Glossary

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.

Dravet Syndrome: also known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI), is a rare and catastrophic form of intractable epilepsy that begins in infancy. Initial seizures are most often prolonged events and in the second year of life other seizure types begin to emerge. Development remains on track initially, with plateaus and a progressive decline typically beginning in the second year of life. Individuals with Dravet syndrome face a higher incidence of SUDEP (sudden unexplained death in epilepsy) and have associated conditions, which also need to be properly treated and managed.

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 nearsightedness.

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 seizures.

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.