Traumatic Brain Injury Terms
Glossary | Traumatic Brain Injury Terms
Broca’s Area – located in the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex, this section of the brain is heavily involved in speaking and writing.
CAT scan – an important tool used in diagnosing brain injury. The scan works by creating a series of cross-sectional X-rays of the head and brain.
Cerebellum – the word literally means “little brain”. It refers to an area located at the base of the brain and is involved with the coordination of physical movement.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) – fluid that circulates throughout the brain and spinal cord and is important in protecting against injury.
Cerebrum – this is the anatomical term for what is commonly described as the “brain”. It sits on top of the brain stem and is divided into two halves – the right hemisphere, which controls the left side of your body, and the left hemisphere that controls the right side of your body.
Coma – a state of profound unconsciousness associated with serious TBI.
Concussion – an injury to the brain caused by a sharp blow or persistent violent shaking, which results in a sudden and temporary impairment of normal brain functioning. Abnormal vision, loss of balance and a brief loss of consciousness are frequent symptoms of a concussion.
Contusion – A distinct area of swollen tissue and blood that results from the rupturing of blood vessels, which is frequently the result of blunt trauma to the head.
Frontal Lobes – located at the front of the cerebrum, the frontal lobes are the part of the brain that regulates and control higher-level intellectual functions. The frontal lobes also play an important role in controlling social behavior and proper interpretation of social cues.
Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) – A commonly used diagnostic scoring system used to assess mental functioning after the occurrence of brain injury. A score of 8 or below on the GCS is associated with severe brain injury; a score of between 9 and 12 is associated with moderate brain injury; and a score of 13 or greater is associated with minor TBI.
Intracerebral hematoma – bleeding in the brain resulting from damage to blood vessels within the brain, frequently resulting from traumatic brain injury.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – a noninvasive tool for diagnosing traumatic brain injury that is capable of detecting subtle abnormalities inside the brain.
Temporal Lobes – Part of the cerebrum, there are two temporal lobes, one locate on each side of the brain. They are important in controlling the function of speech, memory and hearing.
Intracranial pressure – a buildup of pressure within the skull which can result from TBI and in turn cause further significant complications.
Wernicke’s Area – located in the left temporal lobe, this part of the brain plays an important role in understanding language.