About Brain Injury

A Glossary of Terms


  • Dysarthria
  • Click on a letter to access terms or click the "on" button to browse entire glossary.


    Or Go To:

    Intracranial Pressure

    Understanding Coma

    Rancho Los Amigos Scale/ The Levels of Coma

    Objectives of Neurosurgery

    A Guide to Brain Anatomy

    Dance/Movement Therapy - The use of movement to music as a process which enhances, facilitates and integrates physical, cognitive and psychosocial function. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Day Care - A service provided during ordinary working hours for the person who requires supervision, including assistance with medication, meal preparation, dressing or moving about. However, the family returns the person to their residence and assumes responsibility for care during the evenings and at night. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Day Treatment Program - See Discharge: Options for Rehabilitation Facilities. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Deaf - Deafness refers to a profound degree of hearing loss that prevents understanding of speech received through the ear. Hearing impaired is the generic term preferred by some individuals to refer to any degree of hearing loss from mild to profound. It includes both hard of hearing and deaf. Hard of hearing refers to a mild to moderate hearing loss that may or may not be corrected with amplification. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Decerebrate Posture (Decerebrate Rigidity) - Exaggerated posture of extension as a result of a lesion to the prepontine area of the brain stem, and is rarely seen fully developed in humans. In reporting, it is preferable to describe the posture seen. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Decubitus - Pressure area, bed sore, skin opening, skin breakdown. A discolored or open area of skin damage caused by pressure. Common areas most prone to breakdown are buttocks or backside, hips, shoulder blades, heels, ankles and elbows. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) - A blood clot in a vein, located deep from the skin, most commonly seen in the calf or thigh. Veins lying just beneath the skin are called superficial veins. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Deficit, Functional - A deficiency in amount or quality of functioning. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Deinstitutionalization - a concept which has three interrelated processes: 1) avoiding placement in a public institution by developing, finding and using alternative community methods of care and training; 2) return to the community of those residents who can function appropriately and who can benefit from community-based rehabilitation and training programs; and 3) establishment and maintenance of a responsible institutional environment which protects the human and civil rights of persons with disability and which contributes to the appropriate and prompt return of the individual to the community. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Developmental Disability - Any mental and/or physical disability that has an onset before age 22 and may continue indefinitely. It can limit major life activities. Term includes individuals with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy (and other seizure disorders), sensory impairments, congenital disabilities, traumatic accidents, or conditions caused by disease (e.g., polio, muscular dystrophy). [Click Here to Return to List]

    Diaschisis - A theoretical state following brain injury in which healthy areas connected to the damaged area show a temporary loss of function. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI) - A shearing injury of large nerve fibers (axons covered with myelin) in many areas of the brain. It appears to be one of the two primary lesions of brain injury, the other being stretching or shearing of blood vessels from the same forces, producing hemorrhage. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Diffuse Brain Injury - Injury to cells in many areas of the brain rather than in one specific location. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Diplegia - Paralysis of corresponding parts on both sides of the body, such as both arms. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Diplopia - Seeing two images of a single object; double vision. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Disability - Inability or limitation in performing tasks, activities and roles in the manner or within the range considered normal education. It may refer to a physical, mental, or sensory condition. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Disadvantaged Individual - Any individual constrained by reason of physical or mental disability, youth, advanced age, low educational attainment, ethnic or cultural factors, prison or delinquency records, or any other condition, especially in association with poverty. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Discipline - When referring to health care or education it means a particular field of study, such as medicine, occupational therapy, nursing, recreation therapy or others. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Discrimination, Sensory - A process requiring differentiation of two or more stimuli. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Discrimination, Auditory - The ability to differentiate and recognize sounds. This involves distinguishing between words, noises, and sounds that might be similar. A person with poor auditory discrimination might answer the phone in his room although the actual ringing came from an alarm clock. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Discrimination, Tactile - The ability to identify and distinguish between objects and stimuli solely through touch. This involves the ability to ascertain shape, size, and texture. For example, persons with impaired tactile discrimination might not be able to distinguish between a quarter and a dime in their pocket. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Discrimination, Visual - Involves the differentiation of items using sight. An individual with impaired visual discrimination may not be able to distinguish between a red and green light while driving or may have difficulty distinguishing between the letter "E" and the letter "F". [Click Here to Return to List]

    Disinhibition - Inability to suppress (inhibit) impulsive behavior and emotions. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Disorientation - Not knowing where you are, who you are, or the current date. Health professionals often speak of a normal person as being oriented "times three" which refers to person, place and time. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Disposition - Plans for where the person will live after discharge from the hospital and who will be able to help that individual. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Distal - Far from the point of reference. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Doll's Eye Maneuver - The eyes appear to move in the direction opposite to the motion of the head, when the head is gently rotated. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Dorsiflexion - When applied to the ankle, the ability to bend at the ankle, moving the front of the foot upward. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Down's Syndrome - A form of mental retardation and congenital anomalies caused by improper chromosomal division during fetal development. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Dysarthria - Difficulty in forming words or speaking them because of weakness of muscles used in speaking or because of disruption in the neuromotor stimulus patterns required for accuracy and velocity of speech. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Dysmetria - Inability to stop a movement at the desired point; also known as past-pointing. [Click Here to Return to List]

    Dysphagia - A swallowing disorder characterized by difficulty in oral preparation for the swallow, or in moving material from the mouth to the stomach. This also includes problems in positioning food in the mouth. [Click Here to Return to List]




    Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

    Contact Us

    E-mail to: waiting.com
    For legal questions call toll free: 1-800-992-9447

    We are not medical professionals, however we encourage your inquiries regarding both legal issues and information on futher resources. Phone and email inquiries will be received by the staff of the Brain Injury Law Office, including Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

    copyright ©2002 - 2013 Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr., All rights reserved.

    For more on Attorney Gordon Johnson