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Abstract Concept
A concept or idea not related to any specific instance or object and which potentially can be applied to many different situations or objects. Persons with cognitive deficits often have difficulty understanding abstract concepts.

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

Abulia
Absence or inability to exercise will-power or to make decisions. Also, slow reaction, lack of spontaneity, and brief spoken responses. Usually associated with damage to a cerebellar vessel. See also cerebellum.

Acalculia
The inability to perform simple problems of arithmetic. See also parietal lobe.

Acute Care
The phase of managing health problems which is conducted in a hospital on patients needing medical attention.

Acute Rehabilitation Program
Primary emphasis is on the early phase of rehabilitation which usually begins as soon as the patient is medically stable. The program is designed to be comprehensive and based in a medical facility with a typical length of stay of 1-3 months. Treatment is provided by an identifiable team in a designated unit. See Program/Service Types.

Adaptive/Assistive Equipment
A special device which assists in the performance of self-care, work or play/leisure activities or physical exercise. See also adaptive equipment catalog.

Affect
The observable emotional condition of an individual at any given time. See also frontal lobe.

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. See also parietal lobe.

Alexia
Inability to read. See also parietal lobe.

Ambulate
To walk.

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

Aneurysm
A balloon-like deformity in the wall of a blood vessel. The wall weakens as the balloon grows larger, and may eventually burst, causing a hemorrhage.

Anomia
Inability to recall names of objects. Persons with this problem often can speak fluently but have to use other words to describe familiar objects. See also parietal lobe.

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 damaged.

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). See also pharmacology guide.

Antidepressants
Medication used to treat depression. See also pharmacology guide.

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. See also frontal and temporal lobes.

Apraxia
Inability to carry out a complex or skilled movement; not due to paralysis, sensory changes, or deficiencies in understanding. See also parietal lobe.

Aprosodia
A condition in which there is a loss of production or comprehension of the meaning of different tones of voice.

Arousal
Being awake. Primitive state of alertness managed by the reticular activating system (extending from medulla to the thalamus in the core of the brain stem) activating the cortex. Cognition is not possible without some degree of arousal. See also brain stem.

Articulation
Movement of the lips, tongue, teeth and palate into specific patterns for purposes of speech. Also, a movable joint.

Aspiration
When fluid or food enters the lungs through the wind pipe. Can cause a lung infection or pneumonia.

Astereognosia
Inability to recognize things by touch. See also parietal lobe.

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. See also cerebellum.

Attendant Care
Provision of assistance in activities of daily living for a person with disability. Daily number of hours of required assistance, either physical or supervisory.

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

Attention/Concentration
The ability to focus on a given task or set of stimuli for an appropriate period of time.

Audiologist
One who evaluates hearing defects and who aids in the rehabilitation of those who have such defects.

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.

ADL
Activities of daily living. Routine activities carried out for personal hygiene and health (including bathing, dressing, feeding) and for operating a household.


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email cns@neuroskills.com

phone 1.800.922.4994
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