Medical Terminology Chapter 15

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brain
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contained within the cranium, the center for coordinating body activities and comprises the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brainstem; the brainstem contains the pons, medulla oblongata, and midbrain
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cerebrum
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largest portion of the brain, divided into left and right hemispheres; controls the skeletal muscles, interprets general senses (like temperature, pain, and touch), and contains centers for sight and hearing; intellect, memory, and emotional reactions also take place here
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ventricles
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spaces within the brain that contain cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which flows through the subarachnoid space around the brain and spinal cord
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cerebellum
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located under the posterior portion of the cerebrum, assists in the coordination of skeletal muscles to maintain balance (also called hindbrain)
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brainstem
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stemlike portion of the brain that connects with the spinal cord; contains centers that control respiration and heart rate; three structures that comprise it are pons, medulla oblongata, and midbrain
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pons
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literally means bridge; connects the cerebrum with the cerebellum and brainstem
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medulla oblongata
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located between the pons and spinal cord; contains centers that control respiration, heart rate, and the muscles in the blood vessel walls, which assist in determining blood pressure
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midbrain
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most superior portion of the brainstem
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cerebrospinal fluid
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CSF; clear, colorless luid contained in the ventricles that flows through the subarachnoid space around the brain and spinal cord; cushions the brain and spinal cord from shock, transports nutrients, and clears metabolic waste
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spinal cord
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passes through the vertebral canal extending from the medulla oblongata to the level of the second lumbar vertebra; spinal cord conducts nerve impulses to and from the brain and initiates reflex action to sensory information without input from the brain
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meninges
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three layers of membrane that cover the brain and spinal cord
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dura mater
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tough outer layer of the meninges
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arachnoid
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delicate middle layer of the meninges; the arachnoid membrane is loosely attached to the pia mater by weblike fibers, which allow for the subarachnoid space
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pia mater
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thin inner layer of the meninges
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nerve
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cordlike structure made up of fibers that carries impulses from one part of the body to another; 12 pairs of cranial nerves and 31 pairs of spinal nerves
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ganglion
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group of nerve cell bodies located outside the central nervous system
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glia
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specialized cells that support and nourish nervous tissue; some cells assist in the secretion of cerebrospinal fluid and others assist with phagocytosis; do not conduct impulses; three tpes (astroglia, oligodendroglia, and microglia)
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neuron
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nerve cell that conducts nerve impulses to carry out the function of the nervous system; destroyed neurons cannot be replaced
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cerebell/o
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combining form meaning cerebellum
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cerebr/o
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combining form meaning cerebrum, brain
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dur/o
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combining form meaning hard, dura mater
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encephal/o
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combining form meaning brain
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gangli/o, ganglion/o
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combining forms meaning ganglion
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gli/o
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combining form meaning glia, gluey substance
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mening/o, meningi/o
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combining forms meaning meninges
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myel/o
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combining form meaning spinal cord
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neur/o
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combining form meaning nerve
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radic/o, radicul/o, rhiz/o
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combining forms meaning nerve root (proximal end of a peripheral nerve, closest to the spinal cord)
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esthesi/o
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combining form meaning sensation, sensitivity, feeling
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ment/o, psych/o
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combining form meaning mind
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mon/o
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combining form meaning one, single
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phas/o
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combining form meaning speech
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poli/o
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combining form meaning gray matter
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quadr/i
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combining form meaning four
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-iatrist
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suffix meaning specialist, physician
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-iatry
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suffix meaning treatment, specialty
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-ictal
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suffix meaning seizure, attack
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-paresis
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suffix meaning slight paralysis
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duritis
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inflammation of the dura mater
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encephalitis
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inflammation of the brain
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encephalomalacia
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softening of the brain
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encephalomeloradiculitis
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inflammation of the brain, spinal cord, and nerve roots
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gangliitis
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inflammation of a ganglion
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glioblastoma
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tumor composed of developing glial tissue (the most malignant and most common primary tumor of the brain)
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glioma
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tumor composed of the glial tissue (glioma is used to describe all primary neoplasms of the brain and spinal cord)
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meningioma
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tumor of the meninges (benign and slow growing)
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meningitis
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inflammation of the meninges
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meningocele
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protrusion of the meninges (through a defect in the skull or vertebral arch)
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meningomyelocele
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protrusion of the meninges and spinal cord (through a neural arch defect in the vertebral column); also called myelomeningocele
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mononeuropathy
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disease affecting a single nerve (such as carpal tunnel syndrome)
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neuralgia
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pain in a nerve
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neuritis
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inflammation of a nerve
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neuroarthropathy
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disease of nerves and joints
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neuroma
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tumor made up of nerve cells
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neuropathy
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disease of the nerves (peripheral)
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poliomyelitis
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inflammation of the gray matter of the spinal cord (caused by one of three viruses)
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polyneuritis
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inflammation of many nerves
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polyneuropathy
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disease of many nerves (most often occurs as a side effect of diabetes mellitus, but may also occur as a result of drug therapy, critical illness such as sepsis, or carcinoma; exhibiting symptoms of weakness, distal sensory loss, and burning)
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radiculitis
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inflammation of the nerve roots
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radiculopathy
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disease of the nerve roots
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rhizomeningomyelitis
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inflammation of the nerve root, meninges, and spinal cord
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subdural hematoma
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pertaining to below the dura mater, tumor of blood (a collection of blood resulting from a broken blood vessel)
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alzheimer disease
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AD; disease characterized by early dementia, confusion, loss of recognition of persons or unfamiliar surroundings, restlessness, and impaired memory
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amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
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ALS; progressive muscle atrophy caused by degeneration and scarring of neurons along the lateral columns of the spinal cord that control muscles; also called Lou Gehrig disease
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bell palsy
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paralysis of muscles on one side of the face caused by inflammation or compression of the facial nerve-cranial nerve VII; signs include a sagging mouth on the affected side and nonclosure of the eyelid; paralysis is usually temporary
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cerebral aneurysm
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aneurysm in the cerebrum
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cerebral embolism
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an embolus (usually a blood clot or a piece of atherosclerotic plaque arising from a distant site) lodges in a cerebral artery, causing sudden blockage of blood supply to the brain tissue; atrial fibrillation is a common cause of cerebral embolism, which can lead to ischemic stroke
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cerebral palsy
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CP; condition characterized by lack of muscle control and partial paralysis, caused by a brain defect or lesion present at birth or shortly after
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dementia
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cognitive impairment characterized by loss of intellectual brain function; patients have difficulty in various ways, including difficulty in performing complex tasks, reasoning, learning and retaining new information, orientation, word finding, and behavior; has several causes and is not considered part of normal aging
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epilepsy
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condition characterized by recurrent seizures; a general term given to a group of neurologic disorders, all characterized by abnormal electrical activity in the brain
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hydrocephalus
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congenital or acquired disorder caused by obstructed circulation of cerebrospinal fluid, resulting in dilated cerebral ventricles and impaired brain function; for infants, hydrocephalus can cause enlargement of the cranium
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intracerebral hemorrhage
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bleeding into the brain as a result of a ruptured blood vessel within the brain; symptoms vary depending on the location of the hemorrhage; acute symptoms include dyspnea, dysphagia, aphasia, diminished level of consciousness, and hemiparesis; symptoms often develop suddenly; cause of hemorrhagic stroke and frequently associated with high blood pressure
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multiple sclerosis
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MS; chronic degenerative disease characterized by sclerotic patches along the brain and spinal cord; signs and symptoms fluctuate over the course of the disease; more common symptoms include fatigue, balance, and coordination impairments, numbness, and vision problems
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parkinson disease
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PD; chronic degenerative disease of the CNS; signs and symptoms include resting tremors of the hands and feet, rigidity, expressionless face, and shuffling gait; usually occurs after age 50
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sciatica
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inflammation of the sciatic nerve, causing pain that travels from the thigh through the leg to the foot and toes; can be caused by injury, infection, arthritis, herniated disk, or from prolonged pressure on the nerve from sitting for long periods
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shingles
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viral disease that affects the peripheral nerves and causes blisters on the skin that follow the course of the affected nerves; also called herpes zoster
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stroke
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occurs when there is an interruption of blood supply to a region of the brain, depriving nerve cells in the affected area of oxygen and nutrients; the cells cannot perform and may be damaged or die within minutes; parts of the body controlled by the involved cells experience dysfunction; speech, movement, memory, and other CNS functions may be affected in varying degrees; also called cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or brain attack
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ischemic stroke
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stroke as a result of a blocked blood vessel
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hemorrhagic stroke
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stroke as a result of bleeding
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subarachnoid hemorrhage
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SAH; bleeding caused by a ruptured blood vessel just outside the brain (usually a ruptured cerebral aneurysm) that rapidly fills the space between the piamater and arachnoid layers of the meninges (subarachnoid space) with blood; patient may experience an intense, sudden headache accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and neck pain
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transient ischemic attack
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TIA; sudden deficient supply of blood to the brain lasting a short time; symptoms may be similar to those of stroke, but with TIA the symptoms are temporary and the usual outcome is complete recovery; TIAs are often warning signs for eventual occurrence of a stroke
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Alzheimer disease
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the most common type of dementia, making up 60-80% of all cases; the disease, the cause of which is unknown, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by diffuse brain atrophy and the presence of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles within the brain cortex; women are affected more than men, and the disease usually occurs after the age of 60; the disease is slowly progressive and usually results in a profound dementia in 5-10 years
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vascular or multiple infarct dementia
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affects approximately 10-20% of patients with dementia; secondary to cerebrovascular disease and usually occurs in older patients
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central nervous system infection dementia
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may be caused by herpes simplex encephalitis or may be seen in patients with AIDS
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lewy body dementia
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usually a rapidly progressive form of dementia seen with Parkinson syndrome
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parkinson disease
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may develop in patients with advanced disease
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wernicke-korsakoff syndrome
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a form of dementia found with chronic alcoholism
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normal pressure hydrocephalus
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may cause dementia in elderly individuals and can be treated with a ventricular peritoneal shunt
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ganglionectomy
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excision of a ganglion; also called gangliectomy
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neurectomy
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excision of a nerve
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neurolysis
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dissolution of a nerve (for pain management)
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neurorrhaphy
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suturing of a nerve
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neurotomy
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incision into a nerve
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radicotomy, rhizotomy
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incision into a nerve root
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cerebral angiography
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process of recording (scan) of the blood vessels of the cerebrum after an injection of contrast medium
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CT myelography
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process of recording (scan) the spinal cord (after an injection of a contrast agent into the subarachnoid space by lumbar puncture; size, shape, and position of the spinal cord and nerve roots are demonstrated)
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electroencephalogram
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EEG; record of electrical activity of the brain
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electroencephalograph
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instrument used to record electrical activity of the brain
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electroencephalography
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process of recording the electrical activity of the brain
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computed tomography of the brain
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computerized radiographic process producing a series of sectional images (slices) of brain tissue; useful in diagnosing brain tumors
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magnetic resonance imaging of the brain or spine
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high-strength computer-controlled magnetic fields producing a series of sectional images (slices) of the soft tissues of the brain or spine; used to visualize tumors, edema, MS, and herniated disks
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positron emission tomography scan of the brain
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nuclear medicine procedure combining CT and radioactive chemicals producing sectional images of the brain to examine blood flow and metabolic activity
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evoked potential studies
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group of diagnostic tests that measure changes and responses in brain waves elicited by visual, auditory, or somatosensory stimuli; visual evoked response (VER) is a response to visual stimuli; auditory evoked response (AER) is a response to auditory stimuli
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lumbar puncture
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LP; diagnostic procedure performed by insertion of a needle into the subarachnoid space usually between the third and fourth lumbar vertebrae; performed for many reasons, including the removal of cerebrospinal fluid (also called a spinal tap)
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panplegia
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total paralysis
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paresthesia
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abnormal sensation such as burning, prickling, or tingling sensation, often in the extremities; may be caused by nerve damage or peripheral neuropathy
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postictal
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occurring after a seizure or attack
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preictal
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occurring before a seizure or attack
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quadriplegia
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paralysis of four (limbs)
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subdural
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pertaining to below the dura mater
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afferent
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conveying toward a center (for example, afferent nerves carry impulses to the central nervous system)
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ataxia
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lack of muscle coordination
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cognitive
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pertaining to the mental processes of comprehension, judgment, memory, and reason
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coma
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state of profound unconsciousness
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concussion
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injury to the brain caused by minor or major head trauma; symptoms include vertigo, headache, and possible loss of consequence
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conscious
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awake, alert, aware of one’s surroundings
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convulsion
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sudden, involuntary contraction of a group of muscles; may be present during a seizure
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disorientation
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a state of mental confusion as to time, place, or identity
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mild cognitive impairment
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MCI; the presence of significant memory difficulty wen adjusted for age-related norms; the patient usually has little difficulty performing activities of daily living; may be an early manifestation of Alzheimer disease or other forms of dementia
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age-associated memory impairment
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when memory function tends to decline with aging when compared with young adults; not necessarily a forerunner of dementia
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delirium
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potentially reversible acute disturbance of consciousness with impairment of cognition; a number of conditions can cause this by interfering with brain metabolism; drugs, alcohol, systemic infections, head trauma, hypoglycemia, and electrolyte disturbances are common examples
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pseudodementia
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a disorder resembling dementia but is not caused by a brain disease; can be found in mental illness, such as major depression, and can be reversible with treatment
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dysarthria
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the inability to use speech that is distinct and connected because of a loss of muscle control after damage to the peripheral or central nervous system
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efferent
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conveying away from the center (like nerves carrying information away from the CNS)
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gait
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a manner or style of walking
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incoherent
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unable to express one’s thoughts or ideas in an orderly, intelligible manner
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paraplegia
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paralysis from the waist down caused by damage to the lower level of the spinal cord
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seizure
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sudden, abnormal surge of electrical activity in the brain, resulting in involuntary body movements or behaviors
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shunt
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tube implanted in the body to redirect the flow of a fluid
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syncope
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fainting or sudden loss of consciousness caused by lack of blood supply to the cerebrum
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unconsciousness
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state of being unaware of surroundings and incapable of responding to stimuli as a result of injury, shock, illness, or drugs
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psychiatrist
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physician who studies and treats disorders of the mind
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psychiatry
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specialist of the mind (branch of medicine that deals with treatment of mental disorders)
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psychogenic
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originating in the mind
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psychologist
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specialist of the mind
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psychology
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study of the mind (a profession that involves dealing with the mind and mental processes in relation to human behavior)
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psychopathy
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any disease of the mind
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psychosis
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abnormal condition of the mind (major mental disorder characterized by extreme derangement, often with delusions and hallucinations
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psychosomatic
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pertaining to the mind and body (interrelations of)
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anorexia nervosa
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eating disorder characterized by a disturbed perception of body image resulting in failure to maintain body weight, intensive fear of gaining weight, pronounced desire for thinness, and, in females amenorrhea
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anxiety disorder
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emotional disorder characterized by feelings of apprehension, tension, or uneasiness arising typically from the anticipation of unreal or imagined danger
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attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
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ADHD; disorder of learning and behavioral problems characterized by marked inattention, distractibility, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity
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autism
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spectrum of mental disorders, the features of which include onset during infancy or childhood, preoccupation with subjective mental activity, inability to interact socially, and impaired communication (also referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorders [ASD] or pervasive developmental disorders [PDD])
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bipolar disorder
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major psychological disorder typified by a disturbance in mood; manifested by manic and depressive episodes that may alternate or elements of both may occur simultaneously
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bulimia nervosa
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eating disorder characterized by uncontrolled binge eating followed by purging
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major depression
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mood disturbance characterized by feelings of sadness, despair, discouragement, hopelessness, lack of joy, altered sleep patterns, and difficulty with decision making and daily function; ranges from normal feelings of sadness (resulting from and proportional to personal loss or tragedy), through dysthymia (chronic depressive neurosis) to major depression (also referred to as clinical depression, mood disorder)
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obsessive-compulsive disorder
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OCD; disorder characterized by intrusive, unwanted thoughts that result in the tendency to perform repetitive acts or rituals (compulsions) usually as a means of releasing tension or anxiety
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panic attack
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episode of sudden onset of acute anxiety, occurring unpredictably, with feelings of acute apprehension, dyspnea, dizziness, sweating, and/or chest pain, depersonalization, paresthesia and fear of dying, loss of mind or control
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phobia
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marked and persistent fear that is excessive or unreasonable cued by the presence or anticipation of a specific situation or object (such as claustrophobia, the abnormal fear of being in enclosed spaces)
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pica
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compulsive eating of nonnutritive substances such as clay or ice; often a result of an iron deficiency; when iron deficiency is the cause of pica the condition will disappear in 1 or 2 weeks when treated with iron therapy
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posttraumatic stress disorder
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PTSD; disorder characterized by a chronic, debilitating emotional response to a traumatic event perceived as life threatening or severe emotional stress; may be caused by exposure to repeated physical or emotional trauma, military combat, natural disasters, or serious accidents; symptoms include anxiety, sleep disturbance, nightmares, difficulty concentrating, and depression
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schizophrenia
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any one of a large group of psychotic disorders characterized by gross distortions of reality, disturbance of language and communication, withdrawal from social interaction, and the disorganization and fragmentation of thought, perception, and emotional reaction
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somatoform disorders
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disorders characterized by physical symptoms for which no known physical cause exists
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alzheimer disease
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AD
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attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
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ADHD
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amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
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ALS
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central nervous system
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CNS
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cerebral palsy
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CP
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cerebrospinal fluid
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CSF
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cerebrovascular accident
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CVA
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electroencephalogram
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EEG
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evoked potential studies
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EP studies
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lumbar puncture
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LP
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magnetic resonance imaging
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MRI
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multiple sclerosis
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MS
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obsessive-compulsive disorder
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OCD
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parkinson disease
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PD
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positron emission tomography
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PET
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peripheral nervous system
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PNS
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posttraumatic stress disorder
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PTSD
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subarachnoid hemorrhage
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SAH
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transient ischemic attack
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TIA

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