Glossary

We use a lot of terms on this website. Here are some definitions to learn more. To find a specific word, press “Ctrl” and “F”.

Biorepository

A biorepository is a place where biological materials (such as blood and saliva) are stored, managed, and processed for scientific research. 

Biostatistics

The statistical processes and methods for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting biological data. This is primarily related to human biology, health, and medicine.

Comorbidity

When two or more medical conditions exist at the same time.

Consortium

A group of companies or people with the same goal who are working together to achieve that goal.

Data and study management

Data and study management encompasses the ways and processes in which data (factual information) and studies (detailed investigations of a subject) are analyzed, stored, and shared by an organization.

Epidemiology

The branch of medicine that studies diseases. It examines how diseases spread in a group of people.

Epilepsy

Also known as "seizure disorder." Epilepsy is a medical condition that produces seizures that affect a variety of mental and physical functions. When a person has two or more seizures, they are considered to have epilepsy.

Gulf War Illness

Many veterans deployed to southwest Asia during the 1990-1991 gulf war experience multiple symptoms that can be categorized as "gulf war illness." gulf war illness describes a cluster of chronic symptoms that cannot be explained medically. These include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, dizziness, respiratory disorders, and memory problems, among other issues. 

Limbic System

The limbic system is made up of nerves and networks in the brain. It influences emotions such as fear, pleasure, and aggression. This part of the brain also helps with memory and motivation.   

Mental Health

Mental health is how we think, feel, and behave. It helps determine how we adapt to a range of demands, relate to others and make choices. Just like physical health, mental health is important at every stage of life. It is essential to overall health.

Military Caregiver

A person who cares for a physically injured, ill, or a mentally injured veteran. Military caregivers help with daily tasks, such as bathing or walking. They can also help with emotional challenges.   

Neurodegenerative disorders

The term "neurodegenerative disorders" covers a range of conditions which primarily affect the neurons in the human brain. Neurons are the building blocks of the nervous system. This includes the brain and spinal cord. Neurons normally don't reproduce or replace themselves, so when they become damaged or die, they cannot be replaced. Examples of these disorders include Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s disease.

Neuropathology

Neuropathology is the study of diseases of the eyes and of the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and the body's extensive neural network.

Neurosurgery

Surgery of the nervous system. This medical specialty is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of patients with injury to, or disorders of, the brain, spinal cord and spinal column, and peripheral nerves within all parts of the body.

Polytrauma

More than one injury (trauma) to the body.

Phenotypes

The observable characteristics of a person. The word "pheno" comes from the Greek word "to show." This medical term describes symptoms of physical or mental disorders in a person.

Sensory Dysfunction

Sensory dysfunction refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Sensory processing disorder (SPD) exists when  sensory signals in the body do not work correctly. A person with SPD has difficulty moving their body, has reduced strength, and has trouble with balance.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Also known as "concussion", TBI is a head injury usually arising from a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all head injuries result in a TBI. TBIs can be mild, moderate, severe, or penetrating. 

Vascular system

The system of vessels that carry blood throughout the body.

Vestibular system

The system that helps control balance and eye movement, including the inner ear and brain.

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