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Rehabilitation Glossary

 


Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

A

Abstract Thinking

Being able to apply abstract concepts to new situations and surroundings.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

Include personal hygiene, dressing, bathing, leisure, work, recreation, meal preparation, shopping, etc.

Adaptive/ Assistive Equipment

A special device which assists in the performance of self-care, work, play/leisure activities, or physical exercise.

Affect

The observable emotional condition of an individual at any given time.

Agnosia

Failure to recognize familiar objects although the sensory mechanism is intact. May occur for any sensory modality.

Agraphia

Inability to express thoughts in writing.

Alexia

Inability to read.

Ambulate

To walk.

Amnesia

Lack of memory about events occurring during a particular period of time. See also: anterograde amnesia, retrograde amnesia, and post-traumatic amnesia.

Anomia

Inability to recall names of objects. Persons with this problem often speak fluently but have to use other words to describe familiar objects.

Anosmia

Loss of the sense of smell.

Anoxia

A lack of oxygen. Cells of the brain need oxygen to stay alive. When blood flow to the brain is reduced or when oxygen in the blood is too low, brain cells are damages.

Anterograde Amnesia

Inability to consolidate information about ongoing events. Difficulty with new learning.

Anticonvulsant

Medication used to decrease the possibility of a seizure (e.g. Dilantin, Phenobarbital, Mysoline, Tegretol).

Aphasia

Loss of the ability to express oneself and/or to understand language. Caused by damage to brain cells rather than deficits in speech or hearing organs.

Apraxia

Inability to carry out complex or skilled movement; not due to paralysis, sensory changes, or deficiencies in understanding.

Arousal

Being awake. Primitive state of alertness managed by the reticular activating system (located in the brain stem). Cognition is not possible without some degree of arousal.

Astereognosia

Inability to recognize things by touch.

Ataxia

A problem of muscle coordination not due to apraxia, weakness, rigidity, spasticity or sensory loss. Caused by lesion of the cerebellum or basal ganglia. Can interfere with a person's ability to walk, talk, eat, and to perform other self-care tasks.

Atrophy

A wasting away or decrease in size of cell, tissue, organ, or part of the body caused by lack of nourishment, inactivity or loss of nerve supply.

Attention, Alternating

The ability to move attention from one area to another.

Attention, Divided

Refers to an attentional task where the performer must attend to two or more inputs or activities at the same time, (e.g. driving an automobile involves watching the road, mirrors, road signs, listening to a passenger or to the radio).

Attention, Selective

Refers to a person's ability to work on a particular task or train of thought over an extended period of time.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Use of forms of communication other than speaking, such as sign language, "yes, no" signals, gestures, picture board, and computerized speech systems to compensate (either temporarily or permanently) for severe expressive communication disorders.

Awareness Deficit

The patient's inability to recognize the problems caused by impaired brain function.

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B

Balance

The ability to use appropriate righting and equilibrium reactions to maintain an upright position. It is usually tested in sitting and standing positions.

Brain Injury

A more specific term than head injury. Damage to the brain that results in impairments in one or more functions, including: arousal, attention, language, memory, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment problem solving, sensory abilities, perceptual abilities, motor abilities, psychosocial behavior, information processing and speech. The damage may be caused by external physical force, insufficient blood supply, toxic substances, malignancy, disease producing organisms, congenital disorders, birth trauma or degenerative processes.

Brain Injury (Closed)

Occurs when the head accelerates and then rapidly decelerates or collides with another object (for example the windshield of a car) and brain tissue is damaged, not by the presence of a foreign object within the brain, but by violent smashing, stretching, and twisting, of brain tissue. Closed brain injuries typically cause diffuse tissue damage that results in disabilities that are generalized and highly variable.

Brain Injury (Mild)

A patient with a mild traumatic brain injury is a person who has had a traumatically-induced physiological disruption of brain function, as manifested by at least one of the following: 1) any period of loss of consciousness, 2) any loss of memory for events immediately before or after the accident, 3) any alteration in mental state at the time of the accident (e.g., feeling dazed, disoriented, or confused), 4) focal neurological deficit(s) which may or may not be transient; but where the severity of the injury does not exceed the following: a) loss of consciousness of approximately 30 minutes or less; b) after 30 minutes, an initial Glasgow Coma Scale score of 13-15; c) Post Traumatic Amnesia not greater than 24 hours.

Brain Injury (Moderate)

A Glasgow Coma Scale score of 9-12 during the first 24 hours post injury.

Brain Injury (Penetrating)

Occurs when an object (for example a bullet or an ice pick) fractures the skull, enters the brain and rips the soft brain tissue in its path. Penetrating injuries tend to damage relatively localized areas of the brain, which result in fairly discrete and predictable disabilities.

Brain Injury (Severe)

Severe injury is one that produces at least 6 hours of coma; Glasgow Coma Scale of 8 or less within the first 24 hours.

Brain Injury (Traumatic)

Damage to living brain tissue caused by an external mechanical force. It is usually characterized by a period of altered consciousness (amnesia or coma) that can be very brief (minutes) or very long (months/indefinitely). The specific disabling condition(s) may be orthopedic, visual, aural, neurologic, perceptive/cognitive, or mental/emotional in nature. The term does not include brain injuries that are caused by insufficient blood supply, toxic substances, malignancy, disease producing organisms, congenital disorders, birth trauma or degenerative processes.

Brain Stem

The lower extension of the brain where it connects to the spinal cord. Neurological functions located in the brain stem include those necessary for survival (breathing, heart rate) and for arousal (being awake and alert).

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C

Case Management

Facilitating the access of a patient to appropriate medical, rehabilitation and support programs, and coordination of the delivery of services. This role may involve liaison with various professionals and agencies, advocacy on behalf of the patient, and arranging for purchase of services where no appropriate programs are available.

Cerebellum

The portion of the brain (located at the back) which helps coordinate movement. Damage may result in ataxia.

Cerebral- Spinal Fluid (CSF)

Liquid which fills the ventricles of the brain and surrounds the brain and spinal cord.

Cognition

The conscious process of knowing or being aware of thoughts or perceptions, including understanding and reasoning.

Cognitive Impairment

Difficulty with one or more of the basic attentional abilities, and reasoning skills.

Cognitive Rehabilitation

Therapy programs which aid persons in the management of specific problems in perception, memory, thinking and problem solving. Skills are practiced and strategies are taught to help improve function and/or compensate for remaining deficits. The interventions are based on an assessment and understanding of the person's brain-behavior deficits and services are provided by qualified practitioners.

Coma

A state of unconsciousness from which the patient cannot be awakened or aroused, even by powerful stimulation; lack of any response to one's environment. Defined clinically as an inability to follow a one-step command consistently; Glasgow Coma Scale of 8 or less.

Community Skills

Those abilities needed to function independently in the community. They may include: telephone skills, money management, pedestrian skills, use of public transportation, meal planning and cooking.

Concentration

Maintaining attention on a task over a period of time; remaining attentive and not easily diverted.

Concussion

The common result of a blow to the head or sudden deceleration usually causing an altered mental state, either temporary or prolonged. Physiologic and/or anatomic disruption of connections between some nerve cells in the brain may occur. Often used by the public to refer to a brief loss of consciousness.

Confabulation

Verbalizations about people, places, and events with no basis in reality.

Contracture

Loss of range of motion in a joint due to abnormal shortening of soft tissues.

Convergence

Movement of two eyeballs inward to focus on an object moved closer. The nearer the object the greater is the degree of convergence necessary to maintain single vision.

Core Therapies for Brain Injury

Basic therapy services provided by professionals on a brain injury rehabilitation unit. Usually refers to nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, neuropsychology, social work and therapeutic recreation.

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D

Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI)

A shearing injury of large nerve fibers (axons covered with myelin) in many areas of the brain. It appears to be one of the two primary lesions of brain injury, the other being stretching or shearing of blood vessels from the same forces, producing hemorrhage.

Diffuse Brain Injury

Injury to cells in many areas of the brain rather than in one specific location.

Diplopia

Seeing two images of a single object; double vision.

Discrimination (Sensory)

A process requiring differentiation of two or more stimuli.

Discrimination (Auditory)

The ability to differentiate and recognize sounds.

Discrimination (Tactile)

The ability to differentiate and distinguish between objects and stimuli solely through touch. This involves the ability to ascertain shape, size, and texture.

Discrimination (Visual)

Involves the differentiation of items using sight, including colors, letters, size, shape, etc.

Disinhibition

Inability to suppress (inhibit) impulsive behavior and emotions.

Disorientation

Not knowing where you are, who you are, or the current date.

Distal

Far from the point of reference.

Dysarthria

Difficulty in forming words or speaking them because of weakness of muscles used in speaking or because of disruption in the neuromotor stimulus patterns required for accuracy and velocity of speech.

Dysphagia

A swallowing disorder characterized by difficulty in oral preparation for the swallow, or in moving material from the mouth to the stomach. This also includes problems with positioning the food in the mouth.

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E

Emotional Lability

Exhibiting rapid and drastic changes in emotional state (laughing, crying, anger) inappropriately without apparent reason.

Executive Functions

Planning, prioritizing, sequencing, self-monitoring, self-correcting, inhibiting, initiating, controlling or altering behavior.

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F

Figure- Ground

The differentiation between the foreground and the background of a scene; this refers to all sensory systems, including vision, hearing, touch.

Fixation, Visual

A pause of the line of sight on something of interest in the visual world.

Flaccid

Lacking normal muscle tone; limp.

Flexion

Bending a joint.

Focus (Eye)

Can imply 1) convergence of the two eyes, 2) accommodation of the lenses of the two eyes, 3) tracking something by moving the eyes, 4) attending to something.

Frontal Lobe

Front part of the brain; involved in planning, organizing, problem solving, selective attention, personality and a variety of "higher cognitive functions."

Functional Outcome

The end result of a therapeutic intervention; practical activities in which a person is capable of engaging on a regular basis.

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G

Gait Training

Instruction in walking, with or without equipment; also called "ambulation training."

Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS)

A standardized system used to assess the degree of brain impairment and to identify the seriousness of injury in relation to outcome. The system involves three determinants: eye opening, verbal responses and motor response all of which are evaluated independently according to a numerical value that indicates the level of consciousness and degree of dysfunction. Scores run from a high of 15 to a low of 3. Mild Injury = 13 to 15; Moderate Injury = 9 to 12; and Severe Injury = less than 8.

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H

Head Injury

Refers to an injury of the head and/or brain, including lacerations and contusions of the head, scalp and/or forehead. Also see Brain Injury.

Hematoma

The collection of blood in tissues or a space following rupture of a blood vessel. There are 4 types of brain hematomas: Epidural - Outside the brain and its fibrous covering (dura), but under the skull. Subdural - Between the brain and its fibrous covering (dura). Intracerebral - In the brain tissue. Subarachnoid - Around the surfaces of the brain, between the dura and arachnoid membranes.

Hemiplegia

Paralysis of one side of the body as a result of an injury to neurons carrying signals to muscles from the motor areas of the brain.

Hemiparesis

Weakness of one side of the body.

Hemorrhage

Bleeding that occurs following damage to blood vessels. Bleeding may occur within the brain when blood vessels in the brain are damaged. Also see Hematoma.

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I

ICP

See Intracranial Pressure.

Impairment

Loss and/or abnormality of cognitive, emotional, physiological, or anatomical structure or function; including all losses or abnormalities, not just those attributable to the initial pathophysiology.

Impulse Control

Refers to the individual's ability to withhold inappropriate verbal or motor responses while completing a task. Persons who act or speak without first considering the consequences are viewed as having poor impulse control.

Incoordination

A problem with coordination of movement of parts of the body, resulting from dysfunction of the nervous system rather than weakness of muscles.

Initiative

Refers to the individual's ability to begin a series of behaviors directed toward a goal.

Insight Regarding Impairment

The extent to which an individual accurately judges one's own strengths and limitations; also called metacognition. A patient's ability in this area may be judged on the basis of actions or statements regarding intended actions. Patients with brain injuries often overestimate their strengths and limitations.

Interdisciplinary Approach

A method of diagnosis, evaluation, and individual program planning in which two or more specialists, such as medical doctors, psychologists, recreational therapists, social workers, etc. participate as a team, contributing their skills competencies, insights and perspectives to focus on identifying the developmental needs of the person with a disability and on devising ways to meet those needs.

Intracranial Pressure (ICP)

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure measured from a needle or bolt introduced into the CSF space surrounding the brain. It reflects the pressure inside of the skull.

Ipsilateral

Same side of the body.

Ischemia

A severe reduction in the supply of blood to body tissues.

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J

Job Analysis

Involves the systematic study of an occupation in terms of what the worker does in relation to data, people, and things; the methods and techniques employed, the machines, tools, equipment, and work aids used; the materials, products, subject matter or services which result, and the traits required of the worker.

Judgement

Process of forming an opinion, based upon an evaluation of the situation at hand in comparison with personal values, preferences and insights regarding expected consequences. The ability to make appropriate decisions. Safety frequently is an issue with brain-injured individuals who often demonstrate poor judgement due to lack of awareness of his/her deficits.

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K

Kinesthesia

The sensory awareness of body parts as they move. Also see Position Sense and Proprioception.

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L

Lability

State of having notable shifts in emotional state (e.g. uncontrolled laughing or crying).

Latency of Response/ Delay

The amount of time taken to respond after the stimulus has been presented.

Lethargic

Awakens with stimulation; drowsy but awake.

Log Book or Memory Book

A diary-like listing of the individual's daily activities which can be used to help remember what happened during the course of the day, names of persons with whom contact occurred, and the order in which events occurred. The brain-injured person, family members and staff are encouraged to make entries. Used to compensate for memory deficits.

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M

Memory

The process of organizing and storing representations of events and recalling these representations to consciousness at a later time.

Memory (Immediate)

The ability to recall numbers, pictures, or words immediately following presentation. Patients with immediate memory problems have difficulty learning new tasks because they cannot remember instructions. Relies upon concentration and attention.

Memory (Long Term)

This refers to recall 30 minutes or longer after presentation. Requires storage and retrieval of information which exceeds the limit of short-term memory.

Memory (Recall)

Ability to retrieve information without renewed exposure to the stimulus.

Memory (Recognition)

Ability to recall information when a stimulus cue is presented. Free recall of the information is often deficient if cues must be provided.

Memory (Semantic)

Memory for facts, usually learned through repetition.

Memory (Short Term)

Primary or 'working' memory; its contents are in conscious awareness. A limited capacity system that holds up to seven chunks of information over periods of 30 seconds to several minutes, depending upon the person's attention to the task.

Mobility

Ability of an individual to move within, and interact with, the environment, usually involving utilization of public and/or private transportation, wheelchairs or ambulation.

Motivation

Requires initiative and refers to the extent to which an individual desires to reach a goal and demonstrates actual follow-through. A greater level of motivation is required for completion of difficult tasks. A brain-injured person with reduced motivation may need frequent cueing to finish dressing even though being able to verbalize the complete procedure.

Motor Control (Fine)

Delicate, intricate movements as in writing or playing a piano.

Motor Control (Gross)

Large, strong movements as in chopping wood or walking.

Motor Planning

Action formulated in the mind before attempting to perform.

Muscle Tone

Used in clinical practice to describe the resistance of a muscle to being stretched. When the peripheral nerve to a muscle is severed, the muscle becomes flaccid (limp). When nerve fibers in the brain or spinal cord are damaged, the balance between facilitation and inhibition of muscle tone is disturbed. The tone of some muscles may become increased and they resist being stretched - a condition called hypertonicity or spasticity.

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N

Neglect

Paying little or no attention to a part of the body.

Neurologist

A physician who specializes in the nervous system and its disorders.

Neuropsychologist

A psychologist who specializes in evaluating (by tests) brain/behavior relationships, planning training programs to help the survivor of brain injury return to normal functioning and recommending alternative cognitive and behavioral strategies to minimize the effects of brain injury. Often works closely with schools and employers as well with family members of the brain-injured person.

Non-ambulatory

Not able to walk.

Nystagmus

Involuntary horizontal, vertical, or rotary movement of the eyeballs.

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O

Occipital Lobe

Region in the back of the brain which processes visual information. Damage to this lobe can cause visual deficits.

Occupational Therapy (OT)

Occupational Therapy is the therapeutic use of self-care, work and play activities to increase independent function, enhance development and prevent disability; may include the adaptation of a task or the environment to achieve maximum independence and to enhance the quality of life. The term occupation, as used in occupational therapy, refers to any activity engaged in for evaluating, specifying and treating problems interfering with functional performance. Specific areas evaluated and treated include: 1) upper extremity range of motion, strength, coordination, and sensation; 2) visual perception and scanning; 3) Activities of Daily Living (ADL).

Orientation

Awareness of one's environment and/or situation, along with the ability to use this information appropriately in a functional setting. Also see Disorientation.

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P

Paraplegia

Paralysis of the legs (from the waist down).

Parietal Lobes

Located behind the frontal lobe at the top of the brain. Right hemisphere's parietal lobe responsible for visuo-spatial processing. Left hemisphere's parietal lobe is responsible for comprehension of spoken and written language.

Perception

The ability to make sense of what one sees, hears, feels, tastes, or smells. Perceptual losses are often very subtle, and the patient and/or family may be unaware of them.

Perceptual- Motor

Interaction of the perceptual abilities with motor abilities.

Perseveration

The inappropriate persistence of a response in a current task which may have been appropriate for a former task. Perseverations may be verbal or motoric.

Physiatrist

A physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Some physiatrists are experts in neurologic rehabilitation, trained to diagnose and treat disabling conditions. The physiatrist examines the patient to assure that medical issues are addressed; provides appropriate medical information to the patient, family members and members of the treatment team. The physiatrist follows the patient closely throughout treatment and oversees the patient's rehabilitation program.

Physical Therapist

The physical therapist evaluates components of movement, including: muscle strength, muscle tone, posture, coordination, endurance, and general mobility. The physical therapist also evaluates the potential for functional movement, such as ability to move in the bed, transfers and walking and then proceeds to establish an individualized treatment program to help the patient achieve functional independence.

Plateau

A temporary or permanent leveling off in the recovery process.

Position Sense

The sensory awareness of the location and orientation of body parts without moving them. Also see Kinesthesia and Proprioception.

Post Traumatic Amnesia (PTA)

A period of hours, weeks, days or months after the injury when the patient exhibits a loss of day-to-day memory. The patient is unable to store new information and therefore has a decreased ability to learn. Memory of the PTA period is never stored, therefore things that happened during that period cannot be recalled. May also be called Anterograde Amnesia.

Postural Tone (excessive)

Greater than normal tone of muscles used to hold the body in ordinary positions such as sitting or standing.

Posture

The attitude of the body. Posture is maintained by low-grade, continuous contraction of muscles, which counteract the pull of gravity on body parts. Injury to the nervous system can impair the ability to maintain normal posture, for example holding up the head.

Problem-Solving

Ability of an individual to bring cognitive processes to the consideration of how to accomplish a task.

Productive Activity

Can be classified into the following categories: 1) Competitive Employment, 2) Vocational Training, 3) Noncompetitive or Sheltered Program, 4) Volunteer, 5) Recreational or Day Activity Program, 6) No Productivity, 7) Independent Homemaker or Retired or 8) Other.

Proprioception

The sensory awareness of the position of body parts with or without movement. Combination of Kinesthesia and Position Sense.

Prosody

The inflections or intonations of speech.

Proximal

Next to, or nearest, the point of attachment

Psychologist

Professional specializing in counseling, including adjustment to disability. The psychologist may provide individual or group psychotherapy for the purpose of behavior management and the development of coping skills by the patient/client and members of the family.

Psychosocial Skills

Refers to the individual's adjustment to the injury (and resulting disability) and one's ability to relate to others. Includes feelings about self, sexuality and the resulting behaviors.

Ptosis

Drooping of a body part, such as the upper eyelid, from paralysis, or drooping of visceral organs from weakness of the abdominal muscles.

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Q

Quadriplegia

Paralysis of all four limbs (from the neck down).

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R

Range of Motion (ROM)

Refers to movement of a joint to prevent contractures. Active ROM - the muscles around the joint do the work to move it. Passive ROM - Movement of a joint by means other than contraction of the muscles around that joint (e.g. someone else moves the joint).

Recreation Therapist

Individual within the facility responsible for developing a program to assist persons with disabilities plan and manage their leisure activities; may also schedule specific activities and coordinate the program with existing community resources.

Rehabilitation

Comprehensive program to reduce/overcome deficits following injury or illness, and to assist the individual to attain the optimal level of mental and physical ability.

Rehabilitation Team

An organized group of health care specialists, who focus on providing a logical, practical and complete rehabilitation plan for the patient. Upon admission to the rehabilitation program, the patient is evaluated by each team member who defines both short-term and long-term goals for the patient's rehabilitation. Meetings of the rehabilitation team are held regularly to discuss progress and redefine goals. Family conferences may also be scheduled.

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S

Scanning

The active search of the environment for information; usually refers to "visual scanning" which is a skill used in reading, driving and many other daily activities.

Scotoma

Area of blindness of varying size anywhere within the visual fields.

Secondary Gain

The benefit, resources or advantages, that comes from another primary event or circumstance.

Secondary Insult

Secondary or delayed brain injury; for traumatic brain injury includes all events other than the mechanical injury sustained at the time of impact. Secondary phenomena may be divided into systemic and intracranial insults. Systemic insults include hypoxemia, anemia, hypotension, hypercarbia, hyperthermia, and electrolyte imbalance.

Seizure

An uncontrolled discharge of nerve cells, which may spread to other cells nearby, or throughout the entire brain. It usually lasts only a few minutes. It may be associated with loss of consciousness, loss of bowel and bladder control and tremors. May also cause aggression or other behavioral changes. Commonly occur after head injury.

Sensation

Feeling stimuli which activate sensory organs of the body, such as touch, temperature, pressure and pain. Also, seeing, hearing, smelling and tasting.

Sensorimotor

Refers to all aspects of movement and sensation and the interaction of the two.

Sensory Integration

Interaction of two or more sensory processes in a manner that enhances the adaptiveness of the brain.

Sequencing

Reading, listening, expressing thoughts, describing events or contracting muscles in an orderly and meaningful manner.

Skull Fracture

The breaking of the bones surrounding the brain. A depressed skull fracture is one in which the broken bone exerts pressure on the brain.

Spasm

An involuntary and abnormal muscular contraction; also, a sudden violent and temporary effort or emotion.

Spasticity

An involuntary increase in muscle tone (tension) that occurs following injury to the brain or spinal cord, causing the muscles to resist being moved. Characteristics may include increase in deep tendon reflexes, resistance to passive stretch, clasp knife phenomenon, and clonus.

Spatial Ability

Ability to perceive the construction of an object in both two and three dimensions. Spatial ability has four components: the ability to perceive a static figure in different positions, the ability to interpret and duplicate the movements between various parts of a figure, the ability to perceive the relationship between an object and a person's own body sphere, and the ability to interpret the person's body as an object in space.

Speech- Language Pathology Services

A continuum of services including prevention, identification, diagnosis, consultation, and treatment of patients regarding speech, language, cognitive, and oral and pharyngeal sensorimotor function.

Spontaneous Recovery

The recovery which occurs as damage to body tissues heals.

Strabismus (External)

Outward turning of the eye which may be due to a lesion of the oculomotor nerve causing paralysis of the medial rectus muscle.

Strabismus (Internal)

Inward turning of the eye which may be due to a lesion of the abducens nerve causing paralysis of the lateral rectus muscle.

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T

Tactile Defensiveness

Being overly sensitive to touch; withdrawing, crying, yelling or striking when one is touched.

Tactile Discrimination

The ability to differentiate information received through the sense of touch.

Temporal Lobes

These lobes are located at about the ear level on each side of the head. They allow for a person to tell one smell from another and one sound from another and help in sorting new information and are believed to be responsible for short term memory. Right Lobe is mainly involved in visual memory (pictures and faces). Left Lobe is mainly involved in verbal memory (words and names).

Tone (Muscle)

The tension in resting muscles and the amount of resistance that is felt when a muscle is moved.

Tracking (Visual)

Visually following an object as it moves through space.

Tremor (Intention)

Rhythmical movements of a body part that become intensified the harder one tries to control them. Intention tremors are usually not observed until the patient initiates movement.

Tremor (Resting)

Rhythmical movements present at rest and may be diminished during voluntary movement.

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U

Unilateral Neglect

Paying little or no attention to things on one side of the body. This usually occurs on the side opposite from the location of the injury to the brain because nerve fibers from the brain typically cross before innervating body structures. In extreme cases, the patient may not bathe, dress or acknowledge one side of the body.

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V

Vegetative State

Return of wakefulness but not accompanied by function; eyes open to verbal stimuli; does not localize motor responses; autonomic functions preserved. Sleep-Wake cycles exist.

Ventricles (Brain)

Four natural cavities in the brain which are filled with cerebrospinal fluid. The outline of one or more of these cavities may change when a space-occupying lesion (hemorrhage, tumor) has developed in a lobe of the brain.

Vestibular

Pertaining to the vestibular system in the middle ear and the brain which senses movements of the head. Disorders of the vestibular system can lead to dizziness, poor regulation of postural muscle tone and inability to detect quick movements of the head.

Visual Field Defect

Inability to see objects located in a specific region of the field of view ordinarily received by each eye. Often the blind region includes everything in the right half or left half of the visual field.

Visual Perception

The ability to recognize and discriminate between visual stimuli and to interpret these stimuli through association with earlier experiences.  For example, to separate a figure from a background, to synthesize the contents of a picture and to interpret the invariability of an object which is seen from different directions.

Vocational Counseling

Process of assisting a person to understand vocational liabilities and assets, provide occupational information to assist one in choosing an occupation suitable to one's interests and abilities.

Vocational Evaluation

A comprehensive process that systematically utilizes work, real or simulated, as the focal point for assessment and vocational exploration, the purpose of which is to assist individuals in vocational development.  Vocational evaluation incorporates medical, psychological, social, vocational, educational, cognitive, cultural and economic data in the attainment of the goals of the evaluation process.

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NOTE: Definitions taken from BRAIN INJURY GLOSSARY; Edited by L. Don Lehmkuhl, Ph.D.; Published by HDI Publishers, Houston, Texas; 1996