Appendix II - Terms for Cognitive, Behavioral and Neurologic Disorders


 

 

This is a comprehensive list of terms used to describe altered states associated with brain injury such as trauma, stroke, or tumor or with developmental deficits. Most psychiatric diagnostic terms (e.g., schizophrenia), disease names, and named syndromes are not included.

Related forms vary in starting with the prefix a-, dys-, or para-. Words beginning a- signify
a complete absence, lack, or inability
; i.e., aphagia is the inability to swallow. Words beginning with dys- signify partial loss or disability; i.e., dysphagia is difficulty swallowing. The para- form is a generalization meaning abnormal. These prefix conventions are not always followed rigorously. All commonly used forms are listed (and cross-referenced in brackets) for ease of use of this list.

The following definitions are paraphrased from definitions in a large number of print and
on-line dictionaries, and neurology textbooks.


Abasia (dysbasia): Inability to walk properly, taking steps that are too big or too small.
Ablepsia
: Blindness.
Abulia
: Loss of willpower or ability to make decisions.
Acalculia
(dyscalculia, anarithmetria): Inability to use mathematics.
Acataphasia
: Inability to formulate a statement or expression in an organized manner.
Achromatopsia
: Complete color blindness; able only to see shades of black and white.
Acoria
(akoria): Inability to feel satiated, regardless of how much is eaten.
Acyanopsia
(tritanopia): Color blindness in the blue region of the spectrum.
Adiadochokinesia
(dysdiadochokinesia): Inability to perform rapidly alternating movements, that is, to stop a movement and follow it with another in an opposite direction.
Ageusia
(parageusia, ageustia): Loss of the sense of taste.
Ageustia
(ageusia, parageusia): Loss of the sense of taste.

Agnosia: A general term for a loss of ability to recognize objects, people, sounds, shapes, or smells; that is, an inability to attach meaning to objective sense-data. Usually used when the primary sense organ involved is not impaired.

Agraphesthesia: Inability to identify a letter or number being written on a part of the body.
Agraphia
(dysgraphia): Inability to express thought in written language (usually not due to mechanical dysfunction).
Agrypnia (ahypnia): Insomnia.
Ahypnia
(agrypnia): Insomnia.
Akathisia
: Motor restlessness; an inability to sit still. Often caused by defects in the extrapyramidal system.
Akinesia
(dyskinesia, parakinesia): Extreme reluctance to perform elementary motor activities. A form of apraxia.
Akoria
(acoria): Inability to feel satiated, regardless of how much is eaten.
Alalia
: Inability to speak.
Alexia
: Inability to read and understand written language. A subform of dyslexia.
Allesthesia
: Perception of the limb opposite to the one stimulated. Related to dyschiria.
Alliesthesia
: Perception of the same external stimulus as sometimes pleasant and sometimes unpleasant.
Allodynia
: Pain caused by a normally nonpainful stimulus.
Allolalia
: Speech disorder.
Alogia
: Speech defect due to a brain lesion or injury.
Amelodia
(aprosodia): Absence of normal variations of pitch, rhythm, and stress in speech.
Amentia
: Extreme mental retardation.
Amnesia
: Total or partial loss of memory.
Amusia
: Inability to produce or appreciate musical sounds.
Anacusia
: Deafness.
Analgesia
: Absence of a normal sense of pain.
Anarithmetria
(acalculia, dyscalculia): Inability to use mathematics.
Anarthria
: A general term related to altered speech that includes either aphonia or aprosodia.
Anergia
: Listless or lacking in energy.
Anhedonia
: Inability to experience pleasure.
Anomia
(dysnomia): General term for the inability to name objects. Can be limited to objects in semantic categories such as living things, inanimate things, fruits, colors, etc.
Anopsia
: Blindness in one eye.
Anorexia
(dysorexia): Loss of appetite as part of a pathologic fear of weight gain.
Anosmia
(dysosmia, anosphrasia): Lack of the sense of smell.
Anosognosia
: Unawareness of, denial of, or failure to recognize one's own neurologic deficit. For example, people paralyzed on the left side may claim an ability to move their left arm.
Anosphrasia
(anosmia, dysosmia): Loss of sense of smell.
Apastia
: Refusal to eat.
Aphagia
(dysphagia): Difficulty swallowing.

Aphasia (dysphasia): General term that literally means "no speech." It refers to any impairment of the ability to use or understand words and can be used to describe loss of one or more of the following: ability to speak, ability to write, ability to understand speech, ability to understand written words. Major subcategories include Broca's aphasia, in which one can comprehend speech but not produce it, and Wernicke's aphasia in which one can produce speech but not comprehend it.

Aphemia: Inability to speak words but able to make other sounds.
Aphonia
(dysphonia): Loss of ability to speak; inability to produce speech sounds. Distinguished from the motor defect dysarthria.
Aphrasia
: Inability to make intelligible spoken sentences.

Apraxia (dyspraxia): Difficulty in performing a learned movement or coordinated motor activity even though understanding, motor coordination, and sensation are normal. Specific apraxias may be limited to a certain group of functions, such as inability to dress oneself.

Aprosodia (amelodia): Absence of normal variations of pitch, rhythm, and stress in speech.
Areflexia
(dysreflexia): Absent reflex in response to a stimulus.
Asemia
: Loss of ability to express or understand symbols or signs of thought.
Asitia
: Lack of appetite or loathing of food.
Astasis
: Inability to stand due to lack of motor coordination but having normal strength.
Astereognosia
: Inability to identify objects that are palpated.
Asthenia
: General weakness or debilitation.
Asynergia
: Loss of motor coordination.
Ataxia
: Poor coordination and unsteadiness due to failure to regulate the body's posture, and strength and direction of limb movements.
Atonia
: Lack of muscle tension or tone.
Bradykinesia
: Abnormal slowness of movement caused by a neurologic defect.
Circumlocution
: Evasive speech or use of unusual definitions.
Confabulation
: Answering of questions by an inappropriate, made-up attempt to explain.
Coprolalia
: Offensive speech such as swear words.
DŽjˆ vu
(paramnesia): The illusory experience that something was previously experienced but is actually being experienced for the first time.
Dementia
: General term for loss of intellectual or cognitive abilities.
Deuteranopia
: Color blindness in which bluish red and green are confused.
Diplopia
: Double vision.
Dysacusis
: Distortion of hearing of sound frequency or intensity, often painful.
Dysaesthesia
(dysesthesia): Abnormal sensations of the skin. Sometimes used more generally for the impairment of any of the senses.
Dysantigraphia
: Inability to copy writing or printed letters.
Dysaphia
: Impaired sense of touch.
Dysarthria
: Imperfect articulation of speech due to disturbances of muscular control. This is distinguished from aphonia.
Dysbasia
(abasia): Difficulty walking, usually by taking steps that are too big or too small.
Dyscalculia
(acalculia, anarithmetria): Impaired ability to use mathematics.
Dyschiria
: Inability to tell which side of the body has been touched. Related to allesthesia.
Dyschronation
: Distorted sense of time.
Dysdiadochokinesia
(adiadochokinesia): Difficulty in performing rapidly alternating movements, that is, to stop a movement and follow it with another in an opposite direction.
Dysergia
: Motor impairment due to axonal transmission failure.
Dysesthesia
(dysaesthesia): Abnormal sensations of the skin. Sometimes used more generally for the impairment of any of the senses.
Dysgraphia
(agraphia): Difficulty expressing thought in written language (usually not due to mechanical dysfunction).
Dyskinesia
(akinesia, parakinesia): Extreme reluctance to perform elementary motor activities. A form of apraxia.
Dyslexia
: Difficulty in properly interpreting or producing written language. Individuals can see and recognize letters but have difficulty spelling and writing words. They have no impairment of intelligence, or of object or picture identification. Related to alexia
Dyslogia
: Difficulty in expressing ideas.
Dysmetria
: Uncoordinated movement that misses its target.
Dysmimia
: Difficulty in expressing oneself by gestures or signs. Inability to physically imitate.
Dysmorphophobia
: Obsession that a normal body part is malformed or poor in appearance.
Dysnomia
(anomia): General term for a difficulty in naming objects. Can be limited to objects in semantic categories such as living things, inanimate things, fruits, colors, etc.
Dysorexia
(anorexia): Loss of appetite as part of a pathologic fear of weight gain.
Dysosmia
(anosmia, anosphrasia): Lack of the sense of smell.
Dysphagia
(aphagia): Difficulty swallowing.
Dysphasia
(aphasia): Impairment of the ability to use or understand words.
Dysphemia
: Substitution of an offensive word for an ordinary one.
Dysphonia
(aphonia): Impaired ability to speak or to produce speech sounds. Distinguished from the motor defect dysarthria.
Dyspraxia
(apraxia): Difficulty in performing a learned movement or coordinated motor activity even though understanding, motor coordination, and sensation are normal. Specific dyspraxias may be limited to a certain group of functions, such as difficulty in dressing oneself.
Dysreflexia
(areflexia): Abnormal reflex in response to a stimulus.
Dyssomnia
: Disordered sleep such as insomnia or hypersomnia.
Dyssynergia
: Disorganized motor movement.
Dystonia
: Maintenance of a persistent posture or position; locked into position.
Echolalia
: Imitation of sounds without comprehension of their meaning. Normal in children but an abnormality in adults.
Echopraxia
: Involuntary imitation of the movements made by another.
Environmental agnosia
: Inability to orient to physically familiar places but able to orient to an abstract representation such as a map.
Hemianopsia
: Loss of either the left or right half of the field of vision.
Hemiballismus
: Wild, involuntary movement of the limbs on one side of the body.
Hemiparesis
: Muscle weakness on one side of the body.
Hemiplegia
: Complete paralysis of one side of the body.
Hyperacusis
: Extreme sensitivity to sounds.
Hyperalgesia
(hyperpathia): Increased reaction to a stimulus, especially a repetitive stimulus, as well as an increased threshold. Often painful.
Hyperkinesia
: Abnormal quickness of movement caused by a neurologic defect.
Hyperpathia
(hyperalgesia): Increased reaction to a stimulus, especially a repetitive stimulus, as well as an increased threshold. Often painful.
Hypogeusia
: Diminished sense of taste.
Hyposmia
: Diminished sense of smell.
Jamais vu
: The sensation of everything being strange and unfamiliar.
Jargon
: Normal-sounding speech but made up of nonsense words.
Lethologica
: Temporary inability to remember a proper noun or a name.
Moria
: Euphoric and erotic behavior after a stroke or injury in the prefrontal cortex.
Neologisia
: Use of word forms that do not exist.
Nystagmus
: Involuntary, rapid, jerky movement of the eyeball.
Palinopia
(palinopsia): Inappropriate persistence of a visual image after its removal.
Palinopsia
(palinopia): Inappropriate persistence of a visual image after its removal.
Parablepsia
: False vision such as a hallucination or illusion.
Paracusia
: Abnormal hearing.
Paraesthesia
: Tingling sensation on the skin.
Parageusia
(ageusia, ageustia): Abnormality of the sense of taste.
Paragraphia
: Miswriting when responding to a spoken word or number.
Parakinesia
(akinesia, dyskinesia): Extreme reluctance to perform elementary motor activities. A form of apraxia.
Paralalia
: Abnormal speech sounds.
Paralexia
: Transposition of words or syllables.
Paramnesia
: Abnormal memory of the meaning of words. Also used synonymously with the term dŽjˆ vu, meaning to have the illusory experience that something was previously experienced but is actually being experienced for the first time.
Paraphasia
: Misuse of words, especially while talking.
Parapnasia
: Incorrect word combinations.
Parasomia
: Perversion of the sense of smell, especially the subjective perception of nonexistent odors.
Paresis
: Partial or incomplete paralysis.
Perseveration
: Inappropriate repetition of an action or behavior.
Prosopagnosia
: Inability to recognize faces.
Protanopia
: Color blindness in which red and green are confused.
Simultanagnosia
: Inability to comprehend more than one element of a visual scene simultaneously or to integrate the parts into a whole.
Somesthesia
: Disorder of sensation of touch, pain, temperature, limb position, or body sense.
Strabismus
: Imperfect eye gaze coordination, such as cross-eyed or wall-eyed.
Synesthesia
: An inappropriate sensory perception, such as perceiving a color in response to a particular odor.
Topagnosis
: Inability to localize the site of tactile stimulation.
Topographagnosia
: Inability to orient to an abstract spatial representation such as a map.
Tritanopia
(acyanopsia): Color blindness in the blue region of the spectrum.
Verbal dysdecoru§m
: Inability to self-monitor the appropriateness of speech in social settings.
Verbigeration
: Inappropriate repetition of the last word spoken.
Witzelsucht
: Inappropriate joking or factitious behavior after a stroke or injury in the prefrontal cortex.