Item 11.) Sidebar: Definitions of medical terms relevant to neuroborreliosis and ALS

Definitions from Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary 30th Edition:


(These typed reproductions of the definitions have not been carefully proofread. Refer to the medical dictionary for official definitions.)


Neuroborreliosis:  borreliosis affecting the nervous system, most commonly manifested by meningitis, cranial neuritis, or radiculopathy, or a combination of these; severity ranges from mild neuritis to severe meningopolyneuritis (Bannwarth’s syndrome).

Borreliosis:  infection with spirochetes of the genus Borrelia.

Lyme borreliosis:  a general term encompassing a number of diseases that are caused by Borrelia burgdorferi and have similar manifestations, including Lyme disease, acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans, Bannwarth’s syndrome, and erythema chronicum migrans.

Meningitis:  inflammation of the meninges, usually by either a bacterium (bacterial m.) or a virus (viral m.).

Meninges:  the three membranes that envelop the brain and spinal cord: the dura mater, pia mater, and arachnoid.

Neuritis:  inflammation of a nerve, with pain and tenderness, anesthesia and paresthesias, paralysis, wasting, and disappearance of the reflexes. See also neuropathy.

Radiculopathy:  disease of the nerve roots.

Cervical radiculopathy:  radiculopathy of cervical nerve roots, often manifesting as neck or shoulder pain.

Spondylotic caudal radiculopathy:  compression of the cauda equine due to encroachment upon a congenitally small spinal canal by spondylosis, resulting in pseudoclaudication or more profound neural disorders of the lower limbs.

Bannwarth’s syndrome:  the European term for the meningopolyneuritis that may occur in Lyme disease.

Meningopolyneuritis:  the triad of radiculoneuritis, aseptic meningitis, and cranial neuritis.

Radiculoneuritis:  acute idiopathic polyneuritis.

Polyneuritis:  inflammation of several peripheral nerves at once; called also multiple neuritis.

Neuropathy:  a functional disturbance or pathological change in the peripheral nervous system, sometimes limited to noninflammatory lesions as opposed to those of neuritis; the etiology may be known or unknown. Known etiologies include complications of other diseases (e.g., diabetic n., amyloid n., porphyric n.) or of toxic states (e.g. arsenic n., isoniazid n., lead n., nitrofurantoin n.).  Neuropathies affecting a specific nerve may be named for the nerve (e.g., femoral n.). The terms mononeuropathy and polyneuropathy may be used to denote whether one nerve or several are involved. Encephalopathy and myelopathy are corresponding terms referring to the brain and spinal cord, respectively.

Neurologic:  pertaining to neurology or to the nervous system.

Neurology:  the medical specialty that deals with the nervous system, both normal and in disease.

Clinical neurology:  that specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system.

Nervous system:  the organ system which, along with the endocrine system, correlates the adjustments and reactions of an organism to internal and environmental conditions. It comprises the central and peripheral nervous systems: the former is composed of the brain and spinal cord, and the latter includes all the other neural elements. Called also systema nervosum [TA]. See also central nervous s., and autonomic nervous s.

Central nervous system:  that portion of the nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord. In TA terminology, called pars centralis systematis nervosi. …

Autonomic nervous system:  the portion of the nervous system concerned with regulation of the activity of cardiac muscle, smooth muscle, and glands; usually restricted to the two visceral efferent peripheral components, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. …

Sympathetic nervous system:  1. the portion of the autonomic nervous system that receives its fibers of connection with the central nervous system through the thoracolumbar outflow of visceral efferent fibers. These fibers (preganglionic) arise from cells in the thoracic and upper lumbar levels of the spinal cord, leave by way of ventral roots, and, by way of rami communicantes, enter sympathetic trunks, where some synapse with ganglion cells. The fibers (postganglionic) of these ganglion cells return to spinal nerves by way of rami communicantes to supply the blood vessels, smooth muscle, and glands of the trunk and limbs, or go as visceral branches to the blood vessels, smooth muscles, and glands of the head and neck, and the viscera of the thorax, abdomen, and pelvis. Some preganglionic fibers pass through the sympathetic trunks and synapse in the prevertabral ganglia; postganglionic fibers from those ganglia supply adjacent viscera. In TA … .  2. former name for the autonomic nervous system.

Nervous:  1. neural (def. 1).  2. unduly excitable or easily agitated.

Neural:  1. pertaining to a nerve or to the nerves.  2. situated in the region of the spinal axis, as the neural arch; cf. hemal.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis:  a motor neuron disease marked by progressive degeneration of the neurons that give rise to the corticospinal tract and of the motor cells of the brain stem and spinal cord, resulting in a deficit of upper and lower motor neurons; it usually ends fatally within two to three years. Called also Lou Gehrig disease and Charcot’s syndrome.

Amyotrophic:  pertaining to or characterized by amyotrophy.

Amyotrophy:  atrophy of muscle tissue.

Lateral:  1. denoting a position farther from the median plane or midline of the body or of a structure.  2. pertaining to a side. 

Sclerosis:  an induration or hardening, such as hardening of a part from inflammation, increased formation of connective tissue, or disease of the interstitial substance.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: