Glossary

Here are some useful stroke related medical words along with their definitions. Submit a Word If you submit a word to the Glossary it will appear once it has been approved.

Angiography Angiography is a test that uses an injection of a liquid dye to make the arteries easily visible on X-rays
Ataxia Loss of the control of muscle function
Atheroma Fatty deposits that build up inside an artery
Atrial Fibrillation Heart condition in which the upper left side of the heart beats out of rhythm with the other three chambers. It increases the risk of a blood clot forming inside the heart, which can travel to the brain and cause a TIA or stroke
AVM (Arterio-venous malformation) Localised defects of the circulatory system, taking the form of tangled arteries and veins, that are generally believed to arise before or soon after birth. In most cases there are no serious symptoms, but a small proportion lead to headaches, seizures and even haemorrhage.
Berry Aneurysm A bulge in the wall of an artery that is a weak
Broca's aphasia Broca's aphasia, also known as non-fluent aphasia, is where a person has great difficulty speaking and can only manage to string a small number of words together in short, halting sentences. However, it is usually possible to understand the meaning of their speech.
Bruit- (Brewee) The noise that can be heard when listening to a partially blocked blood vessel with a stethoscope
Carotid Endarterectomy An operation performed to clear the inside of the Carotid artery
Cerebellum The cerebellum is involved in the coordination of voluntary motor movement, balance and equilibrium and muscle tone
Cerebral Angiogram A scan showing blood vessels in the brain
Cerebrum The main part of the brain, it is divided into left and right hemispheres
CSF- Cerebrospinal fluid A watery fluid surrounding the brain
CT Scan- Computerised Tomography Scan A type of X-ray
DVT- (Deep Vein Thrombosis) A clot of blood in the veins, usually of the leg
Dysarthria Speech disorder in which the pronunciation is unclear
Dysphagia Dysphagia is the medical term for the symptom of difficulty in swallowing
Dysphasia Aphasia is a communication disability which occurs when the communication centres of the brain are damaged. It is usually caused by stroke, but can also be caused by brain haemorrhage, head injury or tumours. Aphasia is sometimes known as dysphasia. They both mean the same thing
Gait The characteristics of walking particular to an individual
Global aphasia Global aphasia is the most severe form of aphasia. Someone with the condition has difficulty with all forms of communication, including speaking, reading, writing, correctly naming objects or people and understanding other people’s speech.
Hemiplegia Complete paralysis of half of the body
Hughes Syndrome (also known as Primary Antiphospholipid Syndrome). Sometimes called 'sticky blood syndrome', because people with it have an increased tendency to form clots in blood vessels
Hydrocephalus Raised pressure within the skull due to an abnormal build-up of the fluid that surrounds the brain. It can occur after a brain haemorrhage. May be treated by the surgical placement of a shunt system
Infarction An area of cell death (e.g. part of the brain)
Lacunar Stroke A small stroke less than about one centimetre in diameter
Neuroplasticity Nerve cells that take over the function of other damaged cells
Nystagmus Involuntary jerking of the eyes. It occurs in disorders of the part of the brain responsible for eye movements
Occupational Therapist (OT) A therapist who specialises in helping people to reach their maximum level of function and independence in all aspects of daily life
Plaque A mixture of fatty substances, including cholesterol and other lipids, deposited on the inside of artery walls
Shunt A catheter (tube) that carries cerebrospinal fluid from a ventricle in the brain to another area of the body
Spatial Skills Ability to judge depth, size, distance and position in space
Thrombolysis The use of drugs to break up a blood clot, a treatment which can be given to a minority of patients in the acute stage of ischaemic stroke
Vertigo An abnormal sensation of movement, spinning, tilting or rocking, which may arise from damage to the brainstem or cerebellum. In other cases it is due to middle ear problems, and may be associated with tinnitus and hearing loss
Warfarin The most frequently used oral anticoagulant (for thinning the blood and preventing clots forming inside the circulation)
Wernicke's aphasia Wernicke's aphasia, also known as fluent aphasia, is where a person is able to speak normally and use long, complex sentences, but the actual words that they use do not make sense, or they include nonsense words in their speech.