Nervous System Diseases

Vocabulary

arthroconidium (plural, arthroconidia)

spore that forms from the hypha of a fungus

blood-brain barrier

network of thick-walled capillaries without pores that feeds oxygen to the brain but does not allow large molecules to pass through

botulism

disease caused by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, and can be acquired by eating contaminated foods

cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)

fluid that lubricates and cushions the nervous tissues and aids in waste removal and homeostasis

Chagas disease

disease caused by the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi that is characterized by tissue inflammation and is transmitted by reduviid bugs

encephalitis

inflammation of the brain

epidemiology

science that investigates the cause, transmission, timing, and distribution of infectious disease episodes, with a focus on recognizing outbreaks, controlling those outbreaks, and treating the infected

meninges

three membranes that encase the brain and spinal cord and include the dura mater, the arachnoid mater, and the pia mater

meningitis

inflammation of the meninges, tissues that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord

microglial cell

phagocytic cell within the nervous system that seeks out and destroys any pathogens that manage to cross from the circulatory system into the nervous system

motor neuron disease

any of a group of disorders leading to motor neuron death and most commonly caused by various cyanobacteria

neuroglia

cell that supports and protects neurons

neuroinvasive

pathogen that infects cells of the nervous system, such as one that causes encephalitis

neurological

pertaining to the nervous system

neurological disease

disease of the nervous system

neuron

cell in the nervous tissue that transmits electrical and chemical signals throughout the body

neurotropic

pathogen, toxin, or other agent that preferentially affects or attacks the nervous system

poliomyelitis

disease that occurs when the poliovirus infects the central nervous system

prion

misfolded protein that causes the proteins around it to become misfolded as well

progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)

disease characterized by increasing damage to the white matter of the brain in multiple locations

tetanospasmin

toxin responsible for the symptoms of tetanus

tetanus

disease caused by the gram-positive, anaerobic, and spore-forming bacterium Clostridium tetani that affects the central nervous system and results in symptoms including muscle stiffness, spasms, and paralysis

toxoplasmosis

disease caused by the parasitic protozoan Toxoplasma gondii that can lead to encephalitis in immunocompromised individuals such as AIDS patients

tracheotomy

surgical incision in the trachea that allows for mechanical breathing assistance

transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE)

class of diseases caused by prions

trypanosomiasis

disease caused by members of the parasitic protozoa genus Trypanosoma that originated in equatorial Africa and is transmitted to humans via the bite of the tsetse fly

zoonosis (plural, zoonoses)

infectious disease spread via animal reservoirs, which can be both wild and domestic animals