facebook Medical Terms used in Neurology Free Trial - Pass The OT

Medical Terms used in Neurology



Term Definition
Agnosia  Agnosia is a consequence of acquired brain damage, patients lose the ability to recognize familiar stimuli, despite normal perception of those stimuli. Agnosia can affect recognition of stimuli in any sensory modality, including visual, auditory, and tactile, although visual agnosia is the most common form of the disorder. For example, when encountering the faces of familiar persons such as family members or close friends, a patient with agnosia is unable to identify those persons, or even to recognize that they are familiar. Auditory agnosia refers to impairments in sound perception and identification despite intact hearing, cognitive functioning, and language abilities (reading, writing, and speaking).Agnosia is the loss of ability to recognize objects. This may be through a visual, auditory, or tactile sensory system.


Inability to recognize numbers/letters written on the palm or fingertips.


Akinesia is the inability to initiate movement, hypokinesia indicates reduced amplitude of movement and bradykinesia implies slowed speed of movement.
Alexia Acquired reading impairment that may be accompanied with writing deficits (alexia with agraphia) or without writing deficits (alexia without agraphia)
Amnesia Partial or complete loss of the ability to retrieve previously acquired knowledge
Aneurysm An aneurysm is a ballooning at a weak spot in an artery wall. An aneurysm’s walls can be thin enough to rupture.
Anosognosia Anosognosia, also called “lack of insight,” is a neurological condition in which the patient is unaware of their neurological deficit or psychiatric condition. It is associated with mental illness, dementia, and structural brain lesion, as is seen in right hemisphere stroke patients. It can affect the patient’s conscious awareness of deficits involving judgment, emotions, memory, executive function, language skills, and motor ability.
Aphasia  Aphasia is an impairment in language production or comprehension brought about by neurological damage.

Broca’s Aphasia– In Broca’s aphasia, the damage is to Broca’s area of the brain. Broca’s aphasia is characterized by non-fluent speech. However, speech perception is not affected, and language comprehension is normal. Broca’s aphasics have a halted speech pattern and have difficulty speaking sentences. Their word comprehension is unaffected.

Wernicke’s Aphasia– Damage to Wernicke’s area results in deficits in the comprehension of language. Severe Wernicke’s aphasia may result in a complete absence of understanding language. Speech is fluent, but it may appear to not make sense to listeners, as the patients themselves cannot understand what they are saying. This meaningless speech is sometimes called jargon aphasia. Unlike a person with Broca’s aphasia, individuals with Wernicke’s aphasia often shows a blithe indifference to their disorder and seem unaware of their problems.



Apraxia is a neurological disorder characterized by the inability to perform learned (familiar) movements on command, even though the command is understood and there is a willingness to perform the movement. Both the desire and the capacity to move are present but the person simply cannot execute the act.
Because the primary functions of sensation and motor control are normal, apraxia is considered to be one of the ‘higher cortical’ abnormalities seen in neurology.Types of Apraxia include:
Ideomotor apraxia- inability to perform single motor tasks, such as waving goodbye.
Conceptual apraxia– the patient makes content- and tool-selection errors. For example, when asked to demonstrate the use of a screwdriver, the patient may use it as if it were a hammer.
Ideational apraxia– difficulty with multilevel tasks, such as taking the proper sequence of steps for brushing teeth. There is a failure to conceive or formulate a series of acts, either spontaneously or to command. For example, when writing and sending a letter, the patient with apraxia may seal the envelope before inserting the letter.
Dressing apraxia– difficulty with dressing and putting clothes on in order
Oro-motor apraxia– difficulty with speech
Constructional apraxia– difficulty with spatial relations.
Buccofacial apraxia, (sometimes called facial-oral apraxia) is the inability to coordinate and carry out facial and lip movements such as whistling, winking, coughing etc, on command.
Apraxia of speech is also called acquired apraxia of speech, verbal apraxia, or dyspraxia. It is a motor speech disorder. Apraxia of Speech (AOS) can be divided into two types based on what caused the condition: childhood apraxia of speech and acquired apraxia of speech. Acquired AOS typically results from brain injury in people who have already learned how to speak. It is an impaired ability to perform speech movements. It is differentiated from dysarthrias in that it is not due to problems in strength, speed, and coordination of the articulatory musculature. The primary behavioral characteristics of AOS are slowed speech, abnormal prosody, distortions of speech sounds such as sound substitutions and highly inconsistent errors. Individuals with AOS often appear to be groping for the right way to position their mouth, tongue and lips (articulators) when producing words and sounds.


Astereognosis is defined as the inability to identify objects through touch without visual input. This difficulty in recognizing items by touch when primary sensory modalities (e.g., pain, temperature, and vibration) are intact is termed astereognosis or tactile object agnosia.


Ataxia describes a lack of muscle control or coordination of voluntary movements, such as walking or picking up objects. A sign of an underlying condition, ataxia can affect various movements and create difficulties with speech, eye movement and swallowing. Persistent ataxia usually results from damage to the cerebellum.
Autonomic dysreflexia


Autonomic dysreflexia is a life threatening emergency in patients with spinal cord injury or lesions characterized by a hypertensive emergency.
Bell’s Palsy Bell’s Palsy is a condition marked by unilateral weakness or paralysis of the facial muscles on the affected side.
Cerebral edema


Cerebral edema is an abnormal accumulation fluid in the intracellular space, extracellular space, or both.


Chorea is a movement disorder that causes involuntary, irregular, unpredictable muscle movements. The disorder can make you look like you’re dancing (the word chorea comes from the Greek word for “dance”) or look restless or fidgety. Chorea is characterized by repetitive, brief, irregular, somewhat rapid, involuntary movements that typically involve the face, mouth, trunk and limbs.


A coma is a prolonged state of unconsciousness characterized by the inability to arouse the person.


A concussion is damage to the brain caused a by blow, shaking, jarring, a blast or some type of non-penetrating injury. There is temporary loss of neurological function with no apparent damage.


A contusion is bruising due to bleeding of the underlying tissue of the brain surface caused by a blow in which the integrity of the skin is not disrupted but the blood vessel were ruptured.
Decerebrate posture 


Decerebrate posture is an abnormal body posture, usually in a comatose patient with a severe brain injury, in which the arms are extended and internally rotated and the lower extremities are extended with the feet in the plantar flexion position.
Decorticate posture 


Decorticate posture is an abnormal body posture, usually in a comatose patient with a severe brain injury, in which the arms are abnormally flexed and the lower extremities are extended.


Dysarthria occurs when the muscles you use for speech are weak or you have difficulty controlling them. Dysarthria often causes slurred or slow speech that can be difficult to understand.


Dyskinesias are involuntary, erratic, writhing movements of the face, arms, legs or trunk. They are often fluid and dance-like, but they may also cause rapid jerking or slow and extended muscle spasms.
Common types of dyskinesias include:
• Athetosis: A form of dyskinesia associated with brain damage, mainly cerebral palsy. Movements in athetosis are slow and writhing.
• Levodopa-induced or Parkinson’s dyskinesia: A form of dyskinesia that may occur due to the long-term use of levodopa, a medication used to treat Parkinson’s disease.
• Tardive or delayed dyskinesia: A form of dyskinesia associated with the use of antipsychotic medications, often used to treat schizophrenia.
• Myoclonus dyskinesia: A form of dyskinesia seen in progressive myoclonic encephalopathy. Movements are severe and very disabling.
Dyspraxia Dyspraxia has been defined as a breakdown of praxis and the inability to utilize voluntary motor abilities effectively in all aspects of life from play to structured skilled tasks.




Dysphagia refers to a difficulty swallowing.


Dysphonia is difficulty speaking due to voice impairment or altered voice production.
Dystonia Dystonia is a movement disorder in which your muscles contract involuntarily, causing repetitive or twisting movements.

The condition can affect one part of your body (focal dystonia), two or more adjacent parts (segmental dystonia) or all parts of your body (general dystonia). The muscle spasms can range from mild to severe. They may be painful, and they can interfere with your performance of day-to-day tasks.

Intracranial pressure (ICP) 


Intracranial pressure is pressure exerted by the volume of the intracranial contents within the cranium.


Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the membrane which covers and protects the brain and spinal cord.


Neuropathy is the inflammation of the peripheral nerves which causes weakness or numbness.


Paresthesia is the sensation of numbness or tingling, also known as a feeling of “pins and needles”.
Status epilepticus 


Status epilepticus is an occurrence of multiple seizures in which the patient does not experience recovery time in between seizures.