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Neurological Glossary




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Ictus
Sudden attack, stroke, or seizure

Idiopathic
Occurring without known cause; in the context of epilepsy, indicates cases in which no lesion is found and a genetic cause is presumed

Impairment
Problem in body function or structure such as a significant deviation or loss (e.g., weakness = impairment in the muscles' capability to produce force)

Incisura
Fissure that separates the uncus from the apex of the temporal lobe

Incontinence
Loss of control of passing urine, faeces, or both (termed "double incontinence")

Indomethacin
A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that reduces fever, pain and inflammation

Indomethacin-responsive headache
Class of primary headache disorders characterized by a prompt and often complete response to indomethacin to the exclusion of other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and medications usually effective in treating other primary headache disorders; includes ice-pick headache, chronic paroxysmal hemicrania, hemicrania continua, cough headache, and hypnic headache, among others

Infantile spasms
Form of cryptogenic generalized epilepsy characterized by sudden, forceful forward flexion of the trunk and extension of the arms

Infarct/infarction
An area of the brain tissue that has died as a result of being deprived of its blood supply

Inferior
Further from the head

Inferior cerebellar peduncle (restiform body)
Paired bundle of fibres travelling to and from the cerebellum; afferent fibres from the dorsal spinocerebellar tract carry proprioceptive information from the upper body; efferent fibres travel to the vestibular nuclei in the dorsal brainstem

Inferior colliculus
Paired structures on the dorsal surface of the caudal midbrain overlying the cerebral aqueduct that process and relay auditory signals from brainstem centres to the medial geniculate nucleus of the thalamus; with the superior collicui, make up the tectum and the quadrigeminal bodies

Inferior olivary nucleus
Prominent nucleus in the ventral medulla located just lateral and dorsal to the medullary pyramids; source of climbing fibres that provide a critical input to the cerebellum involved in Purkinje cell plasticity and motor learning

Infratentorial
Below the tentorium cerebelli, i.e., brainstem and cerebellum

Infundibulum
Connection between the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland (also called the "pituitary stalk"); contains the hypophyseal portal veins and the axons of hypothalamic neurons that project to the posterior pituitary

Insertion
Describes attachment of muscle the end of the muscle that moves most, usually the distal end

Insomnia
Difficulty with falling asleep or staying asleep

Insula
Cerebral cortex lying in the depths of the Sylvian fissure and involved in gustatory, visceral sensory and emotional processing

Intention tremor
Tremor whose amplitude increases as the affected body part (typically a finger) nears an intended target and that may the targeted object to be missed; typically results from damage to the cerebellum or its connections

Internal
Inside

Internal capsule
Broad compact band of efferent and afferent fibers that travel to or from the cerebral cortex; flanked medially by the thalamus and caudate and laterally by the lentiform nucleus

Internal carotid artery
Artery that arises from the common carotid artery at the upper border of the thyroid cartilage and terminates in the middle cranial fossa by dividing into the anterior cerebral artery and the middle cerebral artery; constitutes the anterior circulation of the brain

Inter-neuron
Neurons that receives input from one neurons and projects to another neurons within spinal cord, allowing a greater degree of complexity of movement control

Internuclear ophthalmoplegia
Failure of adduction of one eye and abducting nystagmus of the other eye due to a lesion of the medial longitudinal fasciculus

Intracranial pressure
Pressure exerted by the brain, cerebrospinal fluid, and the cerebral blood supply on the intracranial space; measured in centimeters of water (cmH2O) or millimeters of mercury (mmHg); normally less than 20 mm/Hg

Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy
Method of administering Baclofen [a muscle relaxant] internally � used to treat spasticity

Intrathecal space (subarachnoid space)
Space surrounding the brain and spinal cord that contains cerebrospinal fluid

Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH)
Bleeding in the ventricles especially from fragile blood vessels in premature infants; in adults may accompany intracerebral or subarachnoid haemorrhage

Inversion
Turning the sole of the foot towards the median plane

Involuntary
Function, such as a movement that occurs without conscious choice or effort

Ipsilateral
Located on the same side of the body (brain)

Ischemia
Damage to the brain where brain cells have had an inadequate blood supply

Ischaemic cascade
Series of harmful physiological events triggered by ischaemia, and which cause further injury to the surrounding brain tissue

Ischaemic penumbra
Area of less damaged and still living brain cells, surrounding those brain cells which have been irreparably damaged by an ischaemic stroke

Ischaemic stroke
This type of stroke happens when a clot blocks an artery carrying blood to the brain.


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