Terminology

Arachnoid membrane – encloses the brain and spinal cord.

Cerebellum – the part of the brain that coordinates movement, muscle tone, and controls balance.

Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)  – a water cushion protecting the brain and spinal cord from physical impact.  CSF is made up of mostly water with a few trace proteins and nutrients that are needed for the nourishment and normal function of the brain. CSF circulates around the brain and spinal cord, protecting them from injury and trauma.

Chiari malformations (CMs) – are structural defects in the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance. Normally the cerebellum and parts of the brain stem sit in an indented space at the lower rear of the skull, above the foramen magnum (a funnel-like opening to the spinal canal). When part of the cerebellum is located below the foramen magnum, it is called a Chiari malformation.

EEG – Electroencephalogram, e technique for studying the electrical current within the brain. Electrodes are attached to the scalp. Wires attach these electrodes to a machine which records the electrical impulses. The results are either printed out or displayed on a computer screen. Electroencephalogram is abbreviated EEG.

Epilepsy – is a brain disorder in which clusters of nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain sometimes signal abnormally. Neurons normally generate electrochemical impulses that act on other neurons, glands, and muscles to produce human thoughts, feelings, and actions. In epilepsy, the normal pattern of neuronal activity becomes disturbed, causing strange sensations, emotions, and behavior, or sometimes convulsions, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness. During a seizure, neurons may fire as many as 500 times a second, much faster than normal. In some people, this happens only occasionally; for others, it may happen up to hundreds of times a day.
(for more information on epilepsy, please visit this site!)

Hippocampus Sclerosis – Prolonged seizures and febrile seizures could have caused the scarring.

Hypotonia – Decreased tone of skeletal muscles. In a word, floppiness. Hypotonia is a common finding in cerebral palsy and other neuromuscular disorders.

Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) – bleeding within the ventricles of the brain.

MRI (or magnetic resonance imaging) scan –  is a radiology technique that uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer to produce images of body structures. The MRI scanner is a tube surrounded by a giant circular magnet. The patient is placed on a moveable bed that is inserted into the magnet. The magnet creates a strong magnetic field that aligns the protons of hydrogen atoms, which are then exposed to a beam of radio waves. This spins the various protons of the body, and they produce a faint signal that is detected by the receiver portion of the MRI scanner. The receiver information is processed by a computer, and an image is produced.

MTS (or Mesial Temporal Sclerosis) – Seizures (more than likely where prolonged seizures) cause scaring on the brain and cell loss. MTS is diagnosed when there is a noticable slowness of the neurons during an EEG and can be seen on an MRI.

Obstructive Hydrocephalus – there is an obstruction in the flow of cerebrospinal fluid within the ventricular system of the brain, causing the ventricles to expand in size and a build up of fluid in a cyst.

Temporal lobe – are involved in several functions of the body including: Auditory Perception – Memory – Speech – Emotional responses – Visual Perception.

Ventricles – the 4 cavities of the brain filled with cerebrospinal fluid  (2 lateral, 3rd ventricle, and the 4th ventricle).

Three membranes surround the spinal cord and brain: a) the dura mater – the outermost membrane, b) the arachnoid –the middle layer –  a thin transparent membrane; the sub-arachnoid space contains CSF, and c) the pia mater – the inner most layer closely surrounding the spinal cord and brain.

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