Neurological Conditions and Treatments

[ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z ]

Acupressure: The use of pressure to stimulate acupuncture points rather than needles, therefore a non-invasive way to stimulate acupuncture points. This can be done with various means: with metal or other beads, seeds, pellets, finger pressure or pressure applied with any firm object.

Acupuncture: A procedure used to control pain or modify behavior. Long, thin needles are inserted at specific points in the body. Each point controls a different corresponding part of the body. Once needles are inserted, they are rotated gently back and forth, or charged with brief, small electric currents.

Alzheimer's Disease: A progressive, degenerative disease of the brain in which brain cells die and are not replaced. Impaired memory, thinking and behavior result. Click here to access further information about Alzheimer's Disease.

Aneurysm: A sac filled with blood that forms as a result of an abnormal widening of a vein or artery; a weak spot in the blood vessel frequently developing spontaneously or occasionally after inflammation or injury to a vessel.

Ataxia: The lack or loss of control over skilled voluntary movements, resulting in irregular, jerky movements.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A disorder characterized by difficulty concentrating. Patients are also easily distracted, impulsive and often hyperactive.

Botox® Injections: Injections of botulism toxin in small quantities producing a temporary weakness of muscles.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS): A constellation of symptoms caused by pressure against the median nerve at the wrist. Pressure on the nerve causes numbness or tingling in one or both hands, except the little finger. Pain may worsen at night and in the early morning.

Central Nervous System (CNS): The components of the nervous system consisting of the cerebral cortex, brain stem, cerebellum and spinal cord.

Cerebral Palsy (CP): A chronic motor disability in children caused by a malfunction of the brain (cerebral) resulting in a variety of motor problems (palsy). Many also refer to this as a "static encephalopathy". Other neurological diseases involving the peripheral nervous system can look similar in some patients. Cerebral palsy presents in early childhood with typically increased muscle-tone (spasticity), but a form with low tone can occur also. CP is not a progressive disorder and has many causes.

Cerebral Vascular Attack (CVA): Stroke; sudden neurological deficit (paralysis, numbness, speech difficulties, loss of vision, etc.) usually caused by cerebral (brain) embolism, hemorrhage or thrombosis.

Cluster Headaches: Episodic headaches occurring repetitively one to several times per day for a few days to several weeks, i.e., in clusters, followed by an asymptomatic period. Headaches are frequently characterized by severe pain around one eye with tearing of the eye, drooping of the eyelid, nasal congestion on one side and flushing of one side of the face.

Cognitive Testing: Detailed testing of various components of cognition (thinking) including memory, speech, visual perception, problem solving skills, etc.

Dementia: A more general term that refers to a decline in intellectual functioning in such areas as memory, cognition (awareness) and judgment. Although there are many causes of dementia, the most common is Alzheimer's Disease, which accounts for about 2/3 of all dementia cases.

Diplopia: Double vision

Dystonia: Localized, involuntary contraction of a group of muscles.

EEG (Electroencephalography): A diagnostic procedure in which the electrical impulses from the brain are traced and recorded through electrodes that are attached to the head. The resulting graph is called an electroencephalogram (EEG).

EMG (Electromyography): EMGs measure the electrical activity of the muscle during contraction and relaxation. An EMG consists of two parts: nerve conduction studies and a needle examination. Nerve conduction studies are useful in detecting nerve-related problems, such as nerve entrapment (for example, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome), or more widespread nerve dysfunction. The needle examination is useful for identifying problems arising from a "pinched nerve" in the spine, as well as diseases of the muscles themselves. Both parts of the test are usually needed for the physician to obtain meaningful results.

Epilepsy: A disease of the nervous system resulting from an imbalance in the electrical activity in the brain; spontaneous electrical discharge of nerve cells frequently resulting in altered awareness, jerking movements of the extremities, urinary incontinence and confusion, depending on seizure type.

Evoked Potential (Evoked Response) Testing: A recording of electrical activity from the brain, spinal nerves or sensory receptors in response to specific external stimulation. Electrodes are applied to the scalp and other areas of the body. A series of stimuli is then introduced and a computer records neurological responses to the stimuli. Hundreds of responses are received, amplified and averaged by the computer. The final response is plotted on a graph and interpreted by our neurologists who look for particular waveforms and the time it takes them to occur. The three most common types are the Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER), the Visual Evoked Response (VER) and the Somatosensory Evoked Response (SSER).

Headaches:

Hemiparesis: Incomplete paralysis or weakness of one half of the face or body.

Hemiplegia: Paralysis affecting one side of the body, usually resulting from a cerebral vascular attack (stroke) on the opposite side of the body.

Incontinence: Inability to control release of urine or feces. Stress Incontinence occurs when weak pelvic muscles cannot keep the bladder neck closed, resulting in leakage of small amounts of urine when coughing or sneezing, or during exercise. Urge Incontinence occurs when bladder muscles go into spasms, making it impossible to stop the flow of urine once it starts. Overflow incontinence occurs when the bladder cannot be completely emptied.

Memory Loss: Inability to recall information or events from one's recent or remote past. Memory loss can be a symptom of Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

Migraine Headaches: Recurrent, frequently unilateral (one-sided) headaches often associated with nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and noise.

Movement Disorder: A group of neurological disorders characterized by excessive movement (tremor, chorea, Dystonia) or lack of normal movements.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): A diagnostic procedure using a magnetic field to generate signals from the body which are then assimilated into an image (picture) of the body part of interest.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS): A progressive disease affecting the central nervous system and brain, in which patchy, inflammatory changes occur in the nerve sheaths in the brain, spinal cord and optic (eye) nerves, followed by scarring. Presenting symptoms can range from diplopia (double vision) to weakness or unsteadiness of a limb.

Muscle Biopsy: A procedure in which a small piece of muscle is removed for analysis.

Narcolepsy: Narcolepsy is a disabling neurological disorder of sleep regulation that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness.

Neurology: The science and study of the structure, function and pathology (disease) of nerves; the branch of medicine dealing with the nerves and the central nervous system. A Neurologist is a medical doctor who has extensive training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders that affect the brain and nervous system.

Neuropathy: See Peripheral Neuropathy.

Parkinson's Disease: A disorder in which patients suffer from tremors, stiffness and slowness of movement.

Peripheral Neuropathy: Dysfunction of the peripheral nerves (nerves in the arms and legs) caused by disease or injury.

Stroke: Sudden neurological deficit (paralysis, numbness, speech difficulties, loss of vision, etc.) usually caused by cerebral (brain) embolism, hemorrhage or thrombosis.

Tension Headaches: Daily headaches frequently located in the front and back of the head and upper neck that are caused by stress.

Tourette's Syndrome: A disorder that begins in childhood, characterized by abnormal, involuntary motor movements typically involving the head and neck, but can also include a variety of noises and verbal expressions. Both motor and verbal tics can be variable in type and frequency and they can change from one type to another, sometimes on a daily basis. The disorder, which frequently runs in families, can improve over many years.

TOVA Testing (Test of Variables of Attention): An objective, standardized, computerized test used for screening children and adults for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). The patient identifies changing shapes on a computer screen over a 20 minute period. The computer provides scores for errors due to inattention and impulsivity, which are then compared statistically to the patient's sex and age group.

Tremor: Involuntary quivering or trembling

Vertigo: Dizziness; a sensation that one's body or the world is spinning around. May be triggered by changes in the position of the head, such as when moving the head from side to side, or bending the head backwards and looking up.