this glossary is a work in progress
Adjunctive: treatment used together with the primary treatment. Its purpose is to assist the primary treatment.
Antiepileptic Drug: (AED) an anticonvulsant drug.
Aura: the telltale sensation experienced by some people with epilepsy before a seizure. It often manifests as the perception of a strange light, an unpleasant smell or confusing thoughts or experiences.
Benzodiazepine: any of a group of aromatic lipophilic amines used especially as tranquilizers.
Ataxia: an inability to coordinate voluntary muscular movements that is symptomatic of some nervous disorders.
Cerebral palsy: (CP) is an umbrella term encompassing a group of non-progressive, non-contagious motor conditions that cause physical disability in human development, chiefly in the various areas of body movement.
Cerebral Visual Impairment: or Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) is a form of visual impairment that is caused by a brain problem rather than an eye problem.
CT scan: is a medical imaging method used to generate a three-dimensional image of the inside of an object from a large series of two-dimensional X-ray images taken around a single axis of rotation.
Desaturation (oxygen desaturation or hypoxia): is a pathological condition in which the body as a whole (generalized hypoxia) or a region of the body (tissue hypoxia) is deprived of adequate oxygen supply.
Diplopia: double vision.
Down syndrome: (DS), also called Trisomy 21, is a chromosomal disorder in which extra genetic
material causes delays in the way a child develops, both mentally and
physically. It affects about 1 in every 800 babies. The physical features and medical problems associated with Down
syndrome can vary widely from child to child. While some kids with DS
need a lot of medical attention, others lead healthy lives.
Electroecephalogram: (EEG) the tracing of brain waves made by an electroencephalograph used, for instance, to discover the nature of seizures.
Epidemiology 1: a branch of medical science that deals with the incidence, distribution, and control of disease in a population 2 : the sum of the factors controlling the presence or absence of a disease or pathogen.
Epilepsy: any of various disorders marked by abnormal
electrical discharges in the brain and typically manifested by sudden
brief episodes of altered or diminished consciousness, involuntary
movements, or convulsions.
Esotropia: is a form of strabismus, or "squint", in which one or both eyes turns inward.
Generalized seizure: a seizure (as an absence seizure or tonic-clonic seizure) that originates in both cerebral hemispheres—compare with partial seizure.
Hypothyroidism: is a deficiency of thyroid hormone in humans and other vertebrates.
Hypotonia: of or in a state of abnormally low muscle tone.
Intractable epilepsy: Epilepsy not adequately controlled by medication or dietary therapy.
Intubation: is the placement of a flexible plastic tube into the trachea (windpipe) to maintain an open airway.
IV: an apparatus used to administer a fluid (as of medication, blood, or nutrients) intravenously.
Low Glycemic Index Treatment: a high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate diet used in epilepsy to limit or control seizures.
Ketogenic Diet: a diet supplying a large amount of fat and minimal
amounts of carbohydrate and protein and used especially formerly in
epilepsy to produce a ketosis and alter the degree of bodily alkalinity and limit or control seizures.
MECP2 Duplication Syndrome: is a regressive syndrome that is caused by an extra copy of some of the genetic material on the X chromosome which causes problems with learning and memory, motor control of the body, seizures, and recurrent infections.
Monotherapy: Treatment of a disorder with a single drug.
MRI: magnetic resonance imaging is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to visualize detailed internal structures of the body.
Myopia: a condition in which the visual images come to a
focus in front of the retina of the eye because of defects in the
refractive media of the eye or of abnormal length of the eyeball
resulting especially in defective vision of distant objects—called also
Nasogastric: of, relating to, being, or performed by intubation of the stomach by way of the nasal passages.
Nystagmus: involuntary usually rapid movement of the eyeballs
(as from side to side) occurring normally with dizziness during and
after bodily rotation or abnormally following head injury or as a
symptom of disease.
Neurologist: a person specializing in neurology ; especially : a physician skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of disease of the nervous system.
NICU: neonatal intensive care unit.
Partial seizure: a seizure that originates in a localized part of the cerebral
cortex, that involves motor, sensory, autonomic, or psychic symptoms
(as twitching of muscles, localized numbness, or auras), and that may
or may not progress to a generalized seizure—called also focal seizure.
PDD-NOS: Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified is a pervasive developmental disorder/autism spectrum
disorder (ASD). While those with it have some characteristics of
disorders on the autistic spectrum, they don't fit the diagnostic
criteria of any of the other disorders thereon. While PDD-NOS shares
similarities with autism, it tends to be milder.
PICU: pediatric intensive care unit.
Phlebotomist: a person who draws blood either for testing or transfusion.
Polytherapy: Treatment of a disorder using more than one drug.
Postictal: The postictal state is the altered state of consciousness that a person enters after experiencing a seizure.
It usually lasts between 5 and 30 minutes, but sometimes longer in the
case of larger or more severe seizures and is characterized by drowsiness, confusion, nausea, hypertension, headache or migraine and other disorienting symptoms.
Side effect: a secondary and usually adverse effect (as of a drug.)
Seizure: a sudden attack (as of disease) ; especially :
the physical manifestations (as convulsions, sensory disturbances, or
loss of consciousness) resulting from abnormal electrical discharges in
the brain (as in epilepsy.)
Somnolence: is a state of near-sleep, a strong desire for sleep, or sleeping for unusually long periods.
Sonogram: A diagnostic medical image created using ultrasound echo (sonographic) equipment.
Status Epilepticus: (SE) is a life-threatening condition in which the brain is in a state of persistent seizure. Definitions vary, but traditionally it is defined as one continuous unremitting seizure lasting longer than 30 minutes,
or recurrent seizures without regaining consciousness between seizures
for greater than 30 minutes (or shorter with medical intervention).
Strabismus: is a condition in which the eyes are not properly aligned with each other.
SUDEP: Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy, or SUDEP, is a term used when a
person with epilepsy suddenly dies, and the reason for the death
results from unexplained respiratory failure or cardiac arrest after
Tay-Sachs Disease: is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder.
In its most common variant, known as infantile Tay-Sachs disease, it
causes a relentless deterioration of mental and physical abilities that
commences around six months of age and usually results in death by the
age of four.
Tachycardia: a heart rate that exceeds the normal range for a resting heartrate.
Titration: continuously measure and adjust the balance of a drug.
Vagus Nerve Stimulation: (VNS) is an adjunctive treatment for certain types of intractable epilepsy. VNS uses an implanted stimulator that sends electric impulses to the left vagus nerve in the neck via a lead wire implanted under the skin.
Ventriculomegaly: a brain condition that occurs when the lateral ventricles become dilated.