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C

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Cardiac

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Cardiovascular System

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Caudal

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Causalgia

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Central Canal

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Central Nervous System

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Central Pain

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Central Sleep Apnoea

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Cephalad

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Cephalgia

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Cerebellar Tonsils

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Cerebellum

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Cerebrospinal Fluid

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Cervical

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Cervicomedullary Syndrome

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Chiari 0

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Chiari I

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Chiari II

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Chiari 1.5

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Chiari III

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Chiari IV

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Chiari Malformation

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Chronic

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Chronic Fatigue

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Circulatory System

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Cisterna Magna

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CINE MRI

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Clivio-axial angle

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Clivus

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Complete Spinal Cord Injury

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Complex Chiari

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Complex Sleep Apnoea

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Condyles

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Connective Tissue

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CPAP

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Cranial Nerves

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Cranial Settling

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Craniocervical Junction

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A  B  C  D  E  F   H  I  J  K     O   Q  R   T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Medical Terminology

A

Acute

Abrupt onset, with a short duration. 

Acute Pain

Pain that typically lasts less than 3-6 months. Relatively short pain experience, usually directly after an injury

Adrenal Gland

Found above each kidney the endocrine glands that produce a variety of hormones including adrenaline and the steroids aldosterone and cortisol.

Allodynia

Pain in response to something that should not cause pain. Like clothing or a light touch. 

Amygdala

Part of the brain located deep in the temporal lobe. Has a primary role in memory, decision-making and emotional responses. Part of the limbic system. 

Anaesthetics

Are drugs used to block/prevent pain, typically used in surgery and medical procedures. A wide variety of drugs are used to achieve this.

Anaesthetist

A medical professional specialising in administering anaesthetic techniques. Typically administration of general anaesthetics during an operation. 

Analgesia

The absence of pain in response to something that is painful. (i.e. painkillers have an analgesic effect)

Analogus

Performing a similar function but having a different evolutionary origin. Usually in reference to synthetic or donor dura patch types. 

Anaphylaxis

A very severe allergic reaction that can close off the airway and lead to death if untreated. 

Ankylosing Spondylitis

A type of arthritis where there is long-term inflammation of the joints in the spine.

Anterior

Anatomical Orientation: To the front of something, the front of the body.

Apnoea

Temporary cessation of breathing (e.g. Sleep Apnoea

Arachnoid Mater

The arachnoid mater is the middle of three layers that make up the lining of the spinal cord and brain

A disorder where the parts of the cerebellum called "cerebellar tonsils" herniate outside of the skull into the spinal canal. Also called Chiari, some people reserve "Arnold Chiari" to refer to Chiari Type 2. 

Arteries

Muscular-walled tubed that are part of the circulatory system where oxygenated blood goes from the heart to the body. 

Aspiration

When fluids, liquids, vomit and/or saliva is inhaled into the airways. 

Asymptomatic

When no symptoms are present. 

ASV - AdaotiveServo Ventilation

A piece of medical technology used in types of sleep apnoea such as central sleep apnoea or Cheyne Stokes. Has a different pressure when breathing in and out that adapts with each breath. 

Ataxia

A neurological sign with the lack of voluntary coordination of movements, gait abnormality, Frequently caused by dysfunction from the cerebellum. 

Atlas

The atlas (C1) is the most superior cervical vertebrae. Named after Atlas of Greek Mythology, because it supports the globe of the head

Arachnoid Granulations

Also known as Pacchionian granulations, are projections (villi) of the arachnoid membrane into the dural sinuses that allow the CSF entrance from the subarachnoid space into the venous system.

Atlanto-Axial Joint

Is a joint in the upper cervical spine between the first (C1) and second (C2) vertebrae. It is the pivot joint. 

Atlanto-Occipital Joint

Is a synovial joint that consists of a pair of condyloid joints. 

Atlantoaxial Instability (AAI)

Excessive movement at the junction between the atlas (C1) and axis (C2)

Atrium

Upper chambers of the heart where blood enters. 

Atrophy

Wasting away, decrease in size or body part, tissue, cell.

Autologous

Tissue or cells obtained from the same individual. Most commonly used to refer to dura patches that are harvested from your own body. 

Autonomic Nervous System

Control system that regulates unconscious actions like heart rate, digestion respiration rate, urination etc. Autonomic dysfunction can also be called Dysautonomia.  

Axial View

Anatomical orientation. Axial view in MRI's is the view looking down the head to the toes. 

Axis

The second cervical vertebrae (C2) of the spine. Part of the atlanto-axial joint, which allows rotation of the head. The most distinctive characteristics of the axis are the odontoid process called the dens.

Axon

A long slender projection of a nerve cell/Neuron that conducts electrical impulses aware from the nerve cell body. 

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A

Anaesthetics
Analogus
Anterior
ACM
Ataxia
Atlas
AAI
autologus
ANS
Axial
Axis
atlnto-aial join
Arachnoid Mater
axon
atrophy
atrium
arachnoid granulations
ASV
asymptomatic
aspiration
arteries
apnoea
ankylosing spondylitis
anaphylaxis
analgesia
anaesthetist
amygdala
allodynia
adrenal gland
acute pain
acute

B

Basal Ganglia

Group of nuclei in the brain associated with a variety of functions such as voluntary motor movement, procedural learning, routine behaviours, "habits" and emotion

Basilar Impression/Invagination

An abnormality of the craniocervical junction where the tip of the odontoid process projects above the foramen magnum into the skull area.

Basion

A radiological landmark in the skull. Used to measure the Basion-dens interval, basion-axial interval and McRae Line.

Basion-axial Interval (BAI)

The horizontal distance between the basion and posterior cortex of the axis. Measured in millimetres. Normal values are <12mm

Basion Dens Interval (BDI)

The distance between the basion and tip of the dens. Used in the measurement of instability. Normal distance is <12mm

Benign

Does not have a harmful effect. 

Benign Intracranial Hypertension

bFFE CINE MRI

Balanced Fast Field Echo. A specialised CINE MR Sequence where both T1 and T2 contrast are both represented in the image. This produces images with an increased signal from the fluid. 

BiPAP/Bilevel

Machines used to treat more complex sleep apnoea issues. Has an inspiratory pressure and expiratory pressure (breathing in and out). That keeps the airways open and making it easier to inhale. Use in central sleep apnoea, complex sleep apnoea and severe cases of obstructive sleep apnoea not controlled by CPAP.

Blood Pressure

Is the pressure of circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels. Blood pressure is frequently measured vital sign. Blood pressure is made up of two number. The first being Systolic and the Second Being Diastolic. Normal blood pressure is between 90/60 and 120/80. With any blood pressure below these values called Hypotension and above Hypertension. 

Blood Sugar

Is the measure of the amount of glucose in the blood. High levels of blood sugar are called Hyperglycemia and low levels Hypoglycemia. 

Bradycardia

Abnormally slow heart, usually below 60bpm. 

Brainstem

Posterior part of the brain adjoining to the spinal cord. Made up of the midbrain, pons and medulla oblongata. Provides the main motor and sensory innervation to the face and neck via cranial nerves. Can be compressed in Chiari and/or cervical instability. Has an important role in respiration, sleep cycles, cardiac function, consciousness.

Broca's Area

A region in the frontal lobe of the dominant hemisphere (usually left). Linked to speech production 

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B
Basilar Invagintion
Basion
BFFE
Brainstem
Basion-axial interval
Basion-Dens Interval
Benign
Bengin Intracranial Hypertension
Bipap
Blood pressure
blood sugar
bradycardia
Broca

C

C

Cardiac

Pertaining to the heart, and vessels.

Cardiovascular System

Also called the circulatory system or vascular system. An organ system that permits blood to circulate and transport nutrients to and from the cells in the body. 

Carotid

The two main arteries which carry blood to the head and neck

Cataplexy

Sudden and transient episodes of muscle weakness. Usually triggered by strong emotions. Seen in some people with Narcolepsy. 

Cauda Equina

Bundle of spinal nerves and nerve rootlets and finishes above the conus medullaris. 

Caudal

At or near the posterior or tail end of the body

Causalgia

Severe burning pain in a limb/s caused by injury to the peripheral nerve.

Central Canal

Also called the ependymal canal. It is a cerebrospinal fluid-filled space that runs the length of the entire spinal cord from the ventricular space. Transports nutrients to the spinal cord and cushions against force. 

Central Nervous System (CNS)

The part of the nervous system that consists of the brain and spinal cord. 

Central Pain Syndrome

A neurological condition caused by damage to dysfunction of the central nervous system

Central Sleep Apnoea

A condition where respiration ceases during sleep for at least 10 seconds. Caused usually by lack of signal from the brain to breathe. Commonly associated with Chiari malformation when brainstem compression is present.

Cephalad

Towards the head or anterior of the body

Cephalgia

A headache: Pain in the head can be caused by dilation of cerebral arteries, blockage of cerebrospinal fluid or muscle contractions or drugs.

Cerebellar Ectopia

The herniation of the cerebellar tonsils outside of the skull into the spinal canal. 

Cerebellar Hemisphere

The two hemispheres that make up the cerebellum on either side of the vermis. They are functionally subdivided into lateral and medial portions

Cerebellar Hypoplasia

Reduced volume of the cerebellum

Cerebellar Peduncles

Connect the cerebellum to the brainstem. There are 6 peduncles with 3 on each side. The superior cerebellar peduncle connects the cerebellum to the midbrain. The middle cerebellar peduncle connects the cerebellum to the pons. And finally the inferior cerebellar peduncles to the medulla oblongata

Cerebellar Ptosis

Also called cerebellar slumping, a complication from the Chiari decompression surgery when too much bone is removed and the cerebellum slumps down due to lack of support. 

Cerebellar Tonsils

Rounded lobule on the underside of each cerebellar hemisphere. When herniated out of the skull is called cerebellar ectopia or Chiari Malformation

Cerebral Arteries

The anterior cerebral artery (ACA) is one of a pair of arteries on the brain that supplies oxygenated blood to most midline portions of the frontal lobes and superior medial parietal lobes.

Cerebral Cortex

The outer layer of the cerebrum composed of folded grey matter and playing an important role in consciousness

Cerebrocerebellum

Lateral parts of the cerebellum hemispheres involved in planning movement and evaluating sensory information for action.

Cervicogenic Headache

A type of headache with referred from the cervical spine or soft tissues within the neck. 

Cerebellum

The lower part of the brain under the cerebrum. Also known as the "little brain" or hindbrain. Has an important role in motor control, and has been considered (but not established) to have a role in cognitive functions such as attention, language, fear and pleasure. Disorders of the cerebellum produce issues with fine movement, equilibrium, posture and motor learning. It is made up of three lobes from top to bottom: the anterior lobeposterior lobe and flocculonodular lobe. It is also made up of three layers: the Granular layer, Purkinje Layer and the molecular layer.

Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)

Is a clear, colourless fluid found in the brain and spinal cord. it is produced in the choroid plexuses of the ventricles of the brain and absorbed in the arachnoid granulations.

Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Leak

When the fluid contained within the spinal cord escapes through a tear or hole in the dura

Cerebrum

The cerebrum makes up the largest part of the brain and is made up of two cerebral hemispheres. Contains the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, and temporal lobe. Sits above the brainstem and cerebellum.

Cervical

Pertains to the upper region of the spine (neck region) and made up of 7 vertebrae (C1-C7). Sits above the thoracic spine. 

Can also refer to the neck of the uterus in gynaecology. 

Cervical Instability

The structural degeneration in the cervical (upper) region of the spine, which can lead to pain and impaired movement.

Cervicomedullary Junction

The junction between the base of the skull and brainstem and the cervical spine and spinal cord. Where the skull meets the spine. 

Cervicomedullary Syndrome

A syndrome that occurs from ventral brainstem compression, Symptoms can include a Chiari-type headache, dysautonomia, syncope, delayed gastric emptying, neck pain, central or mixed sleep apnoea, facial pain or numbness, balance and coordination issues, muscle weakness, vision problems, reduced gag reflex, dysphagia, tinnitus, hearing loss, nausea and vomiting, paralysis, non-epileptic seizures, and neck pain. 

Cheyne Stokes

The abnormal pattern of respiration that is marked by the cyclic increase and decrease in tidal volume. 

Chiari 0

Not universally accepted, but defined as having classic Chiari-type symptoms, with little or no herniation. A controversial diagnosis  

Chiari I

The most common type of the Chiari Malformations and what most people refer to when speaking of Chiari. Characterised by posterior fossa hypoplasia that causes a herniation of the cerebellar tonsils outside of the skull into the spinal canal. Some radiologist/neurosurgeons still require a minimum of 5mm herniation to be defined as Chiari Malformation.  

Chiari 1.5

Another type not fully established in the medical field. Describes the herniation of cerebellar tonsils along with herniation of a portion of the brainstem (often obex of the medulla oblongata). Usually a larger cerebellar herniation >12cm. Is not associated with the myelomeningocele seen in Chiari II. 

Chiari II

Sometimes referred to as Arnold Chiari Malformation where both the cerebellum, medulla and 4th ventricle herniate past the foramen magnum out of the skull. Usually associated with myelomeningocele.

Chiari III

An extremely rare type with low occipital and high cervical encephalocele where the cerebellum and/or brainstem herniates outside of the skull through a defect in the skull. Considered fatal either before or soon after birth. 

Chiari IV

A very rare and fatal extreme cerebellar hypoplasia. Now considered an obsolete term. 

Chiarian/s

Someone who has Chiari, a group of people with Chiari

Chiari Malformations

A group of malformations involving cerebellum. 

Choroid Plexus

Is a plexus of the cells that produce the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles of the brain. It consists of modified ependymal cells.

Chronic

Something persisting for a long time or constantly occurring. 

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Also called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. A medical condition characterised by long-term fatigue that limits the person's ability to carry out normal daily activities. 

Chronic Pain

Pain that persists for at least 6 months or more. There are two type of chronic pain including nociceptive and neuropathic pain 

CINE MRI

A specialised series used to observe cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow. The technician will attach a probe on your finger (oximeter) or electrodes on the chest to measure the heart rate. This is done as CSF moves with each beat of the heart. Multiple pictures are taken to create a "flipbook" to visualise the movement of the CSF

Cingulate Cortex

The middle part of the brain.

Circulatory System

Also known as the cardiovascular or vascular system. Is an organ system the permits blood to circulate and transport nutrients throughout the body. 

Cisterna Magna

Or cerebellomedullary cistern. Is one of the three principal openings in the subarachnoid space between the arachnoid and pia mater layers. Is located between the cerebellum and the dorsal surface of the medulla oblongata. Cerebrospinal fluid that is produced in the fourth ventricle drains in this area.

Climbing Fibres

Name given to a series of neuronal projections that pass through the pons and enter the cerebellum via the inferior cerebellar peduncle

Clivio-axial angle

An angle used in radiology to show the angle of kinking in the brainstem. A line is made along the posterior side of the lower clivus and intersecting with a line drawn from the posterior side of the axis. A normal clivio-axial angle is between 150-165°. 

Clivus

Is a bony part of the cranium at the skull base. 

Coccyx

The triangular arrangement of bone that makes up the very bottom portion of the spine below the sacrum. It represents a vestigial tail, hence the common term tailbone.

Collagen

The main structural protein found in skin and other connective tissues.

Communicating Syringomyelia

Typically communicates through the obex located in the caudal portion of the fourth ventricle. Communicating Syringomyelia is typically associated with Chiari Malformation.  A communicating Syringomyelia can convert to a non-communicating one.

Complete Spinal Cord Injury

When no motor or sensory function is found below the level of the injury on the spine. 

Is when the cerebellar herniation is combined with one or more of the following: brainstem herniation, medullary kink, retroflexed odontoid, abnormal clival-cervical angle, occipitalization of the atlas, basilar invagination, syringomyelia or scoliosis. This group of chiarians have a higher chance of needing a higher amount of operative interventions. Including odontoid resection and craniocervical fusions.  

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) a pain disorder which includes swelling, limited range of movement, changes to skin and bones. CRPS I does not have evidence of peripheral nerve injury. CRPS II is related to a specific nerve injury. The pain and dysfunction persist long after the initial injury/damage. Is felt to be the altered perception of the central nervous system.