Chiari Connection International

Chiari Connection International

Glossary of Terms
Acetazolamide - also known as Diamox; medicine used to lower elevated ICP

Acute - Having rapid onset, severe symptoms, and a short course; not chronic.

Afferent Pathways - nerve paths that carry signals from the periphery - like the hand - to the spinal cord and brain

Allodynia - pain in response to something that should not cause pain, like a light touch

Amyotrophic - Muscle wasting.

Antimetic - drug used to control nausea and vomiting

Apnea - Cessation of breathing noted by color changes, pallor and/or cyanosis, and lack of chest wall movement. To stop breathing intermittently, may be due to compression on the brainstem. Central sleep apnea is due to a delay in the nerve signal from the brain to breathe .Obstructive sleep apnea is due to an obstruction in the throat

Arachnoid - the middle of the three membranes covering the brain, appears to resemble a spider web. There are 3 layers of covering of the brain and spinal cord- the pia, arachnoid and dura.

Arachnoiditis - inflammation of the arachnoid

Aseptic Meningitis - Inflammation of the membranes (meninges) that cover the brain and spinal cord. NOT an infection.

Aspirate - the inhalation of fluids into the lungs. (Inability to swallow properly can allow this to occur.)

Ataxia - inability to coordinate muscles in voluntary movement movement. Stumbling when walking, or inability to maintain a fluid gait when asked to walk a straight line.

Atrophic - changes in the muscle that create an appearance of being wasted away

Atrophy - Wasting away of the muscle, often due to lack of use or inability to exercise a muscle.

Atypical - Not typical

Autologous - derived, or taken, from a person's own body ( as some of the material used in duragrafts)

Basilar Invagination - condition, sometimes associated with Chiari, where the C2 vertebra is displaced upward, potentially compressing the brainstem

Brainstem - the lowest part of the brain connecting with the spinal cord and controlling automatic functions such as breathing and swallowing

Catheter - small, soft plastic tube used to drain fluid. A Foley catheter is often inserted into the bladder for surgery. A shunt catheter can be inserted into a syrinx or the ventricles of the brain.

Caudal - towards the tail, in the case of CSF flow, from the skull to the spine

Central Canal - center of the spinal cord, so named because it starts as a hollow tube which closes in most people as they age

Central Nervous System (CNS) - The part of the nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord which coordinates the entire nervous system of the body.

Cerebellar Cortex - The outer layer of the cerebellum

Cerebellar Speech - Abnormal speech patterns seen in people who have a disease of the cerebellum; a slow, jerky, and slurred speech that may come and go or it may be unvaried in pitch.

Cerebellar Tonsils - Two bulges at the bottom of the cerebellum, named tonsils because of their shape.

Cerebellomedullary - Refers to the area where the cerebellum and the medulla are in the brainstem

Cerebellum - Lower portion of the brain, that lies in the posterior fossa, and is responsible for coordination of skeletal muscle movement.

Cerebral Aqueduct - A narrow conduit (tube), between the third and the fourth ventricles; located in the midbrain. CSF moves from the third ventricle through the cerebral aqueduct to the fourth ventricle.

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