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Glossary

A   C   D   E   H   I   L   P   R   S
 A


ABC Charting Documenting the antecedents (triggers) and consequences of a behaviour.

Aggression Physical and verbal outbursts (eg. hitting, swearing, name calling).

Agnosia Agnosia is a breakdown in a person's ability to associate an object with its meaning; to recognize objects, people and him/herself.

Agrammatism Inability to put things in their proper grammatical configuration.

Alzheimer's
Disease
Alzheimer's Disease is a cortical type dementia. It is the most common form of dementia accounting for 50% of all cases. The onset of the disease is brought about by gradual degeneration in the neurons (nerve cells) of the brain. This in turn causes a breakdown in the signals brain cells send to each other.

Amnesia Amnesia is a memory disorder particularly affecting the creation of new memories, or memory of recent events.

Anomia Difficulty in naming things. For example, asking for "that" instead of a newspaper.

Aphasia Aphasia is a breakdown in language skills.

Apraxia Apraxia is a breakdown in a person's ability to translate a verbal task down into its motor expression.



 C


Cognition Cognition is the ability of the brain to think, to process and store information, and to solve problems. Cognition is a high level of behaviour unique to humans. This behaviour is disrupted by illness such as dementia.

Cortical Dementia Dementia caused by damaged to the outer part of the brain. Cortical dementia causes problems in memory, thinking and language. Alzheimer's Disease is a disorder that causes cortical dementia.
Creuzfeldt-Jakob Disease Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) is a rapidly progressive fatal brain-deteriorating disease for which there is no treatment or cure. It is characterized by dementia, disturbances of gait and coordination. Most scientists believe an infectious agent called a prion causes CJD. One strain of CJD is thought to be related to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (i.e. Mad Cow Disease) in the United Kingdom.

 D


Dementia Dementia is a label for a cluster of symptoms involving deterioration in behaviours such as memory, language, and reasoning. The deterioration results from a disease process in the brain. The disease progresses from mild through severe stages and interferes with the ability to function independently in everyday life.


 E


Executive
Dysfunction
A disorder that affects a person's ability to plan and is often characterized by a lack of inhibition.


 H


Huntington's
Disease
Huntington's disease is a hereditary disorder of the central nervous system. Symptoms typically appear in adult life between the ages of 30 and 50. It is most often characterized by chronic progressive involuntary movements (chorea), dementia and psychiatric disturbance (most frequently depression).


 I


Immediate
Memory
Immediate memory is the ability to remember a small amount of information over a few seconds.


 L


Lewy Body
Disease
Lewy-body disease (LBD) is a slowly progressive disease that involves cognitive functioning and movements. As in Alzheimer's disease, individuals with LBD can have severe impairment of memory but can also show movement disorders similar to Parkinson's disease. In addition, individuals with LBD exhibit sudden changes in their alertness and cognitive functioning. Many individuals also have vivid hallucinations.


 P


Paraphasia Saying a word that sounds like another word. For example, "latch" for "match". Another form of paraphasia is when someone replaces one idea with another. For example, "going to school" for "going to hospital".

Parkinson's
Disease
The primary symptoms of Parkinson's disease involve abnormal movements. People with Parkinson's disease often shuffle as they walk, have a tremor of the limbs as they rest, show increased resistance to passive movement, have a stooped posture, and stiffness. Some individuals also experience dementia. A deficiency of dopamine, an important chemical transmitter in certain brain cells governing movement, balance and walking, is considered responsible for the primary disease symptoms.

Pick's Disease Pick's disease is a slowly progressive disease that strikes the frontal lobes of the brain. The initial symptoms involve changes in the person's personality and behaviour. They often appear rude and show little concern to other people. Memory becomes affected in the later stages which contrasts with Alzheimer's disease in which memory impairment is one of the first symptoms.

Prospective
Memory
Prospective memory is the ability to remember to do something in the future (e.g., remembering to return someone's phone call, or the time and day of your dentist appointment next week).


 R


Recent Memory Recent memory is the ability to remember information from minutes, hours, or days ago.

Remote Memory Remote memory is the ability to remember things that happened years ago.


 S


Semantic Memory Semantic Memory is the accumulation of facts and experience gained over a lifetime.

Subcortical
Dementia
Dementia caused by damage to the inner part of the brain (Cortex). Subcortical dementia is characterized by slowing, difficulty in retrieving information from memory, and altered mood. Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis are examples of diseases that can result in a subcortical dementia.



 
 
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