Arteriovenous: relating to or affecting an artery and a vein.
Ataxia: is a lack of muscle coordination which may affect speech, eye movements, the ability to swallow, walking, picking up objects and other voluntary movements.
Autoimmune disease: An illness that occurs when the body tissues are attacked by its own immune system. The immune system is a complex system within the body that normally “seeks and destroys” invaders of the body. Patients with autoimmune diseases frequently have unusual antibodies circulating in their blood that target their own body tissues.
Bacterial: caused by bacteria. Bacteria are single-celled microorganisms that can either live on their own or in a host organism. Unlike viruses, they are capable of reproducing on their own.
Bladder: is the organ that collects urine excreted by the kidneys before disposal by urination. Its a hollowmuscular, and elastic organ that sits on the pelvic floor. Urine enters the bladder via the ureter and exits via the urethra.
Bowel: is the segment of the alimentary canal extending from the pyloric sphincter of the stomach to the anus that consists of two segments, the small intestine and the large intestine.
Cerebrospinal fluid: A watery fluid that is continuously produced and absorbed and that flows in the ventricles within the brain and around the surface of the brain and spinal cord. Abbreviated CSF.
Corticosteroids: a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal cortex or synthetically made. When administered as treatment they reduce swelling and decrease the body’s immune response and they are used to treat many different conditions.
Cyclophosphamide: is used to treat cancer but It is also considered an immunosuppressant—a medicine that can decrease the body’s immune response. Cyclophosphamide is reserved for severe, refractory rheumatoid arthritis or severe complications due to other autoimmune diseases, and transverse myelitis.
Demyelinating: is when the myelin sheath of neurons are damaged. This impairs the conduction of signals in the affected nerves, causing impairment in sensation, movement, cognition, or other functions depending on which nerves are involved.
EEG: (electroencephalogram) is a test that measures and records the electrical activity of your brain. Special sensors (electrodes) are attached to your head and hooked by wires to a computer. The computer records your brain’s electrical activity on the screen or on paper as wavy lines.
Encephalitis: is a rare condition that causes irritation and swelling (inflammation) of the brain, most often due to infections.
The Farnsworth-Munsell hue test: is used to separate people with normal color vision into classes of superior, average and low color discrimination and to measure the zones of color confusion of color defective people.
Immunodulation: is when immunosuppressant drugs are used to induce, enhance, or suppress the immune system. Each class of treatments is designed for specific immune system problems.
Immunoglobulin: (or antibodies) are substances produced by the body’s immune system in response to bacteria, viruses, or other foreign substances, such as fungus, allergens or cancer cells.
Inflammation: Inflammation is – very generally speaking – the body’s immune system’s response to stimulus. Inflammation happens when the immune system fights against something that may turn out to be harmful. Signs of inflammation are pain, redness, heat swelling and loss of function.
Ischemia: Restriction or blockage of blood flow through a blood vessel. Ischemia can be the cause of certain heart attacks and strokes and is involved in various types of visual field losses.
Ishahara color chart: uses coloured plates to test the type and seriousness of color vision deficiencies. These deficiencies may range from difficulty discerning differences between particular colors to complete color blindness. A plate in an Ishihara test has a circle filled with coloured dots. Usually there are background dots of one color and a figure made out of dots of another color. If the person taking the test cannot make out the figure, he probably has a vision deficiency.
Lupus erythematosus: is a name given to a collection of autoimmune diseases, in which the human immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissues. Symptoms of these diseases can affect many different body systems, including joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, heart, and lungs.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make images of organs and structures inside the body. MRI also may show problems that cannot be seen with other imaging methods such as X-ray, ultrasound or computer tomography (CT) scan.
The MRI scanner uses magnetic and radio waves to create pictures of tissues, organs and other structures within the body, which can then be viewed on a computer.
An MRI of the brain and spinal cord can be done to look at a multitude of different abnormalities, as it can provide clear pictures of these structures even though they are surrounded by bone tissue.
In some cases, contrast material (gadolinium) may be used during the MRI scan to show certain structures more clearly as it enhances the MRI images.
Methotrexate: is one of the most effective and commonly used medicines in the treatment of several forms of arthritis and other autoimmune conditions. It blocks several enzymes of the immune system. This affects actively growing cells such as those that are in the skin, blood, gastrointestinal tissues, and the immune system.
Microglial cells: are types of cells that act as the first and main form of active immune defence in the central nervous system (CNS).
Multiple sclerosis: is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord.
Muscle spasticity: Condition in which muscles become stiff or rigid resulting in limited movement.
Myelin: Myelin is an insulating layer that forms around nerves, including those in the brain and spinal cord. It is made up of protein and fatty substances.
The purpose of the myelin sheath is to allow impulses to transmit quickly and efficiently along the nerve cells. If myelin is damaged, the impulses slow down.
Neuropathy: Neuropathy describes a condition in which a person suffers from peripheral nerve damage often associated with an underlying disease. The symptoms of neuropathy are sensations similar to decreased circulation in the extremities, such as numbness, ranging from mild to severe, and pins and needles. Limbs feel alternately burning hot and icy cold, accompanied by sharp or dull pain and muscle fatigue.
Optic Nerve: is also known as cranial nerve 2, it transmits visual information from the retina to the brain.
Paresthesias: A paresthesia is an abnormal sensation of tingling, numbness, or burning. Paresthesias are usually felt in the hands, feet, arms, or legs, but can be felt anywhere. The sensation is usually unpleasant.
Paraparesis: Partial paralysis an weakness of the lower limbs.
Plasma exchange (Plasmapheresis): is a blood purification procedure used to treat several autoimmune diseases. It is also known as therapeutic plasma exchange. The basic procedure consists of removal of blood, separation of blood cells from plasma, and return of these blood cells to the body’s circulation, diluted with fresh plasma or a substitute.
Sarcoidosis: A chronic disease that causes the formation of masses resembling small tumours made up of clumps of immune cells, in any organ or tissue. The most common sites affected include the lungs, spleen, liver, mucous membranes, skin, and lymph nodes.
Sjogren’s syndrome: is a chronic disorder which causes a lack of sufficient moisture production in specific glands in a person’s body. Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease that occurs when a person’s immune system attacks and destroys their moisture-producing glands. The glands affected include the person’s tear and salivary glands, although their bowel, lungs and additional organs may sometimes also be affected.
Spinal Cord: is connected to the brain and is about the diameter of a human finger. From the brain the spinal cord descends down the middle of the back and is surrounded and protected by the vertebral column. The spinal cord is surrounded by a clear fluid called Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF), that acts as a cushion to protect the delicate nerve tissues against damage from banging against the inside of the vertebrae.
The spinal cord consists of millions of nerve fibres which transmit electrical information to and from the limbs, trunk and organs of the body, back to and from the brain. The nerves that exit the spinal cord in the neck and upper area control breathing and the arms. The nerves that exit the spinal cord in the mid and lower area of the back, control the trunk and legs, as well as bladder, bowel and sexual function.
T Cell: is one type of white blood cell that attack virus-infected cells, foreign cells and cancer cells. T cells also produce a number of substances that regulate the immune response. They are also sometimes called T lymphocytes.
Vasculitis: is a condition that involves inflammation in the blood vessels. The condition occurs if your immune system attacks your blood vessels by mistake. This may happen as the result of an infection, a medicine, or another disease or condition.
Viral: caused by a virus. A virus is a microorganism that is smaller than a bacterium that cannot grow or reproduce apart from a living cell. A virus invades living cells and uses their chemical machinery to keep itself alive and to replicate itself.