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Neurological Glossary




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TA
Tendo-achilles � Achilles tendon - Heel tendon

Takayasu's disease
A rare form of arteritis which is sometimes the cause of stroke, occurring most commonly in younger women aged 20-40. Named after a Japanese ophthalmologist; symptoms may include vision problems, dizziness, fainting, hypertension, muscle aches, weight loss, fever, night sweats

Tardive
Symptoms that develop slowly or appear long after inception, e.g., tardive dyskinesia occurring after chronic exposure to dopamine antagonists

Tau
Microtubule-associated protein that is functionally modulated by phosphorylation and is hyperphosphorylated in several neurodegenerative diseases.

Tauopathies
Group of neurodegenerative diseases characterized predominantly by abnormalities of tau protein; includes frontotemporal dementia, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration

Teardrop fracture
Triangular fracture of the anteroinferior aspect of a vertebral body due to axial loading with flexion or extension; often unstable associated with ligamentous injury and/or spinal cord injury

Tectospinal tract
Descending pathway from midbrain tectum to spinal inter- and motor neurons that control anti-gravity posture and locomotion and that probably mediate tonic neck reflexes

Tectum
Dorsal surface of the midbrain that contains the superior and inferior collicli

Tegmentum
Floor of the midbrain that contains the substantia nigra and the red nucleus

Teichopsia
see fortification spectrum

Telencephalon
Anterior portion of the prosencephalon, constituting the cerebral hemispheres

Temporal lobe epilepsy
Partial epilepsy arising from the temporal lobe of the brain

Tendon release (tenotomy)
Surgical procedure involving division of a severely contracted tendon in the management of spasticity

TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
Pain management through a unit which delivers electrical pulses to the painful area, stimulating the sensory nerves and thereby activating natural pain relief mechanisms. Widely used by hospitals and pain clinics throughout the UK.

Tension-type headache
Nonspecific headache that is typically dull, aching, and bilateral, and is often described as a tightening band-like sensation around the head or neck; may be related to muscle tightening in the back of the neck and/or scalp

Tentorium cerebelli
Fold of dura mater that covers the cerebellum and supports the occipital lobes of the cerebrum

Tetany
Repetitive, spontaneous axonal discharges at high rates of up to 300 Hz producing intense muscle spasm in the setting of electrolyte or acid-base disturbance

Tethered cord
Attachment of the spinal cord to the vertebral column or subcutaneous tissues by a thickened filum terminale, fibrous band, diastematomyelia, dermal sinus tract, or lipoma resulting in a low-lying conus medullaris (i.e., below the L2-3 interspace)

Tetraplegia
Indicates that all four limbs are involved. Also known as quadraplegia, whole body cerebral palsy and four limb cerebral palsy.

Thalamus
A part of the brain where the nerves carrying information about sensation from the body join with other nerves

Thrombolysis
The use of drugs to break up a blood clot, a treatment which can be given to a minority of patients in the acute stage of ischaemic stroke

Thrombosis
The formation of a blood clot (plural: thromboses).

Thunderclap headache
Sudden onset of severe head pain with neck stiffness that may be associated with altered consciousness or focal neurological deficits; suggests subarachnoid haemorrhage

Tic
Repetitive, stereotyped, simple or complex movements that can be voluntarily suppressed for short periods of time (e.g., eye blinking or throat clearing)

Time-intensity profile
Of the temporal features of a patient�s symptoms that provides clues about etiology of the disease process; acute, subacute, recurrent-remittent, or chronic-progressive

Tinnitus
Sound experienced subjectively with no external source, most commonly ringing, buzzing, or roaring

Titubation
Tremor of the head and neck

Todd's paralysis
Temporary (minutes to hours or rarely days) post-seizure mono- or hemiplegia; indicates seizure was focal onset; sometimes term used for other temporary focal post-seizure deficits, such as aphasia or sensory abnormalities

Tolerance
Gradual loss of response to a drug with prolonged use

Tolosa-Hunt syndrome
Describes a rare, granulomatous inflammatory process adjacent to the cavernous sinus or within the superior orbital fissure

Tomacula
Focal area of myelin thickening creating a sausage-like appearance of nerves; common in the genetic neuropathy, Hereditary Liability to Pressure Palsies

Tone
Natural sustained tension in muscle

Tonic
Sustained tension in a limb

Tonic-clonic seizure (grand mal seizure)
Generalised seizure characterized by initial contraction of the muscles (tonic phase), which may involve tongue biting and urinary incontinence, followed by rhythmic muscle contractions (clonic phase)

Tonic neck reflexes
Movements and postures of the arm and leg when the neck is bent forwards, backwards, or to the side that are present in normal infants and are incorporated in many bodily movements of normal children and adults

Tonic seizure
Generalized seizure that involves stiffening of the entire body

Tonsilar herniation
Herniation of the cerebellar tonsils through the foramen magnum

Torticollis
Form of dystonia in which the neck muscles contract involuntarily, causing the head to turn

Tourette syndrome
Childhood onset movement disorder characterized by simple or complex tics and often associated with obsessions, compulsions, and attention deficit disorder

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
Magnetic current applied to an area of the brain to promote plasticity and healing.

Transcortical motor aphasia
Impairment of language production (non-fluent aphasia) sparing repetition due to a lesion in the anterior extrasylvian region (prefrontal and medial frontal cortex)

Transcortical sensory aphasia
Impairment of language comprehension (fluent aphasia) sparing repetition due to a lesion in the posterior extrasylvian region (inferior temporo-occipital cortex)

Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS)
Method of pain control involving application of electrical impulses to nerve endings via electrodes that are attached to a stimulator by flexible wires and placed on the skin; thought to block the transmission of pain signals to the brain

Transformed migraine
Migraine pattern that has changed from episodic to chronic, often related to the overuse of analgesics (medication overuse headache)

Transient ischemic attack
Abrupt focal loss of neurologic function caused by reduction in blood flow that persists less than 24 hours and clears without residual disability

Transtentorial (central) herniation
Downward displacement of the cerebral hemispheres pushing the diencephalon and midbrain through the tentorial notch; symptoms classically follow a rostrocaudal deterioration

Transverse myelitis
Inflammatory disease involving both sides of the spinal cord in which motor and sensory deficits occur below the level of the lesion; occurs commonly in multiple sclerosis and various infectious and connective tissue disorders

Tremor
Rhythmic, uncontrolled repetitive movements of parts of the body

Transverse Plane
Any plane at right angles to the long axis of the body

Trigeminal nerve (cranial nerve V)
Mixed sensory and motor nerve made up of ophthalmic, maxillary, and mandibular divisions responsible for sensation from the face, oral and nasal cavities, and supratentorial dura(but not posterior scalp) and motor innervation of the muscles of mastication; sensory fibres originate in the gasserian ganglion and (1) descend to the upper cervical cord in the spinal tract of V then ascend in the trigeminothalamic tract to the thalamus (pain, temperature, touch), (2) enter the main sensory nucleus of V and ascend to the thalamus (tactile and proprioceptive sensation), or (3) enter the mesencephalic nucleus (jaw proprioception)

Triplegia
Impairment of three limbs

Tripod
Walking Aid

Trochlear nerve (cranial nerve IV)
Motor nerve innervating the superior oblique muscle, which depresses and intorts the eye; only cranial nerve to exit dorsally and cross the midline before emerging from the brainstem�thus a lesion of the nucleus (which is in the caudal midbrain) affects the contralateral eye

Trigonocephaly
Premature closure of the metopic suture producing bowing of the forehead

Triple flexion
Spinal reflex consisting of flexion at the hip, knee, and ankle in response to stimulation of the sole of the foot; indicates corticospinal tract lesion

Truncal sensory level
Level on the trunk below which sensation is impaired; sign of spinal cord lesion

Two-point discrimination
Ability to detect two stimuli presented simultaneously at decreasing distance as being two separate stimuli; for normal tactile two-point discrimination, the two points of calipers or a paperclip should be recognized at a separation of 2-4 mm on the lips and finger pads, 8-15 mm on the palms, and 3-4 cm on the shins


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