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Flashcards in Neuropsychology 6 Deck (17):

What is the most common cause of brain damage in people under age 40?

Head trauma.


What are the two types of head trauma?

Closed head and open head injury.


What are some common symptoms of open head injury?

Retention of consciousness and focal symptoms that resolve relatively rapidly.


What are some common symptoms of closed head injury?

Loss of consciousness and retro- and/or anterograde amnesia. Cognitive, somatic, and affective symptoms are common after consciousness is regained.


In closed head injury, what is the best predictor of both extent of injury and likelihood of recovery?

Duration of anterograde amnesia following trauma.


What is the period following closed head injury during which most recovery occurs?

Six to nine months following trauma. Symptoms, esp. social and personality disturbances and motor deficits, may persist indefinitely.


What is Postconcussional Disorder?

A DSM-IV area for further study. Criteria are head trauma causing loss of consciousness, posttraumatic amnesia, and/or posttraumatic seizures, plus at least three symptoms persisting at least three months.


Name two disorders of the extrapyramidal system.

Huntington's Corea and Parkinson's Disease.


What is Huntington's Corea?

A heritable (~50%) degenerative cognitive and motor disease of the basal ganglia, substantia nigra, and cortex. Symptom onset is usually between ages 30-50, but can start in young childhood or as late as 60. Initially characterized by disordered mood, then by forgetfulness, personality changes, and motor symptoms. Athetosis and corea become prominent in late stages. Dementia is common and suicide risk is high.


What is athetosis?

Slow writhing movements.


What is corea?

Involuntary, rapid, jerky movements of the face, limbs, and trunk.


What is Parkinson's Disease?

A degenerative disorder of the dopaminergic systems of the substantia nigra, basal ganglia, thalamus, and cortex. Commonly (40%) comorbid with depression, often (20%) years before onset of motor symptoms. Characterized by tremor (esp. at rest), muscle rigidity, akathesia, posture and equilibrium disturbance, and akinesia. Dementia is not uncommon.


What is akathesia?

restlessness, lit. "inability to sit (still)."


What is akinesia?

Slowness of movement, flat affect and speech. (a.k.a., hypokinesia)


What are anticholinergic effects?

Anti-parasympathetic effects: ataxia (loss of coordinated voluntary movement), xerostomia (drymouth), cessation of perspiration, increased body temperature, blurred vision.


What is tardive dyskinesia?

An extrapyramidal dysfunction involving repetitive, involuntary movements. "Tardive" means delayed onset, as TD rarely develops in less than six months of neuroleptic treatment.


What is neuroleptic malignant syndrome?

A rare, life-threatening side effect of antipsychotic medications (both neuroleptics and atypicals) involving muscle rigidity, fever, sweating, stupor, and autonomic dysfunction. Typically develops within first two weeks of treatment, with rapid onset. Immediate discontinuation of medication is indicated.