Abnormal muscle tone - A disturbance in the amount of tension normally found in a muscle. It may be too high (tight) or too low (floppy).
Active range of motion - The amount of movement in a joint that a person can achieve by using their own muscle strength.
Activities of daily living (ADL’s) - Activities include feeding, dressing, personal care, homemaking, and community reintegration.
Adaptive equipment - Any device used for the purpose of improving one’s ability to perform a task.
AFO - Ankle foot orthosis; any brace which controls the ankle and foot.
Aneurysm - A weakness in the wall of an artery which balloons out in a bubble-like protrusion.
Anoxia - An absence or lack of oxygen.
Aphasia - A loss or reduction of language skills due to damage in the brain.
Apraxia - A movement planning problem involving a disruption in sequencing of voluntary muscle movements. A transmission problem between the brain and the muscle.
Aspiration - The passage of foreign material, such as food and liquid, into the lungs.
Ataxia - A muscle incoordination problem which results in a jerky pattern of movement. This movement pattern can interfere with walking or daily living functioning.
Atherosclerosis - An abnormal condition of the arteries in which a thick, rough, fatty deposit forms on the inner wall of the arteries and gradually narrows the passageway so that the blood flow is slowed.
Auditory Comprehension - The ability to understand what is heard.
Carryover - Refers to the ability to retain newly learned skills or information and apply them from situation to situation.
Catheter - Thin tube which may be placed in several parts of the body to put material in, drain body fluid out, or take samples or measurements.
Cognition - Mental ability to attend, concentrate, learn, remember, organize, and process information in to a logical progression for solving problems.
Compensation - Learning to use other than normal means to achieve a goal.
Continence - Ability to control bowel and bladder functions.
Contracture - Loss of range of motion in a joint due to insufficient movement.
Craniotomy - An operation removing a portion of the skull to allow surgical access to the brain.
Deficit awareness - A desirable learning and appreciation of the problems caused by the stroke.
Dysarthria - Difficulty with talking due to weakness or poor coordination of the muscles of the lips, tongue, or jaw. Speech may sound “slurred”.
Dysphagia - Inability or difficulty in swallowing.
Edema - Swelling caused by extra fluid in the tissues.
Embolism - The sudden blocking of an artery by a blood clot or foreign material which originated elsewhere in the body and was carried by the blood stream to the site of blockage.
Fine motor activities - Activities involving small complex movements such as writing and manipulating small objects.
Fluent aphasia - A type of aphasia where verbal expression remains normal in speed, but is lacking content. The person is unaware of the language problem.
Gastrostomy Tube - A tube placed into the stomach through the abdominal wall. Used for feeding directly into the stomach when the person is unable to eat by mouth.
Gross Motor Activities - Large movements of body parts that are involved in rolling, sitting up, and standing.
Hematoma - A collection of blood in an organ, space, or tissue.
Hemianopsia - A loss of visual recognition and possibly vision itself to one side of space due to brain injury/stroke.
Hemiparesis - Weakness of one side of the body.
Hemiplegia - Paralysis of one side of the body.
Hemisphere (brain) - Relating to one side of the brain, as in right or left hemisphere.
Hemorrhage - The escape of blood from the vessels; bleeding into the delicate brain tissue (cerebral hemorrhage).
Impulsive - Rapid movement or decision making without using judgment. Hasty, rash.
Incontinent - Inability to control bowel and bladder functions.
Infarct - A tissue area deprived of blood flow.
Initiation - The ability to start an activity or conversation with little or no prompting.
Insight - Understanding and integrating factors of a situation.
Intention tremor - A tremor that occurs only with voluntary, planned movements.
Jargon - Nonsensical words or sounds used in place of real words.
Judgment - An evaluation or decision.
Lability - The sudden appearance of uncontrolled crying or laughing that is inappropriate to the situation. This is an impairment of emotional control due to brain injury/stroke.
Long term memory - The ability to remember things over a long period of time.
Motor control - The ability to selectively contract or relax a muscle or group of muscles at will for a purposeful movement.
Muscle tone - The amount of tension (continuous contraction) in a muscle at rest. It is felt when a muscle is moved. The quality or quantity of muscle tone has an effect on the efficiency of voluntary muscle contraction.
N.P.O. - Nothing per oral or nothing by mouth. A description of the feeding status of persons not allowed by their physician to have food or liquid by mouth.
Nasogastric tube (NG tube) - A feeding tube inserted into the nose running down the back of the throat, into the esophagus (food tube) and then into the stomach. Used for people unable to eat by mouth.
Neglect or hemi-inattention - Severe lack of awareness of the side of the body or environment opposite the side of the brain injury/CVA.
Non-fluent aphasia - A type of aphasia in which there is relatively better auditory comprehension than verbal expression. Use of correct grammar is reduced to its simplest forms. The person may only be able to use one or two words in all situations.
Orientation - The ability to know one’s location in time, space, and relationship to other people.
Paralysis - Inability to move a muscle or group of muscles voluntarily.
Paresis - Lack of control of a muscle or group of muscles; partial or incomplete paralysis.
Perception - The brain’s interpretation of what the senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell) tell it.
Perseveration - Continuation of an action that was once appropriate and now has stopped being appropriate. Example: repeating the same word over and over.
Problem solving - The ability to logically think one’s way through a problem to arrive at a reasonable and acceptable solution.
Range of motion - Refers to the specific angles of movement that a joint is capable of.
Seizure - A disturbance in the electrical activity of the brain due to damage or electrolyte imbalance.
Shunt - A procedure to drain off excessive fluid in the brain.
Social Security Disability - Monthly income granted to persons who have paid into the social security system and are confirmed disabled and unable to work for at least one year. Coverage also provides health insurance through the Medicare program if the disability continues beyond two years.
Spasm - A sudden involuntary contraction in muscles or blood vessels which disrupt function.
Splint - An external device applied to an extremity to provide positioning to help prevent or correct contracture.
Subluxation - A partial or incomplete dislocation of a joint.
Thrombosis - The development of a blockage within an artery caused by a clot or atherosclerotic material forming at the site.
Tracheostomy - A surgical procedure used to make an external entrance to the airway (windpipe) through the neck. Used to aid breathing.
Tracking - The ability to follow moving objects with the eyes.
Transfer - To move from one place to another.
Transient Ischemic Attack or TIA – Often called a mini-stroke, a TIA causes stroke symptoms that are temporary. TIAs are often a warning that an actual stroke is imminent.
Trunk control - The ability of a person to maintain proper alignment of the trunk and pelvis with movement and at rest.
Verbosity - Inability to control the amount of verbalization. Verbalization is often disorganized.
Vestibular system - This system is responsible for maintaining balance and equilibrium. Information is gathered from the inner ear, eyes, and sensory receptors of the joints. Dysfunction will result in unsteadiness.
Visual field deficit - The inability to visually perceive information in a specific area of the visual field. This may involve left, right, one half or one quarter of the visual field.
Word finding - The ability to search for and locate words from the learned vocabulary when they are needed.