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Old 09-22-2006, 09:02 AM
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Rocking4Epilepsy Rocking4Epilepsy is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Davenport, Iowa
Posts: 468
10 yr Member
Default Terms used in Epilepsy

Terms used in Epilepsy



Adjunctive
Additional, add on. As in adjunct or adjunctive therapy, concerning a drug which is added to an existing medication.

Affect
Mood, level of emotional responsiveness.

Affective
Concerning or influencing mood and level of responsiveness.

Amygdala
Part of the limbic system of the brain. Seizures arising in this area include a rising sensation in the stomach, nausea, movements of the mouth, chewing, fear, panic, and flushing of the face and other autonomic symptoms.

Anoxia
Lack of oxygen.

Aphasia
Defect in or loss of the ability to express oneself using speech, writing, or signs, or to comprehend spoken or written language as a result of injury to or disease of the brain's speech centers.
Apnea
Cessation of breathing.

Apraxia
Loss of ability to carry out familiar, purposeful movements, especially inability to make proper use of an object.

Arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
A tangle of blood vessels in the brain, may produce seizures when they bleed.

Aspartate
An excitatory neurotransmitter.

Autoinduction
A process whereby the body learns to metabolize (process) an antiepileptic drug, such as carbamazepine (Tegretol) more effectively over time, requiring a higher dose to control seizures than was initially needed.

Automatism
Involuntary, undirected movements during complex partial seizures and atypical absence seizures.

Autonomic nervous system
System of the brain that controls key bodily functions not under conscious control, such as heartbeat, breathing, sweating. System may be affected by seizures.

Blood level
The concentration or amount of antiepileptic or other drug present in the bloodstream, usually expressed as micrograms or nanograms per milliliter.

Catamenial epilepsy
Epilepsy in which there is a tendency for a woman's seizures to occur primarily at the time of menstruation.

Clinical trials
Multi-phased, organized systems of testing new drugs in human populations, and subsequent analysis of the results.

Compliance
Refers to patient adherence to physician directions for taking antiepileptic drugs.

Computerized tomography (CT)
A scanning method that uses X-rays and computers to create images of the internal structure of the brain, produced at different levels, in a series of 'slices.'

Convulsive syncope
A seizure caused by fainting in which the supply of oxygen to the brain is limited.

Corticography
Direct recordings of brain activity from the surface of the cortex, usually during brain surgery.

Cryptogenic
Of unknown origin.

Cyanosis
A blueish discoloration, particularly of the skin and mucous membranes, due to lack of oxygen.

Dose-related effect
A negative side effect produced by high dosage of an antiepileptic or other type of drug.

Dysmemnesia
Impaired memory.

Dysphasia
Difficulty in swallowing.

Encephalopathy
Any degenerative disease of the brain.

Epidural electrode placement
Placement of electrodes on or outside the dura mater, a membrane covering the surface of the brain.

Epilepsia partialis continua
A prolonged simple partial seizure affecting movement.

Epileptiform
Appearing to be like epilepsy, as in an epileptiform discharge on an EEG.

Epileptogenic
Causing epilepsy or an epileptic response.

Focal seizure
Older term for partial seizure.

Focus
Identified area of the brain from which partial seizures arise.
Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA)
A neurotransmitter which inhibits neuronal firing.

Generic
The name of the drug as opposed to a brand name developed by the manufacturer.

Glutamate
An excitatory neurotransmitter.

Gustatory
Related to the sense of taste.

Half-life
Length of time needed for half of a substance to decay or be metabolized. In epilepsy, refers to the half-life of an antiepileptic drug in the body.

Hemiplegia
Paralysis of one side of the body.

Hyperventilation
Rapid, deep breathing. Use in EEG testing may produce abnormalities or even a seizure.

Hypsarrhythmia
A distinctive EEG pattern associated with infantile spasms in babies.

Ictal
Pertaining to, characterized by, or caused by an epileptic seizure.

Idiopathic
Of unknown origin or cause.

Idiosyncratic reaction
With reference to medication side effects, describes unusual sensitivity or an allergic-like reaction to a drug which others take without problems.

Intractable
Not responding to treatment.

Kindling
A procedure used in animals in which unprovoked seizures (epilepsy) can be produced by a series of provoked seizures.

Landau-Kleffner syndrome
A rare, childhood condition producing seizures and progressive loss of the ability to speak.
Magnetic resonance imaging
An imaging method using magnets instead of X-rays. Produces detailed pictures of the internal structure of the brain.

Mechanism of action
How a drug or physical process works in the body.

Minor motor seizure
An older term for a partial seizure affecting movement.

Monotherapy
Treatment with a single drug.

Neoplasia
Formation of new and abnormal cell growth.

Olfactory
Related to the sense of smell.

Onset
Beginning. As in age of onset, referring to the age at which the condition began.

Paroxysmal
A sudden outburst or eruption.

Pharmacokinetics
The behavior of drugs in the body, specifically rates of absorption, achievement of peak levels, and metabolism.

Photic stimulation
Stimulation of the brain through intense or flashing light or alternating patterns of light and dark.

Positron emission tomography (PET)
An imaging technique that shows metabolic activity in the brain.

Prodromal
Indicating the onset of a disease. In epilepsy, indicating the onset of a seizure.

Prognosis
The expected course or outlook for a given medical illness.

Psychic (as in psychic symptoms)
Referring to emotional, intellectual or mood effects.

Rasmussen's encephalitis
A rare form of epilepsy affecting one whole hemisphere of the brain; progressive in nature.

Refractory
Difficult to treat, unresponsive or of limited response to medication.

Single-photon emission computerized tomography
(SPECT) An imaging technique to measure blood flow in the brain.

Slowing
A type of EEG wave associated with lower levels of arousal, sleepiness, drugs, and the after effects of seizures.

Somatosensory
Related to bodily sensation.

Steady state
A state of balance or equilibrium. Refers to drug levels which stay steady so long as the rate of metabolism is balanced by continued intake of enough medication to replace what has been used up.

Sturge-Weber syndrome
A blood vessel disorder affecting the face, eyes and brain, also associated with seizures.

Subdural electrode placement
Placement of electrodes deep in the brain.

Symptomatic
A condition arising out of a specific cause.

Therapeutic range
Blood levels at which a drug can be expected to produce a beneficial effect without toxicity.

Transient hemiplegia
Temporary paralysis of one side of the body.

Trough level
In blood level monitoring of antiepileptic drugs, the minimum level of drug in the blood prior to absorption of the next dose.

Tuberous sclerosis
A genetic condition in which tumors arise in the brain, eyes, skin, and internal organs, producing seizures. Mental retardation may be associated with the condition.

Versive
Turning as in involuntary turning during a seizure.

Vertigo
Dizziness.
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