Cerebral Palsy Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Cerebral Palsy article.

Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Analysis: In psychology, a term for conversation-based therapeutic processes used to gain ...

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Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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Arms: An appendage in anatomy and in clinical trials. See: Arm.

Aspiration: Removal of a sample of fluid and cells through a needle. Aspiration also re...

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Ataxia: Poor coordination and unsteadiness due to the brain's failure to regulate the body...

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Athetosis: Involuntary writhing movements, particularly of the arms and hands. Athetosis i...

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Benzodiazepines: A class of drugs that act as tranquilizers and are commonly used in the t...

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Birth defect: Any defect present in a baby at birth, irrespective of whether the defect is...

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Bladder: A hollow organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine. The kidneys filter waste f...

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Botulinum toxin: A toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum that is th...

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Cardiac: Having to do with the heart.

Cardiac insufficiency: See: Heart failure.

Cavities: Holes or structural damage in the two outer layers of a tooth called the enamel...

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Cerebral: Of or pertaining to the cerebrum or the brain.

Cerebral palsy: An abnormality of motor function (the ability to move and control movement...

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Chromosomes: The microscopically visible carriers of the genetic material. They are compos...

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Cognition: The process of knowing. Cognition includes both awareness and judgment.

Cognitive: Having to do with thought, judgment, or knowledge.

Contraction: The tightening and shortening of a muscle.

CT scan: Computerized tomography scan. Pictures of structures within the body created by a...

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Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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DNA: Deoxyribonucleic acid. One of two types of molecules that encode genetic information...

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Dopamine: An important neurotransmitter (messenger) in the brain.

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Dorsal: Relating to the back or postterior of a structure. As opposed to the ventral, or f...

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Dyskinesia: The presence of involuntary movements, such as the choreaform movements seen i...

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Dysphagia: Difficulty swallowing. Dysphagia is due to abnormal nerve or muscle control. It...

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EEG: Electroencephalogram.

Epilepsy (seizure disorder): When nerve cells in the brain fire electrical impulses...

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Fats: Plural of the word "fat". See the definition of fat.

Fetus: An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after concep...

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Gait: A manner of walking. Observation of gait can provide early diagnostic clues for a nu...

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Gastroenterologist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases...

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Gastroesophageal: Pertaining to both the stomach and the esophagus, as in the gastroesopha...

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Gastroesophageal reflux: The return of stomach contents back up into the esophagus This fr...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

GERD: Gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Handedness: The preferential use of one hand for most fine manual tasks. Right handedness ...

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Head injury: Damage to any of the structures of the head as a result of trauma. While the ...

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Heartburn: An uncomfortable feeling of burning and warmth occurring in waves rising up be...

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Hemiplegia: Paralysis on one side of the body.

Hemorrhage: Bleeding or the abnormal flow of blood.

Hospice: A program or facility that provides special care for people who are near the end ...

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Hypoxia: A lower-than-normal concentration of oxygen in arterial blood, as opposed to anox...

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Immunity: The condition of being immune. Immunity can be innate'for example, humans are in...

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Implantation: The act of setting in firmly.

Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Intervention: The act of intervening, interfering or interceding with the intent of modify...

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Intractable: Unstoppable. For example, intractable diarrhea is diarrhea that can't be stop...

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Jaundice: Yellow staining of the skin and sclerae (the whites of the eyes) by abnormally h...

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Joint: The area where two bones are attached for the purpose of permitting body parts to m...

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Karyotype: A standard arrangement of the chromosome complement prepared for chromosome ana...

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Ketogenic diet: A diet devised as a treatment for severe seizure disorders that do not r...

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Labor: Childbirth, the process of delivering a baby and the placenta, membranes, and umbil...

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Leg: In popular usage, the part of the body from the top of the thigh down to the foot, an...

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Limb: An arm or a leg.

Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Measles: An acute and highly contagious viral disease characterized by fever, runny nose,...

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Memory: 1. The ability to recover information about past events or knowledge. ...

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Meningitis: Inflammation of the meninges, the three membranes that envelop the brain and t...

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Mental retardation: The condition of having an IQ measured as below 70 to 75 and significa...

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Metabolic: Relating to metabolism, the whole range of biochemical processes that occur wit...

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Metabolism: The whole range of biochemical processes that occur within a living organism. ...

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Motor: Something that produces or refers to motion. For example, a motor neuron is a nerve...

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging.

Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Muscle relaxant: Muscle relaxant is a term usually used to refer to skeletal muscle relaxa...

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Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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Neonatal: Pertaining to the newborn period, specifically the first 4 weeks after birth.

Nerve: A bundle of fibers that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit sensory an...

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Neurologist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of th...

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Nose: The external midline projection from the face. The purpose of the nose is to warm, c...

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Nurse: 1) A person trained, licensed, or skilled in nursing. 2) To feed an infant at the ...

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Nutritionist: 1) In a hospital or nursing home, a person who plans and/or formulates spe...

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Obesity: The state of being well above one's normal weight.

Occupational therapist: A licensed health professional who is trained to evaluate patients...

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Ophthalmologist: A physician who practices ophthalmology.

Orthotic: A support, brace, or splint used to support, align, prevent, or correct the func...

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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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Palsy: Paralysis, generally partial, whereby a local body area is incapable of voluntary m...

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Paralysis: Loss of voluntary movement (motor function). Paralysis that affects only one mu...

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Parkinson's disease: A slowly progressive neurologic disease that is characterized by a fi...

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Pelvic: Having to do with the pelvis, the lower part of the abdomen, located between the h...

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Perinatal: Pertaining to the period immediately before and after birth. The perinatal peri...

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Physiatrist: A physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Physiatr...

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Physical therapy: A branch of rehabilitative health that uses specially designed exercises...

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Pneumonia: Inflammation of one or both lungs, with dense areas of lung inflammation. Pneum...

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Posture: The carriage of the body as a whole, the attitude of the body, or the position of...

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.

Premature birth: A birth that takes place before 37 weeks of gestation have passed. Histor...

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Prematurity: Historically, the definition of prematurity was 2500 grams (about 5 1/2 pound...

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Premie: Short and slangy for a premature baby. A preterm infant. Also often spelled (for o...

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Prenatal: Occurring or existing before birth.

Prenatal care: Health care that a pregnant woman receives from an obstetrician or a midwif...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Quadriplegia: Paralysis of all four limbs, both arms and both legs, as from a high spinal ...

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Range of motion: The full movement potential of a joint, usually its range of flexion and ...

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Recurrence: The return of a sign, symptom, or disease after a remission. The reappearance ...

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Reflux: The term used when liquid backs up into the esophagus from the stomach.

Refractory: Not yielding, or not yielding readily, to treatment.

Regimen: A plan or a regulated course, such as a diet, exercise, or treatment, that is des...

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Regurgitation: A backward flowing. For example, vomiting is a regurgitation of food from t...

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Rehabilitation: The process of helping a person who has suffered an illness or injury rest...

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Relaxant: Something that relaxes, relieves, or reduces tension. For example, a muscle rela...

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Resuscitation: The procedure of restoring to life, as in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CP...

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Rh factor: An antigen found in the red blood cells of most people: those who have Rh fac...

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Rh incompatibility: The difference in Rh blood group types between an Rh negative mother a...

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Rib: One of the 12 paired arches of bone that form the skeletal structure of the chest wal...

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Rule out: Term used in medicine, meaning to eliminate or exclude something from considera...

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Saliva: a watery secretion in the mouth produced by the salivary glands that aids in the d...

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Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of...

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Scoliosis: Lateral (sideways) curving of the spine. The degree of scoliosis may range from...

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Sedative: A drug that calms a patient, easing agitation and permitting sleep. Sedatives ge...

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Seizure: Uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain, which may produce a physical conv...

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Seizure disorders: One of a great many medical conditions that are characterized by epis...

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Sepsis: The presence of bacteria (bacteremia), other infectious organisms, or toxins creat...

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Skeletal: Pertaining to the skeleton, the bones of the body that collectively provide the ...

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Spasticity: A state of increased tone of a muscle (and an increase in the deep tendon refl...

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Speech disorder: A disorder affecting the ability to produce normal speech. Speech disor...

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Speech therapy: The treatment of speech and communication disorders. The approach used d...

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Spinal cord: The major column of nerve tissue that is connected to the brain and lies with...

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Spine: 1) The column of bone known as the vertebral column, which surrounds and protects ...

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Stereotactic: Referring to precise positioning in three-dimensional space. For example, bi...

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Stereotactic surgery: Surgery in which a system of three-dimensional coordinates is used t...

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Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Strabismus: A condition in which the visual axes of the eyes are not parallel and the eyes...

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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Substance: 1. Material with particular features.
2. The material that...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Thorax: The area of the body that is located between the abdomen and the neck. Within the ...

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Throat: The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of th...

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Thyroid: 1. The thyroid gland. Also, pertaining to the thyroid gland. 2. A p...

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Tongue: A strong muscle that is anchored to the floor of the mouth. The tongue is covered ...

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Tooth: One of the structures within the mouth that allow for biting and chewing. Teeth hav...

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Toxin: A poison produced by certain animals, plants, or bacteria.

Tremor: An abnormal, repetitive shaking movement of the body. Tremors have many causes and...

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Ultrasound: High-frequency sound waves. Ultra-sound waves can be bounced off tissues by us...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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