Last Updated October 14, 2015

Glossary & acronyms

Bladder Augmentation
Cerebral Hemisphere
Cerebrospinal Fluid
Chait Percutaneous Cecostomy
Chiari Malformation
Choroid Plexus
Corpus callosum
CIC - Clean Intermittent Catheterization
Culture & Sensitivity
Cystogram (VCUG)
Decubitus Ulcer

Decompression Surgery

Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)
Medulla Oblongata
Neural Tube Defect
Neurogenic Bladder
Percutaneous Cecostomy
Pressure Sore

Spina Bifida
Spinal Dysraphism
Suprapubic Catheter
Talipes Equinovarus
Tectal Beaking
Tethered Cord Syndrome
Urodynamic Testing
Vesicoureteral Reflux
Voiding Cystourethrogram

Amygdala [uh-MIG-duh-luh]
Anticholinergic - (an-ti-koh-luh-nur-jik)
Class of medications that reduce spasms of smooth muscle such as the bladder.
Atrophy - (AT·truh·fee)
is the wasting away or shrinking of a bodily part, organ, or tissue due to a disease (or possibly an injury or idleness).
BHMT - Betaine-Homocysteine Methyltransferase
Bladder Augmentation - [BLAD-er awg-men-TEY-shun]
An operation performed to increase the size and/or reduce the spasticity of the bladder. Also performed to reduce high bladder pressures
Catheter - [KATH-i-ter]
In spina bifida, a tubular medical device for insertion into the bladder to drain urine or to instill medication
Cecum [SEE-kum]
A pouch that forms the first part of the large intestine. It connects the small intestine to the colon, which is part of the large intestine.
Cerebellum [ser-eh-BELL-um]
The portion of the brain in the back of the head between the cerebrum and the brain stem. The cerebellum controls balance for walking and standing, and other complex motor functions.
Cerebral Hemisphere [seh-REE-bral HEM-is-feer]
One half of the cerebrum, the part of the brain that controls muscle functions and also controls speech, thought, emotions, reading, writing, and learning. The right hemisphere controls the muscles on the left side of the body, and the left hemisphere controls the muscles on the right side of the body.
Cerebrospinal Fluid [ser-eh-broh-SPY-nal FLOO-id]
The fluid that flows in and around the hollow spaces of the brain and spinal cord, and between two of the meninges (the thin layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord). Cerebrospinal fluid is made by tissue called the choroid plexus in the ventricles (hollow spaces) in the brain. Also called CSF.
Cerebrum [seh-REE-brum]
The largest part of the brain. It is divided into two hemispheres, or halves, called the cerebral hemispheres. Areas within the cerebrum control muscle functions and also control speech, thought, emotions, reading, writing, and learning.
Chiari Malformation - (key-AR-ee mal-for-MAY-shun)
Refers to the downward displacement of the 4th ventricle, brain stem and cerebellum, into the top of the spinal canal. First described in the 1890's by Dr. Hans Chiari. It is unknown why Chiari Malformation occurs with MMC. Possibly the best theory is the theory that assumes that “the primary problem is the lack of expressions of specific surface molecules (cellular adhesion molecules) on neurons developing neural tube”.
Choroid Plexus [KOR-oyd PLEK-sus]
is the area on the ventricles of the brain where cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is produced by modified ependymal cells.
congenital brain abnormality in which the occipital horns - the posterior or rear portion of the lateral ventricles (cavities) of the brain -- are larger than normal because white matter in the posterior cerebrum has failed to develop or thicken.  One of the brain malformations that often occurs with Chiari Malformation.
CIC - Clean Intermittent Catheterization (kleen in-ter-MIT-nt KATH-uh-tuhr-uh-zay-shuhn)
a common way for people with neurogenic bladders that do not empty normally to void their bladders on a routine schedule; clean, rather than sterile, technique is used.
Congenital [con-JEN-it-ul]
a condition you are born with
Corpus callosum - [KOR-pus kah-LOH-sum]
The great band of commissural fibers uniting the cerebral hemispheres [corpus callosum illustration]
Culture & Sensitivity - (kuhl-cher and sen-si-TIV-i-tee)
A urine sample is cultured at body temperature for 24 hours to determine if there is any growth of bacteria. If there is no growth at the end of that time, the culture is considered negative for significant number of microorganisms that could cause an infection. If bacteria are present, the total number of organisms are counted and identified. In addition, antibiotics are identified that can be used to treat the infection.
Cystogram (VCUG) [sis-TOE-gram]
X-ray photography of the urinary bladder after injection of a contrast medium. Also refered to as a Voiding Cystourethrogram (SIS-toh-yoo-REE-throh-gram) or VCUG.
(Image), (About the test)
Decompression Surgery [dee-kuhm-presh-uhn SUR-juh-ree]
A posterior fossa decompression is a surgical procedure performed to remove the bone at the back of the skull and spine. The dura overlying the tonsils is opened and a patch is sewn to expand the space, similar to letting out the waistband on a pair of pants. The goals of surgery are to stop or control the progression of symptoms caused by tonsillar herniation, to relieve compression of the brainstem and spinal cord, and to restore the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
A dermatome is an area of skin that is mainly supplied by a single spinal nerve. There are eight cervical nerves, twelve thoracic nerves, five lumbar nerves and five sacral nerves. They can be a helpful tool in determining the site of damage to the spine.
Encephalocele [en-SEF-ah-loh-ceel]
Herniation of the brain and meninges through a defect in the skull (75% in the occipital region); it is a cranial meningocele only if the meninges are involved (with a more benign prognosis).

Epilepsy [EP-ih-lep-see]

Hydrocephalus [hi-dro-SEF-a-lus]
Enlargement of the brain’s ventricular system (found in approximately 90% of patients with thoracolumbar and lumbar level lesions, 75% of lumbosacral lesions, and 50% of sacral lesions).
Hydronephrosis [HY-droh-nef-ROH-sis] -
Swelling of the top of the ureter, usually because something is blocking the urine from flowing into or out of the bladder. (Image)

Hypothalamus [high-poh-THAL-ah-mus]

Incontinence [in-KON-ti-nens]
Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) [in-tra-VEE-nus PIE-lo-gram]
test that uses contrast agent (dye) that is injected into a vein to outline the kidneys, ureters and bladder on an X-ray

Lethargy [LETH-ar-jee]

Lithotripsy [LITH-oh-trip-see]

Medulla Oblongata [meh-DULL-ah ob-long-GAH-tah]

Meningitis [men-in-jigh-tis]

Meningocele - [meh-NING-goh-seel]
a protrusion of meninges through a defect in the skull or spinal column (as in spina bifida) forming a cyst filled with cerebrospinal fluid

MS - Methionine Synthase Gene
An enzyme which plays an important role in homocysteine metabolism

Myelomeningocele - [meh-NING-goh-seel]
spina bifida in which neural tissue of the spinal cord and the investing meninges protrude from the spinal column forming a sac under the skin. This is the most common and most severe form of spina bifida.
Neural Tube Defect [NUR-ul toob DEE-fekt]
The name for
Neurogenic Bladder [nur-o-JEN-ik BLAD-er]
the loss of normal bladder function caused by damage to part of the nervous system. The damage can cause the bladder to be underactive, in which it is unable to contract and unable to empty completely, or it can be overactive, in which it contracts too quickly or frequently.
Percutaneous Cecostomy [pur-kyoo-TEY-nee-uh s see-OS-tuh-mee]
a tube is surgically placed in the patient’s cecum through the skin in the lower right part of the abdomen. This provides a convenient way to cleanse the bowels with an irrigation of enema solution. Developed by Dr. Peter G. Chait of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada.
Polymorphism [pol-ee-MAWR-fiz-uhm]
a common variation in the sequence of DNA among individuals. A form of genetic variation. Polymorphisms of certain genes, such as MTHFR, RFC-1, and MS have been implicated in the development of neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
Pressure Sore - [PRESH-er sohr]
an area of skin break down caused by prolonged pressure. Sometimes referred to as a decubitus ulcer or bed sore.
Pyelonephritis - [PY-loh-nef-RY-tis]
Also referred to as kidney infection usually caused by a germ that has traveled up through the urethra, bladder and ureters from outside the body. Typical symptoms include abdominal or back pain, fever, malaise and nausea or vomiting.
Pyuria [pie-YOO-ree-a]
RFC-1- Reduced Folate Carrier Gene
A polymorphism of the reduced folate carrier gene (RFC-1) has been recently demonstrated to affect plasma folate and homocysteine levels.

Seizure [SEE-zhur]

Spina Bifida - [SPY-nuh BIF-ih-duh]
A type of neural tube defect (NTD). The neural tube is a narrow channel that folds and closes during the third and fourth weeks of pregnancy to form the brain and spinal cord. Spina bifida happens if the portion of the neural tube that forms the spinal cord does not close completely during the first month of pregnancy. (image)
Spinal Dysraphism [SPY-nul dis-RA-fiz-em]
Incomplete closure of the neural tube.
Suprapubic Catheter [soo-prah-PYOU-bick kath-e-ter]
Syringomyelia (sear-IN-go-my-EEL-ya)
is a disorder in which a cyst forms within the spinal cord. is the development of a fluid-filled cavity or syrinx within the spinal cord.
Syrinx [SEER-inks]
Talipes Equinovarus [TAL-uh-peez ek-wi-NO-var-us]
Also known as Club Foot (Image)
Tectal Beaking - [TEK-tal BEEK-ng]
Refers to a malformation of the mesencephalic tectum and has been positively correlated with nystagmus (abnormal eye movements). The mesencephalic tectum is a rooflike structure covering the dorsal part of the mesencephalon (midbrain) See PMID 15060837
Tethered Cord Syndrome [TETH-urd kawrd SIN-drome]
A condition where
Urethra - [yoo-REE-thrah]
In males, this narrow tube carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body and also serves as the channel through which semen is ejaculated. Extends from the bladder to the tip of the penis. In females, this short, narrow tube carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. (Image)
Ureters - [yoo-REE-ter]
tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. (Image)
Urinalysis - [yoor-in-AL-ih-sis]
sample of urine is examined under a microscope by looking for indications of infection — bacteria or white blood cells in the urine
Urodynamics [yoo-roh-die-NAM-iks]

UTI - Urinary Tract Infection [ YOOR-uh-ner-ee trakt in-FEK-shun]
an infection of the tract through which urine passes and which consists of the renal tubules and renal pelvis of the kidney, the ureters, the bladder, and the urethra. The most common organism causing such infection is Escherichia coli.
Urodynamic Testing [YOOR-oh-dy-NAM-ik]
Procedures designed to provide information about a bladder problem. Measures of the bladder's ability to hold and release urine.
Ventricle [VEN-tri-kuhl]
System of four communicating cavities within the brain. (Image)
Vesicoureteral Reflux [VESS-ih-koh-yoo-REE-ter-ul]
Also referred to as VUR. An abnormal condition in which urine backs up from the bladder into the ureters and occasionally into the kidneys, raising the risk of infection.