. These are used to treat dementia.

Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
A type of neuropathy involving a person's peripheral nervous system. Also known as CIDP, this neurological disorder has either a long slow or recurrent  course.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
A degenerative disease of the nervous system caused by frequent concussive brain injury. Also known as CTE, symptoms include depression, memory loss, aggression, confusion and early onset dementia.

Circadian Rhythm
The pattern of a living things that follows an approximate 24 hour period. It's nervous system function that controls your sleep-wake cycle.

Circulatory System
Also called the cardiovascular system, which is involved in you blood circulation which allows your brain and other organs to get important nutrients and oxygen. Infection fighting cells and other substances circulate via the vascular system.

Classical Conditioning
A process of learning behavior where a (previous) neural stimulus is paired with a stimulus that typically evokes a response or behavior.  Eventually, the (previous) neutral stimulus evokes the same response as the typical or desired response or behavior. It's what we use to train our pets.

Coccygeal Nerve
Your single pair of nerve cells that originate from your coccyx, or tailbone. This nerve supplies feeling to the skin between the coccyx and the anus.

Cochlear Hair Cells
These are your hearing receptors located in the inner ear that facilitate processing of sound waves. The receptor components move in response to vibrations entering your ear, which are then transmitted to the brain stem via your auditory (hearing) nerve.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
A chronic neurological disorder which causes swelling, pain, and abnormal skin color and temperature changes, usually in a limb or a body region.

Computerized Axial Tomography (CT or CAT Scan)
A series of X-rays of the head which are shot from many different directions to generate an image of your brain and skull.

Concussion
A high-velocity impact injury to the brain which causes nervous system problems, such as movement, balance, speech and memory. Can cause short and long-term effects.

Confabulation
A neurological disorder of mental functioning when a person unintentionally fabricates occurrences to fill gaps in his or her own memories with the understanding that the confabulations are accurate.

Conversion Disorder
When a person has symptoms that are suggestive with a physical disorder but, following medical investigation, there are no identifiable medical problems.  The symptoms are not intentionally enacted by a person and the disorder is often associated with underlying psychological distress.

Corpus Callosum
A thick band of nerve fibers that allows the left and right halves of your brain to communicate.

Cortical Domains
Your specific brain cortex areas that have ate  linked to specific motor, sensory, and integrative functions. The neuro chemical reactions of specific domains can be seen on functional imaging studies such as PET scans and functional MRI scans.

Corticosteroids
A group of pharmaceutical drugs that work by preventing inflammation. They are formulated based on your naturally occurring hormone cortisol.

Corticotrophin Releasing Hormone
A hormone, also known as CRH, that is released by your hypothalamus. This hormone puts the body "on alert" and is a signaling molecule within the "flight or fight" response. CRH signals adrenaline and cortisol (the stress hormone) to be released in the nervous system.

COX-2 Inhibitor
A non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, a.k.a. NSAID, used to treat pain.

Cranial Nerve
Relays information to and from your brain. All cranial nerves terminate in the head and neck, except for the vagus nerve.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
A rare and fatal degenerative brain disease with symptoms of rapid progressive dementia.

Domains
Your specific brain cortex areas that have ate  linked to specific motor, sensory, and integrative functions. The neuro chemical reactions of specific domains can be seen on functional imaging studies such as  PET scans and functional MRI scans.

Delirium
A neurological condition that usually develops within hours to days, in which a person is confused, agitated and inattentive. Hallucinations and delusional thoughts are common. Also called encephalopathy.

Dementia
A group of symptoms caused by disease, infection or trauma resulting in a loss of a person's mental functions.

Dopamine
Important for body motions and reward experiences, including pleasure.

Dyslexia
A neuro cognitive disorder of learning in which a person has an impaired ability to process language,  which may include problems with spelling, reading and writing.

Dystonia
A neurological condition in which a person has involuntary sustained or repetitive abnormal postures and abnormal muscle activity. These symptoms include twisting movements of the face, neck, trunk and or limbs.

Dendrites
The branching fibers of nerve cells known as axons that act as receptors of information. They receive message signals from other neurons and send them to the main body of your nerve cell.

Dermatome
Like a region on an enviornmental map, a dermatome is an area of your skin that is supplied mostly by a single spinal nerve. Seven of your eight cervical nerves, twelve thoracic nerves and five lumbar nerves and five sacral nerves. Each of these spinal nerves relays sensation from a particular region of the skin to the brain.

Dizziness
A common neurologic symptom that is a nonspecific term for a range of person's sensations including: the illusion of movement, spinning (vertigo), lightheadedness, near-fainting or instability of a person's body while sitting or standing.

Dysthymia
A chronic neurological disorder that causes symptoms of mild depression nearly daily for over two years.

Delta Waves
A type of brain wave which corresponds most commonly to your sleep state on an EEG, but can also be seen in periods of unconsciousness and in newborns.

Demyelinating Disorders
Neurological diseases that result in destruction of the myelin sheath, which is the biological insulation material for your nerves in the brain and the periphery of your body.

Developmental Delay
Also known as mental retardation. It is a symptom complex that involves dysfunction in  language, motor, thinking and or social interactions. This is often assessed when a child is 1-2 years old.

Diabetes (Mellitus)
A condition caused by your body's inability to produce enough insulin, a hormone that regulates blood glucose metabolism. It is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy in the world.

Dissociative Anesthetics
A group of non-pharmaceutical drugs that work by stimulation the NMDA (glutamate) receptors in the nervous system. They cause a person to have emotions of being apart from reality and self. Symptoms can include altered sensations and vivid hallucinations. Examples included: Phencyclidine (PCP), dextromethorphan (found in certain cough medicines) and ketamine.

Dura Mater
The tough, outer layer of the three membrane system that surrounds your brain and your spinal cord. It is located directly beneath your skull.

Dysarthria
A neurological condition which causes a defect in the production of a person's speech pattern.  These changes include abnormal volume, rate and or quality of speech.

Dysethesia
An abnormal, unpleasant sensation, which can be described as burning, crawling or pins and needles. A medical term that is connected to neuropathy.

Emotion
A physiological and spontaneously occurring cognitive or though pattern consisting of strong feelings which are often associated with physiological and behavioral changes.

Epilepsy
A nervous system disorder when a person has recurrent episodes of seizures. A seizure is associated with abnormal electrical activity and cause brain dysfunction. Symptoms can include sensory changes loss of consciousness and or abnormal muscle activity or  convulsions.

Estrogen
The predominate female sex hormone produced in the adrenal glands and ovaries.

Euphoria
The sense of feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness. Dopamine signaling is involved in this emotion.

Elaboration
A learning technique in which new information is associated with previously learned material, aiding in long-term storage.

Electroencephalogram
Also known as EEG, a study of brain waves involving the placement of electrodes on the scalp to record a persons's brain waves.

Electromyography
A neurological study that evaluates the function and status of a person's muscle function. Needles are placed in the muscle and the electrical activity of the muscle(s) is recorded by a special machine.

Embolic Stroke
Stroke occurring when fatty deposits in the artery wall detaches from the wall of the blood vessel from the body, the heart and or from the brain itself. As a result blood flow to a part or to many parts of the brain is blocked and the brain tissue is damaged.

Encephalitis
An inflammatory process affecting the covering of a person's brain tissue, called the parenchyma.

Encephalopathy
A neurological condition that usually develops within hours to days, in which a person is confused, agitated and inattentive. Hallucinations and delusional thoughts are common. Also called delirium.

Endocrine System
A collection of glands that produce and discharge hormones directly into the circulatory system to be carried by the blood. Hormones are stimulateed by the brain and they also can bind to receptors and elsewhere in the body.

Endorphins
Your natural opiate-like proteins that attach to certain receptors in your central nervous system. Endorphins can block pain signals and thus can reduce your perception of pain. These receptors also respond to morphine.

Enkephalins
Your natural occurring molecules that attach to special receptors in your central nervous system that stop pain messages by inhibiting the discharge of pain-related neurotransmitters.

Epidural anesthesia
A procedure used to provide a person with anesthesia during labor and certain surgeries. The anesthetic is injected through a catheter placed in-between the lower spine bones into the spinal fluid.

Epinephrine
Also called adrenaline. Your hormone produced by the adrenal gland that works with norepinephrine to put your body on "alert."

Episodic Memory
The brain process relating that creates stored recollections of your personal experiences.

Ergonomics
The science of designing the job to fit the worker, as opposed to physically forcing the worker's body to fit the job.

Explicit Memory
Your memories that are consciously recalled.

Exteroceptors
Your sensory neurons that register external sensations like touch, pain, pressure and temperature. They are the engines for your 5 senses.

Fissures
The deepest inward folds or grooves of your brain.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
A group of developmental disorders related tp birth defects caused by excessive drinking during pregnancy. Affected babies can have abnormal facial features, malformed organs and mental retardation.

Fight or Flight Response
Trigged by your autonomic nervous system, specifically the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system. It is your brain's response to flee from or defend itself against a potential or perceived threat.

Free Radicals
Molecules the your body that have an unstable electric field. These harmful molecules grab an electron from another molecule in your body creating a chain reaction that can lead to cell and brain damage.

Frontal Cortex
The part of your brain that controls reasoning, planning, abstract thought, complex cognitive functions and your motor functions. A.K.A. frontal lobes.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
An advanced neuro imaging study, also known as an (fMRI) that detects in changes in blood flow to the brain. Images show specific areas of brain activity and function.

Gait
The manner in which a person walks.

Gland
An structure in mammals that produces and discharges chemical substances and signals that direct function within the body.

Gyrus
An outward, elevated folds of your cerebral cortex. There are many specific gyri (plural of gyrus) in your brain which correlate to specific brain functions.

Glutamate
An excitatory neurotransmitter which is a disrupted in your central nervous system.

Gamma Waves
A type of brain wave pattern on an electroencephalogram (EEG) associated with all of your brain states except for non-dreaming sleep. Associated with memory functions.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid
The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter, also (GABA) quiets rather than excites neurons. It occurs in one third of all brain of all synapses.

Gonadotrophin-Releasing Hormone
This hormone, also known as GRH produced by your hypothalamus. It works to stimulate the production of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH). LH and FSH are released from the pituitary gland in your brain.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome
An acute neuropathy caused by nerve damage cause by an auto-immune response. The covering or core of your nerves are damaged due to the effect of inflammation and other medical conditions.

Heroin
A non-pharmaceutical drug binds to the opioid receptor in the central nervous system. It is a common substance of abuse because of the drug's addiction potential.

Hormone
Hormones are biological chemicals that act as messengers. They are being made in one part of the body, such as the brain and they travel to other parts of the body to control how cells and organs function.

Headache
A neurological condition or disorder of the head muscles and nerves, which often involves the neck muscles and nerves. This is also the most common medical complaint that doctors see.

Hallucinogens
A group of pharmaceutical drugs that cause delirium. They work by stimulation the muscarinic receptor in your nervous system that binds to acetylcholine. As as result, hallucinogens can cause memory loss as well as vivid hallucinations. Examples include: scopolamine and diphenhydramine as well as certain street drugs, such as LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide).

Head CT Scan
Also known as brain cat scan. This is a series of X-rays of the head which are shot from many different directions to generate an image of your brain and skull.

Hemiballismus
The uncontrolled motion of a person's limb or limbs which occurs due to damage of the part of the brain called the basal ganglia.

Hemorrhagic Stroke
A neurological injury which occurs when a person's brain artery ruptures and damage brain tissue. This type of stroke is  usually related to  hypertension and or a weak brain vessel that bursts.

Herpes Zoster
A skin rash which can be painful and is composed of groups of vesicles that occur in a particular nerve pattern (dermatome).  If you had chicken pox as a child you are more likely to get a zoster rash later on in life.

Hippocampus
The region of your brain that assists to convert new learned information into your long term memory circuits.

Homeostasis
A state of physiological equilibrium in which your body automatically remain stable despite of changes  in your external environment.

Huntington's Disease
A hereditary condition causing degeneration of the neurons in a person's basal ganglia and central cortex. The disease is fatal.

Hydrocephalus
A neurological disorder in where a person's brain fluid spaces are distended. It is caused by the inadequate passage of cerebrospinal fluid from the fluid spaces in the brain where it is made out into the body's circulatory system.

Hyperalgesia
An increased sensitivity to pain.

Hypertension
Also called high blood pressure. It is when you have a blood pressure that measures hight that 140 over 90 mmHg (mmHg is a measure of pressure). The top number of your blood pressure is called the systolic reading which measures the pressure generated in your vessels as the heart pumps around the body.The bottom number of your blood pressure is called the diastolic reading, measures the pressure in your vessels as your heart relaxes and fills with blood.

Hypocretin
A neurotransmitter that promotes your awake state.

Hypothalamus
A portion of the brain that is composed of group of small nuclei (biological components that controls and regulates the activities of the nerve cells) that have a variety of functions. The hypothalamus links the nervous system to the endocrine system by way of the pituitary gland.

Insula
The region of your brain that allows your to recognize and perceive disgust in other people.

Inhalants
A group of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical drugs that are administered as gas and work in many neural circuits, including the opioid pathway. They effects include: calmness, euphoria, altered sensations. Examples include: diethyl ether (starter fluid), gasoline, glue, pain, freon, and nitrous oxide. The pharmaceutical forms are used to administer anesthesia.

Implicit Memory
The process of recalling unconsciously during physical activity.

Incontinence
Loss of bladder control. Neurogenic bladder is a neurological disorder which occurs from damage to the nerves involved in bladder relaxation and or bladder contraction.

Inflammation
Your body's acute or chronic protective response to irritation or injury. Signs and symptoms include redness, heat, swelling and pain, as well as loss of function in the affected area.

Intellectual Disability
Previously known as mental retardation. A neuro cognitive disorder causing significant deficits in both intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior. Typically develops before age 18.

Interneurons
Your neurons located only within the central nervous system which work to process signals between motor and sensory neurons.

Interoceptors
Your neural receptors that react to changes in your body such as blood chemistry, hunger and thirst.

Jet Lag
A neurological disorder caused by the disruption of your circadian rhythm, usually by the 24 hour time zone change which occurs with a  long-distance flight.

Jacksonian Epilepsy
A type of epilepsy associated with a specific movement pattern.

Ketamine
A pharmaceutical drug that block NMDA receptors in your central nervous system used for anesthesia and also for chronic pain syndromes.

Korsakoff's Psychosis
A form of amnesia which occurs most commonly in people who are severe and chronic alcoholics, in which a person can't store new memories and is makes up stories, also called confabulation.

Leptin
A hormone produced by fat cells of your body that assists in regulating your metabolism and food consumption.

Lewy Body Dementia
A degenerative neurological disease caused by abnormal protein deposits in certain areas of the brain. This is the second most common form of dementia.

Limbic System
The part of your brain that produces emotions.

Local Anesthetic
A pharmaceutical drug used to block electrical signals from your nerves to your brain related to pain in a specific body part of parts.

Locked-In-Syndrome
A neurological disorder resulting in the loss of a person's voluntary muscle movement in all regions of the body except the person's eyes. A personwhois locked in had awareness of his or her environment and cognitive function are known to be intact.

Long Term Potentiation
The process of strengthening of neural connections through which your memories are formed.

Longitudinal Sulcus
A deep groove in your brain that divides your right and left cerebral hemispheres.

Lumbar Nerves
The five pairs of spinal nerves that send and receive signals from your lower back, the front of your legs and your feet to your spinal cord and brain.

Lumbar Spondylosis
Degenerative changes of a person's lower spine, to include the vertebrae, the cushion-like discs that lie in between the vertebrae and the surrounding joints and ligaments of the spinal column.

Lyme Neuroborreliosis
The neurological complications of Lyme Disease, which can include dysfunction of the peripheral, central and or autonomic nervous system.

Mania
An highly emotional state, which is often seen in bipolar depression, when a person's nervous system is hyperactive. Symptoms involve hyper alertness, increased energy sleeplessness and variable or impulsive behavior.

MDMA
MDMA, also known as ecstasy, is a a subgroup of the drug class called amphetamines. MDMA causes stimulation to a person's nervous system by greatly increasing the release serotonin and  inhibiting the re-uptake of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.

Myalgia
Diffuse or local pain perceived as coming from a person's skeletal muscles.

Meninges
The membranes, or tissues, that cover and wrap around your brain and spinal cord.

Migraine
A neurological disorder that is episodic and characterized by episodes of head pain and or with nausea, vomiting, light and sound sensitivity. A migraine episode can last 4 to 72 hours.

Morphine
A powerful narcotic agent that has a pain relief action and other effects on the central nervous system via mu type opioid receptors.

Myopathy
A neurological disease of the muscles caused from changes in energy utilization of the affected muscle resulting in muscle weakness, but may be associated with muscle pain as well.

Melatonin
A hormone produced by your pineal gland which assists to regulate your sleep-wake cycles.

Myoclonus
A brief sudden muscle jerk caused by either active muscles contractions or a brief loss of muscle tone. Myoclonus usually involves the face, trunk or extremities.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging
This radiological study, also known as and MRI, produces a detailed, three-dimensional image. An MRI allows precise mapping of the physical shape of the brain and tissues of the brain. An MRI uses magnets and a magnetic field.

Magnetoencephalography
This neuro diagnostic test, also known as MEG, involved magnetic sensors placed on the skull  which reveal neural activity. MEGs are used to locate tumors and to determine functions of certain parts of the brain.

Major Depression
A neuro cognitive disorder which causes a person to have symptoms that severely interfere with normal activates of daily living. Symptoms include severe sadness, loss of interest in most activities, problems thinking and physiological changes in the body.

Mechanoreceptors
Your nerve receptors that send signals to your central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) when they are stimulated by pressure or touch.

Medial Temporal Lobe
This part of your brain that includes the hippocampus and the amygdala. It works to form, store and organize your memories.

Medulla Oblongata
Part of the brain stem, it connects the spinal cord to higher brain centers. The medulla control heartbeat and respiration.

Meniere's Syndrome
A neurological disorder of the peripheral vestibular system (ear and sensory receptors). Symptoms of Meniere's include unilateral hearing loss with tinnitus, or ringing in the ears,  and vertigo attacks.

Meningitis
Inflammation of the covering of the brain, or the meninges.

Mirror Neurons
Your neurons that fire during a familiar action as you think of that action or you observe others performing that action.

Monoamines
A group of neurotransmitters to include dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline.

Motion Blindness
A neurological or visual disorder resulting in the loss of a person's ability to detect changes in the environment. The brain processes motion as a set of different still images.

Motor Neurons
Neuron carrying impulses away from the central nervous system to your muscles, as a result you are able to move.

Muscular Dystrophy
A group of neurological diseases involving the muscle. The location of muscle disease depends on the type of function problems.

Myasthenia Gravis
A neurological autoimmune disease caused by antibodies that bind to the receptors in the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) of a person's nervous system. Symptoms include muscle weakness, particularly of the eye and face muscles.

Myelin Sheath
The insulation and protective wrapping of fatty tissue that surrounds your axons and increases the spread of transmission of your nerve impulses.

Myelography
A neurological radiology procedure that uses contrast to detect disease or injury to the spinal cord.

Myofascial Pain
A neurological condition in which a person perceives pain and tenderness in the muscles and adjacent fibrous tissues (fascia).

Nerve
An enclosed, cable-like bundle of axons, or nerve fibers) that make up nerves coming off of your brain and shooting out from your spinal cord to your body (the peripheral nervous system). There are similar structures in the central nervous system called "tracts."

Neural
A team that relates to your nerves and your nervous system.

Neuron
A central nervous system cell that generates and transmits information in the form of nerve impulses.

Nicotine
A non-pharmaceutical drug, also known a tobacco, that can be purchased over-the-counter. It works by stimulating the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in a person's nervous system. This drug causes medical and neurological disease.

Narcotics
A group of pharmaceutical drugs, as well as "street" drugs, that work by blocking or interfering with pain messages to the brain. A.K.A. 0pioids.

Neuralgia
A type of pain that extends along one or more nerve pathways.

Neurology
The branch of medicine that pertains to disorders of the nervous system. Neurological practice relies on the scientific study of the nervous system.

Narcolepsy
A chronic neurologic disease, it is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and cataplexy (sudden loss of muscle tone).

Nerve Block
A local anesthetic that is injected around a nerve to block pain messages from traveling along that nerve. Often used to relieve pain for a short period time.

Nerve Conduction Study
A neurological test that evaluates the function of a person's nerves. Also known as an NCV test, it relies on the ability of nerve fibers to conduct electricity.

Nervous System
Your brain, spinal cord, and all the nerves of your body. Your brain interpret nerve activity and it responds to signals to control everything that you do.

Neural Network Health
A health care company that specializes in the health care for the nervous system.

Neurobiology
A branch of biology that focuses on the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system.

Neurofibromatosis
A progressive genetic disease characterized by various skin changes as well as central and peripheral nervous system tumors.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome
A rare but potentially fatal drug reaction to drug class called neuroleptics or anti-psychotics. It is a result of  acute depletion of the neurotransmitter dopamine by the drugs.

Neuroleptics
Also called antipsychotics, which area class of drugs to treat neurological disorders involving mental processing such as schizophrenia. They are used to treat other neurological disorders, such insomnia.

Neurological Exam
A specialized medical exam that evaluates nervous system function, injury and dysfunction.

Neurologist
A physician specializing in neurology and trained to investigate, diagnose and treat neurological disorders.

Neuromodulation
Electrical stimulation of a peripheral nerve, the spinal cord or the brain for pain relief or control of disabling symptoms. This type of stimulation can be through the skin or through an implanted nerve stimulator.

Neuropathic Pain
A type of pain that originates from a damaged nerve or other part of the nervous system.

Neuropathy, Diabetic
A disorder of the peripheral nerves in people who are diabetics, causing dysesthesias (uncomfortable sensations), symmetric sensory loss and distal weakness.

Neuroscience
The scientific study of the nervous system.

Neurotransmitter
One of the many chemicals in your brain, such as acetylcholine, serotonin and norepinephrine that allow communication between nerve cells (neurons).

Nociceptors
Your neural receptors, or nerve endings attached to your peripheral nerves that detect potential and actual tissue injury. They also sense extreme heat, cold or pressure stimuli.

Non Associative Learning
A process of learning that occurs when you are repeatedly exposed to a stimulus. The stimulus does not result in either positive or negative consequences.

Non-Epileptic Seizures
Also called pseudo seizures. These are physical states that look like seizures, however there is no evidence of abnormal brain electricity on an electroencephalogram (EEG) during these events.

Norepinephrine
A neurotransmitter produced by your adrenal gland that regulates moods, blood pressure, heart beat arousal. It works with epinephrine to get your sympathetic branch of your autonomic nervous system working.

Nucleus Accumbens
A region of your brain associated with feelings of pleasure and reward.

Otoliths
Crystals of calcium carbonate located in a part of your ear called the otolithic membrane. They contribute to your balance by detecting gravity and they aid in the awareness of your head's spatial orientation.

Oxytocin
A hormone produced in your pituitary gland that is released during pregnancy and intercourse for the purpose of promoting pair-bonding.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
A neurobehavioral disorder, also known as OCD, where a person is anxious and bothered by intrusive, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and or strong urges to perform opposite actions (compulsions).

Occupational therapist
A skilled professional who helps people return to ordinary tasks around the home and at work by way of lifestyle adaptations and or with the aid of assistive devices.

Operant Conditioning
A process of behavioral learning in which a voluntary action is reinforced through reward or diminished through punishment.

Opioid Agonist
Both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical drugs, also called narcotics that work by activating all opioid receptors in a person's nervous system. These drugs cause euphoria, pain relief, calmness, sleepiness and reduced appetite. Examples include morphine, oxycodone heroin and Percocet. They are prescribed to treat pain, but can often be abused or sold illegally. The unrestricted use of opioids had led to a health epidemic.

Optic Neuritis
An inflammatory demyelinating of the optic nerve, typically causing a person to loose vision in one eye over hours to days.

Orthostatic Hypotension
An autonomic nervous system disorder which is trigged by standing and relieved by laying down. Symptoms occur such as dizziness and fainting because the blood pressure drops abnormally when a person moves to sitting or standing upright.

Pons
Parts of your brain stem that connects your medulla and your midbrain. It works with the medulla to regulate breathing.

Phobia
A neurological disorder of mental processing in which a person has a fear which causes avoidance and or pain when a person is introduced to the fear-producing stimulus.

Prosody
The process of assigning additional meaning of language through the rhythm and intonation of speech.

Pruning
A natural process of your brain in which weak neural connections die. Occurs primarily during your child's fetal development state, during teenage years and to a lesser extent during your adult years.

Pia Mata
The innermost cerebral membrane of the three membrane system that covers your brain.

Pain Behaviors
Responses to pain that include talking about pain, rubbing or protecting a person's affected body part, or avoiding routine activities because of pain.

Pain Scale
A system of rating a person's pain. Often based on a system of 0 to 10, where 0 means a person has no pain, and 10 means a person has the worst pain imaginable.

Pain Threshold
The point at which a person's pain is noticeable.

Pain tolerance level
The peak amount of pain that a person can endure.

Palliative Care
A type of care for people with chronic, often life-threatening illness. Care generally focuses on relieving pain, stopping nausea, enhancing quality of life and attending to the psychosocial needs of the sick person.

Parallel Processing
When one of the neurons in you nervous system excites multiple others. As a result, several nerve pathways are utilized at once for the purpose of transmitting information throughout your body.

Parasympathetic Nervous System
This is a branch of your autonomic nervous system that controls relaxing your body. It lowers your heart rate and blood pressure and reduces breathing rate.

Parkinson's Disease
A degenerative disease of the nervous system caused by a significant loss of dopamine neurons resulting in dopamine depletion. Symptoms include slow movements, resting tremor, rigid muscles and imbalance while standing and walking.

Patellar Tendon
Your tendon that is associated with the knee jerk reflex. It connects the kneecap to the shinbone and aids in leg extension.

Perception
Your interpretation of the meaning of a stimulus.

Peripheral Nervous System
The nerves that branch out of from  brain and spinal cord to the periphery of the body.

Persistent Vegetative State
A neurological disorder in which a person's brain is largely unresponsive to the external environment. However, the brain still sends signals to the body to keep the body alive.

Phantom Pain
Pain or discomfort following limb amputation that feels as if it is coming from the missing limb.

Phenethylamine
A neurotransmitter that is found in small amounts in your brain , as well as in foods such as chocolate. Also known as PEA, it releases dopamine into your limbic system to create a feeling pleasure.

Photoreceptors
Your neural receptors that react to light energy.

Physiatrist
A medical doctor who specializes in evaluating and recommending and performing treatments to restore a person's physical function from the effects of chronic disease.

Physical Dependence
A neurological condition in which a rapid discontinuation of a substance, such as alcohol, tobacco or another drug causes physiological symptoms such as sweating, weakness, nausea and anxiety.

Planum Temporale
Region of your brain associated with speech and sign language comprehension.

Plasticity
Refers to your brain's ability to reshape neural interactions.

Polymyositis
A muscle disorder associated with inflammation and skeletal muscle fiber damage that produces specific patterns of weakness.

Positron-Emission Tomography
A diagnostic study, also known as PET, where radioactive isotopes injected in to the blood are then tracked by a computer through the brain. The study reveals blood flow, oxygen levels and glucose metabolism in the brain.

Precentral Gyrus
Area of your cerebral cortex responsible for your body's movement. It is located on the frontal lobe of each of your brain hemispheres and is responsible for body movement.

Prefrontal Cortex
Brain region located directly in the anterior frontal lobe. It is responsible for reasoning, planning, judgement, empathy, abstract ideas and conscience.

Primary Dementia
A neurological degenerative disease, like Alzheimer's Disease, that causes symptoms of dementia which does not occur as a result of another disease.

Proprioceptors
Your neural receptors that help maintain your balance by making you aware of your movement and your body position.

Prosopagnosia
A neurological disorder where a person is unable to recognize another person by his or her facial features, a.k.a. facial blindness.

Pseudobulbar Affect
A neurological disorder that causes rapid changes in and poor control of emotions, such as uncontrollable crying or laughing.

Pseudobulbar Palsy
A neurological disorder in which a person is unable to control the muscles of his or her face, often associated with stroke.

Psychedelics
A group of non pharmaceutical drugs that work to activate several drug receptors, including serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Examples are Mescaline (peyote cactus), Psilocin ( in mushrooms) and Lysergic acid dimethylamine (LSD) and ergine (LSA) in plants. These drugs altered emotions and your sense of reality.

Psychiatrist
A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.

Rabies
A viral infection that causes rapidly progressive and fatal encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord).

Recall
A memory process in which the information that your brain has previously stored is retrieved by your brain.

Reflex
Your body's automatic and uncontrolled reaction to stimuli.

Retina
The sensory lining of your interior eye. It contains specialized neural receptors called rods and cones that receive an image. This image is formed on the lens of your eye and is then transmitted to your optic nerve and brain.

Receptors
Specialized parts of your nerve cells located on the outer part of a "receiving" nerve cell. They function to bind the neurotransmitters, thus changing the activity of the "receiving" cell.

Radiculopathy
A neurological disorder in where a nerve root compressed as it exits out of the spinal column. This symptoms such as pain, changes in sensation and loss of strength.

Raphe Nuclei
A neuron cluster in your pons, medulla and midbrain that controls the production of serotonin.

Rapid Eye Movement Sleep
The fifth stage of the sleep cycle, also known as REM sleep in where your brain processes a high level of cerebral cortex discharges. This is the stage of sleep in which we dream.

Rebound Pain
When the regular use of a a pain medication makes a person's pain worse instead of better.

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
A chronic pain disorder, also known as RSD, that usually affects on or more limbs. Signs and symptoms include burning, aching pain, swelling, abnormal sweating and extreme hypersensitivity of the affected area.

Regional Anesthetics
A group of pharmaceutical drugs that work by block pain signals from a certain region of the body without altering consciousness.

Restless Leg Syndrome
A neurological disorder characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the calves or feet and rarely, the upper extremities. Sensations are described as pain, tingling, burning and crawling and typically begin late in the evening.

Reversible Dementia
Symptoms of memory loss and problems with neurological function that is caused by an underlying medical condition, as opposed to brain decay.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic multi-system immune disease affecting a person's joints and surrounding structures. Symptoms can involve the central and the peripheral nervous system and the spine bones.

Sulci
Inward folds of your cerebral cortex. One sulcus is shallower that the fissures in your brain.

Septum
The region of your brain associated with orgasm.

Synapse
Tiny gap between the axon terminals of two neurons through which communication occurs.

Syncope
A transient loss of consciousness (LOC) due to transient lack of blood flow to a person's brain. It is characterized by rapid onset, short duration and spontaneous and complete recovery.

Sciatica
Neuropathic type pain that may include tingling, numbness or muscle weakness from sciatic nerve injury or irritation.

Stimulus
A change in the environment that elicits a reaction from your brain.

Syndrome
A collection of symptoms that characterize a disease, disorder or condition.

Sensation
Your brain's awareness and processing of a stimulus.

Serotonin
A widespread nervous system neuro transmitter involved in pain, sleep mood and appetite control.

Sacral Nerves
Five pairs of spinal nerves that originate from your sacrum bone in you lower back. They send signals to and from the back of your legs as well as to your sex organs.

Sarcoidosis
Sarcoid is a chronic disease where abnormal protein substances called granulomas. The disease affects the lungs, skin, eyes and potentially all parts of the nervous system (10-17% of people).

Schizophrenia
A chronic neurobehavioral disorder, or psychiatric disorder that causes distorted thoughts and perceptions. It also causes symptoms of delusions and hallucinations. This disease usually appears during adolescence or young adulthood.

Sciatic Nerve
A major nerve in your body that runs through your buttock muscles into the back of the thigh. It then divides into two nerves behind the knee and travels down into the foot.

Seasonal Affective Disorder
A cyclical type of depression that occurs based on seasonal change, particularly when there is less light present during the day.

Secondary Dementia
A type of dementia resulting from another injury or disease.

Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors
A pharmaceutical drug type, also called SSRI, that works by inhibiting the reabsorption serotonin in your nervous systems. These drugs are used to treat depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and eating disorders.

Semantic Memory
Your stored knowledge of general facts and disorders.

Sensory Neurons
Neurons that send impulses from the skin and parts of the body to the central nervous system.

Serial Processing
When a single neuron in your nervous system is excited at a time, for the purpose of transmitting information along a chain of neurons.

Sleep Apnea
A neurological disorder of sleep in which a person stops breathing for short periods of time.

Sleep Regulatory Substances
Proteins that accumulate in your cerebrospinal fluid during wakefulness, which cause you to go to sleep after those proteins work for a certain level.

Somatic Nervous System
Your voluntary nervous system which is usually under your conscious control. Consists of nerve fibers that send signals from your central nervous system to your skeletal muscles.

Somatosensory Cortex
The region in your brain responsible for processing stimulation coming from the skin, body wall, muscles, bones, tendons and joints. It modulates the intensity of your pain sensation.

Spinal Nerve Block
A procedure that is used to relieve pain in a broad area, such as the abdomen or the legs, in which a local anesthetic is injected in or near a person's spinal column to prevent pain signals from traveling to the brain.

Spinal Nerves
Your nerves that branch out from your spinal cord for the purpose of relaying information to an from the spinal cord.

Stem Cells
An unspecialized cell with the ability to grow and develop into other types of cells and tissues.

Sturge Weber Syndrome
A rare sporadic neurological disease where a person has structural malformations of the vessel malformations of the skin, face and central nervous system.

Subclavian Steal Syndrome
A neurological vascular condition where narrowing of the major neck artery called the subclavian artery is blocked. Therefore, blood flow is diverted from the neck and the back of the head, which causes symptoms of: vertigo, visual changes and or loss of vision.

Subcortical Dementia
A type of dementia affecting the lower regions of a person's brain, involving symptoms of changes in a person's movement and emotion, as well as memory problems.

Superior Temporal Sulcus
The part of your brain that contains your neural networks that are responsible for motion detection and motion analysis.

Sylvian Fissure
The groove in your brain that separates your parietal lobe from your temporal lobe.

Sympathetic Nervous System
A branch of your autonomic nervous system that signals your body to be "alert" and gives you energy in response to fear or excitement.

Tau
A protein that aids in the formation of your microtubules which are the structures which help transport nutrients within your neurons. This protein is irregular in people with Alzheimer's Disease.

Tic
A compulsive, repetitive sound or movement that's often difficult to control.

Tremor
The most common disorder of movement, defined as a rhythmic, involuntary, movement of a body part

Thalamus
The part of your brain that relays impulses from the sensory nerves.

Tinnitus
A hearing disorder associated with chronic ringing , pulsing or clicking in the ears. This can be intermittent or constant and it can vary in intensity.

Tolerance
The point at which a person adapts to a specific substance. Therefor a larger amount of the medication or a new medication is needed to achieve the same initial effects of the initial substance level or dose.

Testosterone
The predominately male sex hormone produces in the testes.

Thermoreceptors
Your neural receptors that process changes in temperature.

Theta Waves
A type of brain wave that occurs between your wake and sleep state, during prayer, daydreaming and activities involving creativity and intuition as shown on and electroencephalogram (EEG). It is associated with learning and memory.

Thoracic Nerves
Your spinal nerves that originate from the 12 vertebral bones of your upper back, which send and receive signals to and from your trunk and abdomen.

Thrombotic Stroke
A stroke caused when an artery supplying blood to the brain gets clogged by fatty deposits thereby cutting off the blood supply to one or many areas of the brain.

Tissue Plasminogen Activator
A clot-destroying pharmaceutical drug that can improve chances of recovery from certain types of strokes and minimize tissue injury when administered soon after the stroke symptoms start.

Tonic Clonic Seizures
A type of epilepsy, during which your nervous system may loose control over body functions such as limb muscles,  bowel or bladder. Typically the muscles in your body shake or "convulse," a.k.a. grand mal seizures.

Topical Agents
A group of pharmaceutical drugs that are applied to the skin as opposed to being ingested or injected. These drugs come in the form of agents or gels.

Tourette's Syndrome
A neurological disorder associated with a person making repetitive sounds (vocalizations) with involuntary motor movements (tics).

Transdermal
When drug enters via the skin, for example as does a medicated cream being absorbed through the skin.

Transient Ischemic Attack
A neurological disease, also known as TIA,  in which a person's brain arteries are temporarily blocked causing transient stroke symptoms. This disease puts a person at high risk for a stroke.

Tricyclic Antidepressants
A group of pharmaceutical drugs, also known as TCAs, that work by boosting certain neurotransmitters in a person's nervous system for the purpose of relieving depression. These drugs also are used to treat other neurological conditions, in particular pain syndromes.

Trigeminal Cranial Nerve
A cranial nerve that connects your face and upper neck to your brain stem. It sends many signals that are involved in migraine.

Trigger Points
Places on your body where your muscles and adjacent fibrous tissue (sascia) are sensitive to touch. These areas are generally in the upper and lower back muscles, but can occur in other body locations.

Tryptophan
An essential amino acid that aids in your body's production of serotonin and vitamin B3. It is found in dairy products and turkey.

Tympanic Membrane
Your eardrum, which conducts sound wave vibrations from the ear canal to the bones of the middle ear.

Ultrasonography, Cranial
One of the most commonly used neurological studies, also known as a carotid ultrasound. It evaluates blood flow from the heart through the neck to the brain.

Vertigo
A sensation of spinning, in particular, where your environment is moving relative to a person's position in space.

Vertebrae
A specialized bone in your spine composed attached to cartilage and ligaments. They have holes (called foramina) that allow entry and exit for spinal nerves.

Vagus Nerve
One of the primary nerves that provide signaling pathways between your brain, your diaphragm and other body structures.

Vestibular Reflex
An automatic adjustment to the muscle tone in your body and neck to maintain the position of your head in space.

Vestibulocular Reflex
An automatic adjustment to your eye muscles to assist you in maintaining a stable gaze regardless of how your head moves.

Visuospatial Memory
A type of memory processing that allows you to remember the location of objects in space.

Weakness
A problem with a person's motor system associated with decreased strength in one or more muscles or limbs.

Withdrawal
The neurological condition experienced when certain substances or medications are discontinued rapidly. Withdrawal is associated with physical and psychological symptoms.

Working Memory
The process where your brain stores information temporarily. A.K.A. short term memory.