Neurological Physio Logo Information Guide and Resource Centre

Neurological Glossary

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An ultrasound examination of the heart

The echoing or repetition of verbal utterances made by another person

Imitative repetition of the movements, gestures, or posture of another person occasionally seen in Tourette syndrome

Edinger-Westphal nucleus
Accessory nucleus of each oculomotor nerve that supplies preganglionic parasympathetic fibers for pupillary constriction and lens accommodation; located in the midline between the extraocular oculomotor nerve nuclei

Motor pathway proceeding from the CNS toward the peripheral end organs

Eidetic memory (photographic memory)
Ability to vividly recall visual images, sounds, or objects in memory with extraordinary detail

Electroencephalogram (EEG)
Test that measures and records the electrical activity of the brain by using sensors (electrodes) attached to the head.

Electronic aids
Assistive devices, which employ technology to compensate for or overcome a disability. Examples include rehabilitative aids such as functional electrical stimulation (FES), adapted keyboards and computer touchscreens, voice amplifiers and speech synthesiser software, and low vision or navigational aids for people with visual impairments.

Eloquent cortex
Regions of the cerebral cortex responsible for motor, sensory, language or other cognitive processing that if removed, will result in a neurological deficit; identification of eloquent cortex through brain mapping is a vital part of the planning for epilepsy surgery and resection of brain tumours and vascular malformations in order to minimize adverse outcomes from surgery

The blockage of a blood vessel by an embolus�something previously circulating in the blood (such as a blood clot, air bubble, cholesterol, etc.).

Emotional liability
A state of emotional disinhibition, often temporary, which is brought on by stroke or other forms of damage to the brain. Emotional reactions and their expression are exaggerated and uncontrolled, e.g. crying and laughing easily and sometimes inappropriately.

Inflammation of the brain, usually resulting from viral or bacterial infection

Failure of bone fusion in the posterior midline of the skull resulting in a bony cleft through which meninges and/or brain parenchyma protrude

Focal softening of the brain in areas of tissue death following cerebral infarction, infection, trauma, etc.

Meaning "brain suffering"; diffuse brain dysfunction that may be caused by toxins, infection, metabolic or mitochondrial disease, tumour or increased intracranial pressure, trauma, or lack of blood flow or oxygen to the brain; the hallmark is impaired level of consciousness

Innermost layer of connective tissue that forms an interstitial layer around each individual muscle fibre

Endoneurium (epilemma)
Innermost layer of connective tissue of a peripheral nerve that forms an interstitial layer around each individual axon / Schwann cell unit

Recession of the eyeball within the orbit

Eosinophilic neuronal necrosis
Neuronal response to ischemia and hypoxia characterized by brightly eosinophilic (red) cytoplasm and nuclear shrinkage

Epithelial lining of the ventricles of the brain and the canal of the spinal cord

Ependymal cells
Type of glia consisting of cuboidal cells lining the adult ventricles and spinal canal

Ependymal true rosette
Halo of cells surrounding an empty lumen; fairly specific for, though infrequently seen in, ependymomas

WHO grade II primary CNS tumour of children (involving the 4th ventricle) and young adults (involving the spinal cord); characterized histologically by perivascular pseudorosettes, ependymal true rosettes, sharp demarcation, and enhancement on CT/MRI

Electrical conduction of a nerve impulse across a non-synaptic contact site between nerves and without the mediation of a neurotransmitter

A neurological condition originating in the brain and involving abnormal electrical activity in the brain which causes seizures of varying degree

Epilepsy syndrome
Disorder defined by seizure type, clinical and EEG findings, age of onset, family history, response to therapy, and prognosis

Outermost layer of a peripheral nerve containing connective tissue and an anastomotic vascular network

Epiphyseal Plate
The layer of cartilage between the diaphysis and epiphysis

A secondary centre of ossification

Dorsal posterior subdivision of the diencephalon generally considered to include the habenula, the pineal body, and the epithelial roof of the third ventricle

Abnormality of foot which prevents normal weight-bearing

Equilibrium Reaction
Balance reaction

An eye with strabismus that deviates inward

Essential tremor
Medium or high frequency (4-9 Hz) tremor that occurs with action or holding a sustained posture that typically affects the arms, the head/neck, or the voice

Turning the sole of the foot away from the median plane

Evoked potentials
Recordings of the nervous system�s electrical response to the stimulation of specific sensory pathways

Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnolence)
Subjective difficulty in staying awake and easily falling asleep when sedentary

Executive functions
Higher intellectual functions such as judgment, insight, reasoning, abstraction

An eye with strabismus that deviates outward

Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS)
20-point scale, ranging from 0 (normal examination) to 10 (death) by half-points, that measures impairment (gait is heavily emphasized); used in clinical trials of multiple sclerosis


Extensor plantar response
Extension of the great toe (�upgoing toe�) with fanning of the other toes in response to application of a stimulus to the skin of the foot or leg; signifies a lesion of the corticospinal tract

Extensor posturing
Stereotyped posture occurring in coma in response to stimulation in which the arms and legs extend (hips and shoulders extend, adduct, and internally rotate; knees and elbows extend; forearms hyperpronate; wrists and fingers flex; feet plantarflex and invert; and trunk extends); reflects "release" of primitive responses from the suppression of more rostral motor areas that have been damaged and is reminiscent of the decerebrate state demonstrated in animals with transection through the midbrain colliculi

Extensor response in the arm
Stereotyped posture occurring in coma in response to stimulation in which the upper extremity extends (shoulder extends, adducts, and internally rotates; elbow extends; forearm hyperpronates; wrist and fingers flex); may be accompanied by extension of the lower extremity (hip extends, adducts, and internally rotates; knee extends; foot plantar flexes and inverts) as in decerebrate rigidity; reflects "release" of primitive responses from the suppression of more rostral motor areas that have been damaged

Extensor spasm
Manifestation of spasticity in which the legs involuntarily straighten into an extended position where they remain for several minutes


Within the skull or vertebral column but outside of the brain or spinal cord

Extracranial-intracranial bypass
Surgery to restore blood flow to an area of brain tissue by re-routing a healthy artery in the scalp to the area of brain tissue affected by a blocked or narrowed artery

Movement disorder not involving the corticospinal tracts; typically refers to basal ganglia or cerebellar disorders

Outside of the area surrounding the Sylvian fissure; often used synonymously with "transcortical," as in transcortical motor aphasia and transcortical sensory aphasia

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