Stroke Glossary of Terms

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

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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Anemia: The condition of having a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells or quantity ...

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Arteriosclerosis: Hardening and thickening of the walls of the arteries. Arteriosclerosis ...

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Artery: A vessel that carries blood high in oxygen content away from the heart to the far...

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Aspirin: Once the Bayer trademark for acetylsalicylic acid, now the common name for this a...

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Atrial: Pertaining to the atria, the upper chambers of the heart, as in atrial fibrillatio...

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Atrial fibrillation: An abnormal and irregular heart rhythm in which electrical signals ar...

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Baseline: Information or data gathered at the beginning of a period from which variations ...

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Blindness: Loss of useful sight. Blindness can be temporary or permanent. Damage to any p...

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Blood clots: Blood that has been converted from a liquid to a solid state. Also called a t...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Blood sugar: Blood glucose. See also: High blood sugar; Low blood sugar.

Blurred vision: Lack of sharpness of vision with, as a result, the inability to see fine d...

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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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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Cardiovascular: Relating to the circulatory system, which comprises the heart and blood ve...

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Catheter: A thin, flexible tube.

Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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

Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chest pain: Pain in the chest that can be a result of many things, including angina, heart...

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Chest X-ray: A type of X-ray commonly used to detect abnormalities in the lungs. A chest X...

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Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body. Cholesterol has a reputation for...

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Compress: Cloth or another material applied under pressure to an area of the skin and held...

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

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CVA: Cerebrovascular accident.

Diabetes: Refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mell...

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Diabetes mellitus: Better known just as "diabetes" -- a chronic disease associated with ab...

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

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Dizziness: Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of ...

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ECG: Electrocardiogram.

Emboli: Something that travels through the bloodstream, lodges in a blood vessel and block...

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Fibrillation: In cardiology, an abnormal and erratic twitching of the heart muscle.

Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of bloo...

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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Hematocrit: The proportion of the blood that consists of packed red blood cells. The hema...

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Hemorrhage: Bleeding or the abnormal flow of blood.

Hemorrhagic: Pertaining to bleeding or the abnormal flow of blood.

High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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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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Lipoprotein: A molecule that is a combination of lipid and protein. Lipids do not travel i...

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Lips: Aside from the lips of the mouth, there are two pairs of lips at the entrance to the...

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Low blood sugar: A low blood level of the sugar glucose. Also called hypoglycemia.

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

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Magnetic resonance imaging: A procedure that uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer t...

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Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging.

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

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

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On call: In medicine, the person who is ready to respond, the one on duty. As in "Who is t...

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Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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

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Peripheral: Situated away from the center, as opposed to centrally located.

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

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Plaque: 1. An semi-hardened accumulation of substances from fluids that bathe an a...

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

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

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Pulse: The rhythmic dilation of an artery that results from beating of the heart. Pulse is...

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

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

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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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Skull: The skull is a collection of bones which encase the brain and give form to the hea...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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

TIA: Transient ischemic attack.

Tissue plasminogen activator: (tPA) An enzyme that helps dissolve clots. tPA is made by th...

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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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tPA: See: Tissue plasminogen activator.

Unconscious: 1. Interruption of awareness of oneself and one's surroundings, lack ...

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Urinalysis: A test that is done in order to analyze urine. Because toxins and excess fluid...

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Vessel: A tube in the body that carries fluids. Examples of vessels are blood vessels and ...

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Warfarin: An anticoagulant drug (brand names: Coumarin, Panwarfin, Sofarin) taken to prev...

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White blood cell: One of the cells the body makes to help fight infections. There are seve...

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White blood cell count (leukocyte count): The number of white blood cells (WBCs) in the b...

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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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Medical Dictionary