Medical Terminology Systems;Chapter 15;Nervous System flashcards |

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(sensory neurons)

carry or move impulses toward the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system)

blood-brain barrier

protective mechanism that blocks specific substances found in the bloodstream from entering delicate brain tissue

(motor neurons)

carry or move impulses away from the central nervous system to muscles or glands

limbic sysytem (emotional brain)

-complex neural system located beneath the cerebrum that controls basic emotions and drives and plays an important role in memory
-is primarily related to survival and includes such emotions as fear, anger, and pleasure
(food or sexual behavior)


-additional external myelin sheath that is formed by Schwann cells and found only on axons in the peripheral nervous system
-because the neurilemma does not disintegrate after injury to the axon, its enclosed hollow tube that provides an avenue for regeneration of injured axons


-organ chamber or cavity that receives or holds fluid
-In the nervous system, cerebrospinal fluid flows through the ventricles into the spinal cavity and back toward the brain, where it is absorbed into the blood


cell that transmits impulses throughout the nervous system

the 3 major structures of the neuron

1. cell body
2. axon
3. dentrites

cell body

enlarged structure of the neuron that contains the nucleus


A cell organelle that contains the chromosomes and directs cell activities.


-carry impulses to the cell body
-resembles tiny branches on a tree, providing additional surface area for receiving impulses from other neurons


-carry impulses away from cell body
-threadlike extensions of nerve cells that transmit impulses to dendrites of other neurons as well as muscle and glands

myelin sheath

white, lipoid covering of the axon that acts as an electrical insulator that reduces the possibility of an impulse stimulating adjacent nerves

peripheral nervous system (PNS)

-composed 12 pairs of cranial nerves and 31 pairs of spinal nerves
-located outside the spinal column and skull
-consists of afferent and efferent neurons
-formed by a neuroglia cell called schwann cells

schwann cell

-wraps tightly around the axon
-its exterior surface forms a thin tube called the neurilemma or neurolemma

central nervous system (CNS)

-consists of the brain and spinal cord
-unmyelinated fibers, dendrites, and nerve cell bodies make up the gray matter
-the myelin sheath covering the axons is formed by oligodendrocytes
-injury to the CNS is irreparable

nodes of Ranvier

-short, unmylelinated spaces between adjacent segments of the myelin sheath
-they help speed the transmission of impulses down the axon


-the functional connection between two neurons or between a neuron and its effector organ (muscle or gland)
-is a gap or space

axon terminal

-somewhat enlarged, often club-shaped endings of an axon
-impulses must travel from the axon terminal of one neuron to the dendrite of the next neuron or its effector organ by crossing the synapse


-chemical substance that is released at the end of its axon
-impulses within the transmitting axon causes the chemical substance to release


-literally means "nerve glue"
-cells that support neurons and bind them to other tissues of the body
-they do not transmit impulses, but they provide a variety of activities essential to the proper functioning of neurons
-they supply nutrients and oxygen to neurons band assist in other metabolic activities
-they also play an important role when the nervous system suffers injury or infection

the types of neuroglia

1. astrocytes
2. oligodendrocytes
3. microglia
4. ependyma


-star shaped neuroglia
-provide three- dimensional mechanical support for neurons and form tight sheaths around the capillaries of the brain
-these sheaths provide an obstruction, called the blood-brain barrier, that keeps large molecular substances from entering the brian
-perform mildly phagocytic functions in the brain and spinal cord

oligodendrocytes (oligodendroglia)

responsible for developing myelin on axons of neurons in the CNS


-the smallest of the neuroglia
-posses phagocytic properties and may become very active during times of infection


-ciliated cells that line fluid- filled cavities of the CNS, especially the ventricles of the brain

2.Spinal cord

1. center of thought and emotion, interpretation of sensory stimuli, and coordination of body functions

2. main pathway for transmission between the brain and body

1.Cranial nerves
2.Spinal nerves

1. 12 pairs of nerves that emerge from the base of the skull and may act in a motor capacity, sensory, capacity, or both

2. 31 pairs of nerves that emerge from the spine and act in both motor and sensory capacities

4 major structures of the brain


brain matter

inner layer is white
outer layer is gray


-is the largest, uppermost portion of the brain
-consists of two hemispheres divided by a deep longitudinal fissure, or groove
-the fissure does not completely separate the hemispheres
-major functions include sensory perception and interpretation, language, voluntary movement, and memory

corpus callosum

-joins the hemispheres of the cerebrum
-permits communication between the right and left sides of the brain

each hemisphere is divided into five lobes

4 are named for the bones that lie directly above them
5.insula;is hidden from view and can be seen only upon dissection


-folds or convolutions
-they are separated by sulci


furrows or fissures

cerebral cortex

-a thin layer that covers the entire cerebrum
-composed of gray matter
-where most information processing occurs


- the second largest structure of the brain
-occupies the posterior portion of the skull
-most functions include movement, posture, or balance
-it coordinates and refines muscular movement initiated by the cerebrum

diencephalon (interbrain)

composed of many smaller structures, including the thalamus and the hypothalamus


-receives all sensory stimuli except olfactory and processes and transmits them to the appropriate centers in the cerebral cortex
-also receives impulses from the cerebrum and relays them to efferent nerves


-regulates involuntary activities, such as heart rate, body temperature, and fluid balance
-also controls many endocrine functions


-completes the last major section of the brain
-composed of the midbrain, medulla, and pons
-is the pathway for impulse conduction between the brain and spinal cord
-origin of 10 of the 12 pairs of cranial nerves
-controls respiration, blood pressure, and heart rate
- is the site that controls the beginning of life
(initiation of the heart beating in a fetus) and the end of life ( the cessation of respiration and heart activity)

midbrain (mesencephalon)

separates the cerebrum from the brainsteam


attaches to the spinal cord

pons (bridge)

connects the midbrain to the medulla

spinal cord

transmits sensory impulses from the body to the brain and motor impulses from the brain to muscles and organs of the body

ascending tracts of the spinal cord

-sensory nerve tracts
-upward impulse

descending tract of the spinal cord

-motor nerve tracts
-carry impulses in a downward direction to muscles and organs

spinal cord matter

inner gray (cell bodies and dendrites)
outer white(myelinated tissue of ascending and descending tracts)
H or butterfly shaped

meninges (singular,meninx)

-protective coverings of the brain and spinal cord
-includes dura mater, arachnoid, and pia mater

dura mater (pachymeninges)

-outermost covering
-it is tough , fibrous, and dense
-composed primarily of connective tissue

subdural space

-cavity located beneath the dura mater
-filled with serous fluid


-middle covering
-spider-web appearance
-fits loosely over the underlying structures

subarachnoid space

contains cerebrospinal fluid

cerebrospinal fluid

-located in the subarachnoid space
-a colorless fluid that contains proteins, glucose, urea, salts, and some white blood cells
-circulates around the spinal cord and brain and through ventricles located within the inner portion of the brain
-provides nutritive substances to the CNS and adds protection for the brain and spinal cord by acting as a shock absorber


collection of fluid in the brain because of an interference with the cerebrospinal fluid absorption

pia mater

-innermost meninx
-directly adheres to the brain and spinal cord
-contains blood vessels and lymphatics that nourish the underlying tissue
-passes over the brain and the contours of the gyri and sulci


the term used for the arachnoid and pia mater because of its thinness and delicacy

somatic nervous system of the PNS

-12 pairs of cranial nerves
-31 pairs of spinal nerves

autonomic nervous system of PNS

-sympathetic division (fight or flight)
-parasympathetic division (rest and digest)

sensory nerves

-are afferent
-receive impulses from the sense organs, including the eyes, nose, tongue, and skin and transmit them to the CNS

motor nerves

-are efferent
-conduct impulses to muscles and glands

mixed nerves

-cranial nerves that are composed of sensory and motor fibers
-example is facial nerve, it acts in a motor capacity by transmitting impulses for smiling or frowning and acts in a sensory capacity by transmitting taste impulses from the tongue to the brain

spinal nerves

-emerge from the intervertebral spaces in the spinal column and extend to various locations in the body
-has afferent and efferent qualities
-all 31 pairs are mixed nerves
-each of them is identified according to the vertebra which they exit
-each has two points of attachment to the spinal cord,the anterior and posterior root

anterior(ventral) root of spinal nerves

motor fibers

posterior (dorsal)root of spinal nerves

sensory fibers

somatic nervous system

motor impulses transmitted to muscles under conscious control (walking and talking)

autonomic nervous system

motor impulses transmitted to glands and muscles not under conscious control (heart rate, respiration, digestion, pupil diameter)

sympathetic division of the ANS

-dilates the pupils to increase the amount of light entering the eye to optimize vision
-decreases the flow of saliva
-dilates the bronchi
-increases heart rate and metabolic rate
-decreases digestive activities
-constricts visceral blood vessels

parasympathetic division of the ANS

-decreases or increases the diameter of the pupils in response to changing levels of light
-increases the flow of saliva
-constricts the bronchi
-decreases heart rate, blood pressure,and metabolic rate
-increases digestive activities
-dilates visceral blood vessels




incision of the cerebrum


cranium (skull)


softening of the cranium




-herniation of the brain
-is a condition in which portions of the brain and meninges protrude through a bony midline defect in the skull


ganglion (knot or knotlike mass)


-excision of a ganglion
-a ganglion is a mass of nerve cell bodies (gray matter) in the PNS


glue; neuroglial tissue


tumor (composed of) neuroglial tissue




condition of slow movement


thin, slender


-disease of the thin meninges
-includes the pia mater and arachnoid, both of which are thin and delicate in structure, as opposed to the dura mater


word, phrase


-difficulty using words
-difficulty with reading or tendency to reverse letters or words when reading or writing

mening/o meningi/o

meninges (membranes covering the brain and spinal cord)


herniation of the meninges


tumor in the meninges


bone marrow; spinal cord


Inflammation of the gray matter of the spinal cord




-relating to sleep
-depresses the central nervous system, thus relieving pain and producing sleep




-destruction of a nerve
-is sometimes performed using cryablation or radio- frequency techniques to relieve intractable pain as a temporary or permanent measure


nerve root


pain in the nerve root




condition of excessive strength




incision of the thalamus


sheath (usually refers to meninges)


pertaining to the space within the sheath




poor (muscle) tone


ventricle (of the heart or brain)


inflammation of the ventricles (of the heart or brain)

-algesia -algia



absence of (a normal sense of) pain


-joined (referred) pain
-pain experienced in a part of the body other than the place of pathology. For example- right shoulder pain is commonly associated with gallstones


weakness, debility


muscle weakness




-increased feeling
-involves a marked sensitivity to touch, pain, or other sensory stimuli




excessive movement;also called hyperactivity




seizure of sleep


partial paralysis


partial paralysis of one-half (of the body)




without speech




paralysis of four (extremities)


order, coordination


-without coordination
-refers to poor muscle coordination, especially when voluntary movements are attempted




-inflammation of the dura mater
-the dura mater is a thick membrane that provides protection for the brain and spinal cord


near, beside; beyond


paralysis of the lower body and limbs


union, together, joined


referred pain




pertaining to one side


-involuntary movements
-painful or difficult movement


branch of medicine concerned with neurological diseases


specialist in the study of the nervous system


branch of medicine concerned with mental illness


a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses

radiculopathy (radiculitis)

inflammation of the nerve root


pressure applied

cervical radiculpathy

disease or inflammation of the neck

lumbar radiculopathy, (sciatica)

disease or inflammation of the lower back

decompression surgery

procedure intended to relieve pain from pressure or compression of the spinal column

cerebrovascular disease

is any functional abnormality of the cerebrum caused by disorders that affect the blood vessels supplying the brain, which may result in a stroke

stroke(cerebrovascular accident)CVA

cerebrovascular disease

Ischemia stroke

-most common type of stroke
-caused by narrowing of the arteries of the brain of arteries of the neck which causes insufficient oxygen delivery to the brain tissue and within a few minutes the tissues begin to die


arteries of the neck

intracerebral hemorrhage

-A stroke caused by the sudden rupture of an artery within the brain
- After the rupture, released blood compresses brain structures and destroys them

subarachnoid hemorrhage

-A stroke resulting from bleeding into the space surrounding the brain
- example: ruptured aneurysm and is usually fatal

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