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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.