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anxiety ​A negative emotion experienced in anticipation of a real or­imagined threat. autoimmune inner ear disease ​ Illness in which one’s own immune system attacks the inner ear causing hearing loss with or without vertigo, and which responds to immunosuppressive medi­ cation such as prednisone. autoimmune neuropathy ​A collection of disorders in which one’s own immune system attacks and injures the nerves including ­ those of the arms and legs. benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) ​ Common cause of vertigo resulting from debris in a semicircular canal (usually the posterior), manifested by brief bouts of vertigo and nystagmus with position change. brain tumor ​An abnormal growth of cells in the brain that can compress surrounding normal brain. canalithiasis ​The most common variant of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), in which otoconia (defined below) are ­ free floating within the semicircular canal. canalith repositioning maneuvers (CRP) ​Treatments intended to move displaced otoconia from the affected semicircular canal to the utricle. An example of a CRP is the Epley maneuver (defined below). Glossary Glossary 174 cells ​ Biological building blocks, out of which are made tissues, organs, and ultimately ­ whole organisms. central ner­ vous system (CNS) ​The brain and spinal cord. central positional vertigo ​A rare situation in which a brain disorder ­ causes positional vertigo. central vestibular pathways ​ Pathways in the brain carry­ ing vestibular signals. cerebellum ​ Portion of the back of the brain that modulates balance, limb coordination, eye movements, and, to some extent, cognition. cervical spinal stenosis ​Narrowing of the normal fluid filled space around the spinal cord in the neck. CT scan ​A computed tomography (from Greek tomos, meaning cut or slice) scan, a set of technologies using x-­ rays to create images of the body resembling slices of a loaf of bread or to reconstruct such slices into a 3D image. diabetic neuropathy ​ Deterioration of the sensory, motor, and, in some cases, autonomic nerves resulting in a clinical syndrome that may involve weakness, numbness, tingling, and burning. differential diagnosis The list of diagnoses pos­ si­ ble to explain a symptom or cluster of symptoms. A doctor makes a differential diagnosis when considering explanations for a patient’s symptoms. disequilibrium ​ Inability to maintain normal balance, leading to a risk for falls. diuretic ​A class of medi­ cation that ­ causes the kidney to increase the amount of fluids and electrolytes removed from the ­ blood. Dix-­Hallpike test ​Test for the posterior semicircular variant of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). dizziness ​Any abnormal head sensation, including vertigo, lightheadedness, faintness, imbalance, and spatial disorientation. embolic ​Type of stroke caused by pieces of clot originating from the heart or large arteries traveling downstream to eventually block smaller blood vessels. endolymph ​Fluid inside the membranous labyrinth of the inner ear. Glossary 175 epileptic seizures and/or epilepsy ​Recurrent, unprovoked disturbances of brain function caused by abnormal synchronized activity of many neurons in the brain. Epley maneuver ​ Commonly used canalith repositioning maneuver (defined above) for treating the posterior semicircular canal variant of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). external ear ​The earlobe, or pinna (from Latin word for wing), plus the external ear canal, where a doctor can look with an otoscope. The inner boundary of the external ear is the ear­ drum, also known as the tympanic membrane. glial cells ​Non-­ neuron cells (e.g., oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, and microglial cells) found in the ­ human ner­ vous system, all of which support and regulate the normal function of neurons. gravitational field ​A collection of points in space, and the value at each point of the force per unit mass experienced by ­ matter, as a result of being close to other ­ matter. On Earth the acceleration due to gravity at sea level is 9.8 meters per second squared. hydrocephalus ​Enlargement of the normal fluid-­ filled spaces inside the brain called ventricles. hydrops ​ Distention of the endolymphatic space (see endolymph defined above) within the membranous labyrinth. This finding is currently found in a postmortem, but potentially in the ­ future it ­ will be an MRI finding commonly seen in ­ people with Ménière’s disease (defined below). hyperintensity ​A bright area on an MRI scan. imbalance ​A synonym for disequilibrium (defined above). inner ear ​Also known as the labyrinth. A portion of the ear deep in the skull that includes the balance organs (semicircular canals and otolith organs) and hearing organ (cochlea). ischemia ​ Decreased blood flow that is sufficiently low to pres­ ent a substantial risk of damage to tissues, including but not limited to ner­ vous system tissues...


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