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Central Nervous System (CNS)
The brain and spinal cord
Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
Part of nervous system that extends throughout the body. Includes cranial nerves and peripheral nerves. Contains somatic and autonomic nervous systems.
Somatic Nervous System
Part of nervous system controlling voluntary functions
Autonomic Nervous System
Part of nervous system controlling involuntary functions. Sympathetic and parasympathetic.
Sympathetic Nervous System
Division of the autonomic nervous system that prepares the body for stress. Increased HR, dilation of bronchioles and pupils. Epinepherine/Norepinephrine are its neurotransmitters.
Parasympathetic Nervous System
Division of autonomic nervous system that is responsible for controlling vegetative functions. Decreased HR, constriction of bronchioles and pupils. Acetylcholine
Nerve Cell, fundamental component of the nervous system. Cell body (soma), Dendrites (transmit electrical impulses to soma), Axons (transmit electrical impulses away from soma)
Substance released from the axon terminal of presynaptic neuron unpon excitation that travels across the synaptic cleft to either excite or inhibit the target cell.
Membranes covering and protecting the brain and spinal cord. Consists of the pia mater, arachnoid membrane, dura mater.
Tought outermost layer of meninges.
Middle layer of meninges
Delicate innermost layer of meninges
Bones of Skull
Frontal bone, parietal bone, occipital bone. Temporal bone, sphenoid bone.
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)
Watery, clear fluid that acts as a cushion, protecting brain and spinal cord from physical impact. CSF also serves as an accessory circulatory system for the CNS.
Largest part of the brain, consisting of two hemispheres. Seat of conciousness and the center of higher mental functions such as memory, learning, reasoning, judgment, intelligence and emotions.
Portion of the brain lying beneath the cerebrum and above the brainstem. Contains thalmus (relays incoming information), hypothalmus (controls emotions, and hormones) and limbic system.
Part of brain connecting the cerebral hemispheres with the spinal cord. Consists of mesencephalon, pons and medulla oblongata.
Portion of brain connecting the pons and cerebellum with the cerebral hemispheres, also called midbrain. Controls motor coordination and eye movement.
Process of tissue connecting medulla oblangata and cerebellum with upper portions of brain.
Lower portion of brainstem connecting the pons and the spinal cord. Contains major centers for control of respiratory, cardiac and vasomotor activity.
Portion of brain located dorsally to the pons and medulla. Plays important role in fine motor movement, posture, equilibrium and muscle tone.
Reticular Activating System
System responsible for conciousness. Series of nervous tissue keeping the human system in a state of conciousness.
Carrying impulses toward the CNS. Sensory nerves are afferent.
Carrying impulses away from CNS to periphery. Motor nerves are efferent.
Areas of the skin innervated by spinal nerves.
- Twelve pairs of nerves that extend from the lower surface of brain.
- 1. Olfactory, smell
- 2. Optic, vision
- 3. Occulomotor, ocular movement and pupils
- 4. Trochlear, ocular movement
- 5. Trigeminal, face sensitivity and chewing
- 6. Abducens, ocular movement
- 7. Facial, taste and facial expression
- 8. Acoustic, hearing and equilibrium
- 9. Glossopharyngeal, swallowing and taste
- 10. Vagus, taste-swallowing-speech-involuntary muscles
- 11. Spinal, swallowing/taste and head/shoulder movement
- 12. Hypoglossal, tongue movement
Peripheral Nervous System
- Voluntary (Somatic)
- Involuntary (Autonomic)-sympathetic and parasympathetic
State of unconciusness from which the patient cannot be aroused.
Any malfunction or damage of the peripheral nerves. Results may include weakness, loss of sensation and impaired relfexes.
Breathing pattern characterized by period of apnea lasting 10-60 seconds followed by gradually increasing then decreasing respirations.
Rapid, deep respirations caused by severe metabolic and CNS problems.
Central Neurogenic Hyperventilation
Caused by lesion in CNS, often deep, rapid, noisy respirations.
Ataxic (Biot's) Respiration
Poor respiration due to CNs damage causing throacic muscle incoordination.
Breathing characterized by a prolonged inspiration unrelieved by expiration attempts. Seen in patients with damage to the pons.
Characteristic posture associated with a lesion at or above brainstem. The patient presents with arms flexed, fists clenched and legs extended.
Sustained contraction of extensor muscles in the extremities resulting from a lesion in the brainstem. Patient presents with stiff and extended extremities and retracted head.
Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS)
Tool used in evaluating and quantifying the degree of coma by determining the best motor, verbal and eye opening response to stimuli.
A collective change in vital signs associated with increasing ICP. Increased BP, Decreased HR, Irregular respirations.
AMS Causes Acronym
- A = Acidosis, alcohol
- E = Epilepsy
- I = Infection
- O = Overdose
- U = Uremia (kidney failure)
- T = Trauma, tumor, toxin
- I = Insulin (hyper/hypogycemia or DKA)
- P = Psychosis, poison
- S = Stroke, seizure
Condition characterized by loss of memory and disorientation associated with chronic alcohol intake and a diet deficient in thiamine.
Psychosis characterized by disoritation, muttering, insomnia, delusions and hallucinations. Symptoms include painful extremities, bilateral wrist drop, bilateral foot drop, and pain on pressure along nerves.
Caused by either ischemic or hemmorhagic lesions to a portion of the brain, resulting in tissue damage or destruction of brain tissue.
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
Temporary interruption of blood supply to brain.
Temporary alteration in behavior due to massive electrical discharge of one or more groups of neurons in the brain. Can be generalized or partial.
Types of Seizure
- Generalized (tonic-clonic, absence)
- Partial (simple or complex)
Seizures that begin as an electrical discharge in a small part of brain but spread to involve the entire cerebral cortex, causing widespread malfunction.
Seizures that remain confined to a limited portion of brain causing localized malfunction. Partial seizures may become generalized.
Generalized seizure characterized by rapid loss of conciousness and motor coordination, muscle spasms, and jerking motions.
Phase of seizure characterized by tension of contraction of muscles.
Phase characterized by alternation of contracting and relaxing muscles
Phases of Generalized Seizure
- Tonic phase
- Hypertonic phase
- Clonic phase
- Post seizure
Generalized seizure with sudden onset of brief loss of awareness and rapid recovery.
Simple Partial Seizure
Involves local motor, sensory or autonomic dysfunction of one area of the body. There is NO LOC.
Complex Partial Seizure
Originating in the temporal love characterized by an aura and focal findings such as alterations in mental status and mood.
Series of two or more generalized motor seizures without any intervening periods of conciousness.
Transient loss of conciousness due to inadequate bloodflow to the brain with rapid recovery of conciousness upon becoming supine.
"new form". New or abnormal formation, tumor.
Degenerative Neurologic Disorders
Collection of diseases that selectively affect one or more fucntional systems of the CNS.
Degenerative brain disorder. Most common cause of dementia in elderly.
Group of genetic diseases characterized by progressive muscle weakness and degeneration of skeletal or voluntary muscle fibers.
Disease that involves inflammtion of certain nerve cells followed by demylenation, or destruction of the myelin sheath, which insulates the nerve fibers.
Group of disorders characterized by muscle contractions that cause twisting and repetitive movements, abnormal postures or freezing in the middle of an action.
Chronic progressive motor system disorder characterized by tremor, rigidity, bradykiesia and postural instability.
Central Pain Syndrome
Condition resulting from damage or injury to brain, brainstem or spinal cord characterized by intense, steady pain described as burning, aching, tingling.
On-sided facial paralysis with an unknown cause characterized by the inability to close the eye, pain, tearing of eyes, drooling, hypersensitivity to sound and impairment of taste.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Progressive degeneration of specific nerve cells that control voluntary movement characterized by weakness, loss of control, difficulty speaking and cramping. AKA Lou Gehrig's Disease
Temporary, involuntary twitching or spasm of a muscle or group of muscles
Spina Bifida (SB)
A neural defect that results from the failure of one or more of the fetal vertebrae to close properly in the first month of pregnancy
Infection, inflammatory viral disease of the CNS sometimes resulting in permanent paralysis