Before the injury. Most clients and families don't like this term because of the word morbid. When there is an insult to the brain, some of the cells die. Premorbid is the time before the death of certain cells.


A person's inability to express his or her thoughts. Although the person may know exactly what he or she wants to say, the words just don't come out of the mouth. Sometimes the person may be able to get the words out, but knows instantly that something is wrong. He or she knows because his or her partner repeats in awe, "You want me to eat the fireplace"? In the meantime, he or she wanted to say "Eat your dinner".


Damage to the brain which is not accompanied by a penetrating injury (head collides with another object).


Damage to the brain which is accompanied by a penetrating injury (gun shot wound to the head).


Thinking,understanding and reasoning,acquiring knowledge and verifying information. After a traumatic brain injury our cognitive,or thinking abilities are often altered. The way we formerly gathered,understood and acted on what we learned,will also change.


A tube that is surgically placed in the brain and runs down into the large veins of the neck and abdominal cavity. It will drain excess fluids away from the brain. This fluid often builds up after a traumatic insult. Some shunts are permanent and some can later be removed.


Uncoordinated movement or interruption of smooth movement. What this simply means is the muscles that normally pull together as a team now work independently and often opposite each other. There is often no actual muscle damage, which causes the ataxia, but damage only to the part of the brain that send the messages to the muscles.


The lower portion of the brain which connects it to the spinal column. The brain stem coordinates the body’s vital functions (breathing, blood pressure and pulse). It also houses the reticular formations, which controls consciousness, drowsiness and attention.


The largest part of the brain consisting of two cerebral hemispheres which are connected by a band of tissue, the corpus callosum. This is the area where most “thinking” and cognitive functioning take place. It is sometimes referred to as the “cerebrum.”


Difficulty with pronunciation due to weakness or poor coordination of the muscles of the lips, tongue, jaw, etc. It may include speech that is slurred, talking extremely fast or slowly, or improper pitch.


The inability to perform a movement when asked. The person may still be able to move, feel, understand direction and move naturally (automatically) but, when asked, the person cannot move to obey a command or an intention. There are two types of apraxia. They are movement apraxia and word apraxia.


Being able to apply abstract concepts to new situations and surroundings.


A style of thinking in which the individual sees each situation as unique and is unable to generalize from the similarities between situations. Language and perceptions are interpreted literally so that a proverb such as "a stitch in time saves nine" cannot be readily grasped.


The collection of blood in tissues or a space following rupture of a blood vessel.
EPIDURAL Outside the brain and its fibrous covering, the dura, but under the skull.
SUBDURAL Between the brain and its fibrous covering (dura).
INTRACEREBRAL In the brain tissue.
SUBARACHNOID Around the surfaces of the brain, between the dura and arachnoid membranes.
PERSEVERATION The inappropriate persistence of a response in a current task which may have been appropriate for a former task. Perseverations may be verbal or motoric.
KINESTHESIA The sensory awareness of body parts as they move.
IMPULSE CONTROL Refers to the individual’s ability to withhold inappropriate verbal or motor responses while completing a task. Persons who act or speak without first considering the consequences are viewed as having poor impulse control.
JOB ANALYSIS Involves the systematic study of an occupation in terms of what the worker does in relation to data, people, and things; the methods and techniques employed, the machines, tools, equipment, and work aids used; the materials, products, subject matter or services which result, and the traits required of the worker.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY The therapeutic use of self-care, work and play activities to increase independent function, enhance development and prevent disability; may include the adaptation of a task or the environment to achieve maximum independence and to enhance the quality of life. The term occupation, as used in occupational therapy, refers to any activity engaged in for evaluating, specifying and treating problems interfering with functional performance.
PHYSICAL THERAPIST Evaluates components of movement, including: muscle strength, muscle tone, posture, coordination, endurance, and general mobility. The physical therapist also evalulates the potential for functional movement, such as ability to move in the bed, transfers and walking and then proceeds to establish an individualized treatment program to help the patient achieve functional independence.
REHABILITATION COUNSELOR Also called Vocational Counselor. A specialist in social and vocational issues who helps the patient develop the skills and aptitudes necessary for return to productive activity and the community.
TASK ANALYSIS Breakdown of a particular job into its component parts; information gained from task analysis can be utilized to develop training curricula or to price a product or service.
VOCATIONAL EVALUATION An organized and comprehensive service staffed by specialists who systematically and comprehensively utilize work activities (real or simulated) and/or educational services as the focal point for educational and vocational assessment and exploration. In addition, psychological testing, counseling, social summaries, occupational information, etc., are other evaluation tools that are used. It incorporates the medical, psychological, social, vocational, educational, cultural, and economic data for establishment and attainment of individual goals

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Revised: Tuesday, April 30, 2002 03:24 PM