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Strokesaurus


Word Definition

AAC

Augmentative and alternative communication
Augmentative and alternative communication

ACE

Angiotensin-converting enzyme
Angiotensin-converting enzyme

Activities of daily living

The basic elements of personal care such as eating, washing and showering, grooming, walking, standing up from a chair and using the toilet.
The basic elements of personal care such as eating, washing and showering, grooming, walking, standing up from a chair and using the toilet.

Activity

The execution of a task or action by an individual. Activity limitations are difficulties an individual may have in executing activities.
The execution of a task or action by an individual. Activity limitations are difficulties an individual may have in executing activities.

Acupuncture

Chinese medicine treatment in which thin metal needles are inserted into selected points beneath the skin. The needles may be stimulated either by rotation or by an electric current and are then removed.

Acupuncture is a type of Chinese medicine.

It uses small needles.

They are put into your skin.

Acute care

Short-term treatment, usually in hospital, for a severe injury or episode of illness, an urgent medical condition, or during recovery from surgery.
Acute care is for people who are very sick in hospital. 

You will only stay in acute care for a short time.

When you get better, you will be moved out of acute care.

Acute stroke

The acute stage of stroke starts at the onset of symptoms and includes the first few hours.
The acute stage of a stroke is at the beginning. 

It starts when you first feel sick. 

It lasts for a few hours.

It is the most important time to get help.

ADL

Activities of daily living
Activities of daily living

AF

Atrial fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation

AFO

Ankle foot orthosis
Ankle foot orthosis

Aged care

Aged care services are available to people over 65 years and can be provided at home or in an aged care home if required.
Aged care is for people over 65 years.

It can be given at home.

It can also be given in an aged care home.

Agnosia

Impaired ability to recognise or comprehend the meaning of objects and to process sensory information.
Agnosia is when you don’t understand what you see. 

You might have trouble knowing what things mean. 

You can find it hard to recognise everyday things.

Agraphia

Impaired ability to write.
Agraphia is when you have trouble writing.

Alexia

Impaired ability to read.
Alexia is when you have trouble reading.

Allied health professional

Allied health professionals include physiotherapists, speech pathologists, podiatrists, dietitians, social workers, psychologists and occupational therapists. Along with doctors and nurses, they make up multidisciplinary teams.
Allied health professionals are types of health workers.

They will help you get better. 

They work in a team, along with doctors and nurses. 

Allied health professionals include: 
  • Physiotherapists 
  • Speech pathologists 
  • Podiatrists 
  • Dietitians 
  • Social workers 
  • Psychologists 
  • Occupational therapists.

Amnesia

Loss of memory.
Amnesia is when you lose your memory.

Aneuryism

Weak or thin spot on a blood vessel wall. The bursting of an aneurysm in a brain artery causes a haemorrhagic stroke.
An aneurysm is a weak spot in a blood vessel.

Blood vessels carry blood around your body. 

An aneurysm can burst. 

If an aneurysm bursts in your brain, you can have a stroke. 

This type of stroke is called a haemorrhagic stroke.

Angiogram

X-ray test where dye is injected into the arteries. This provides pictures of the arteries to show up any blockages.
An angiogram is a type of medical test. 

The doctors inject you with a special dye. 

Then they take an X-ray picture. 

They can see the dye on the X-ray. 

This shows if your arteries are blocked.

Angioplasty

Surgical technique for restoring normal blood flow through an artery narrowed or blocked by atherosclerosis. It is done by either by inserting a balloon into the narrowed section and inflating it, or by using a laser beam.
Angioplasty is a type of surgery. 

Doctors use it when you have a blocked artery.

They try to open the artery so blood can flow through it. 

They can do this by inflating a small balloon inside the artery. 

They can also use lasers.

Anoxia

Also known as hypoxia. Lack of of oxygen delivery to a cell, resulting in low energy production and possible cell death.
Anoxia is when oxygen can’t get to a cell. 

All cells in your body need oxygen to live. 

This can cause the cell to die. 

Anticoagulants

A type of blood thinning medication, to stop the blood from forming clots. Common anticoagulants include Heparin, Warfarin, Dabigatran, Apixaban and Rivaroxaban.
Anticoagulants are a type of medicine.

They make your blood thinner. 

This stops the blood forming clots.

Blood clots can cause a stroke. 

Some anticoagulants are:
  • Heparin 
  • Warfarin 
  • Dabigatran 
  • Apixaban 
  • Rivaroxaban

Antiemetic

Medication to stop nausea or vomiting.
Antiemetic is a type of medicine. 

It stops you feeling like you want to vomit. 

It can also stop you from vomiting.

Antiplatelet agents

Also known as platelet aggregation inhibitors.  A type of blood thinning medication, to stop platelets from sticking together. Common antiplatelets include Aspirin, Clopidogrel or a combination of Aspirin and Dipyridamole.
Antiplatelet agents are a type of medicine.

They are used to thin your blood. 

They stop platelets in your blood from sticking together. 

This stops blood clots forming. 

Some antiplatelet agents are:
  • Aspirin 
  • Clopidogrel
  • Aspirin and dipyridamol taken together.

This type of medicine is also called platelet aggregation inhibitors.

Antithrombotics

Also known as blood thinners. There are two classes of antithrombotic drugs: anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents.
Antithrombotics are a type of medicine. 

They are used to thin your blood.

There are two kinds: anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents.

Antitussive

Medication to relieve coughing.
Antitussive is a type of medicine. 

It helps you stop coughing.

Aphagia

Impaired ability to swallow.
Aphagia is when you have trouble swallowing.

Aphasia

Also known as dysphasia. Impaired ability to talk, read, write or understand others when they speak.
Aphasia is when you have trouble with language.

This includes:
  • Talking
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Understanding what other people say

Apraxia

Also known as dypraxia. Impaired ability to do a body movement because the brain has difficulty planning that movement.
Apraxia is when you have trouble moving your body. 

It happens when parts of your body won’t work like you want them to. 

This is also called dyspraxia.

ARB

Angiotensin receptor antagonists
Angiotensin receptor antagonists

Arrhythmia

Also known as dysrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. Arrhythmia is any of a group of conditions in which the electrical activity of the heart is irregular, faster or slower than normal.
Arrhythmia is when you have problems with your heartbeat. 

Your heart might beat too fast or too slow. 

It might not beat in a steady pattern. 

This is also called dysrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. 

Arterial dissection

A tearing in the wall of an artery.
Arterial dissection is when you have a hole in an artery.

Arterial ischaemic stroke

Also known as ischaemic stroke. Stroke caused by a blood clot that blocks an artery and cuts off blood flow.
Arterial ischaemic stroke is a type of stroke. 

It happens when a blood clot blocks an artery. 

This stops blood from flowing to a part of your brain.

Arteriography

An X-ray of the carotid artery taken when a special dye is injected into the artery.
Arteriography is a type of medical test. 

Doctors inject you with a special dye. 

Then they take an X-ray picture. 

They can see the dye on the X-ray. 

This shows if your arteries are blocked.

Arteriovenous malformation

Also known as an AVM. This is a tangled mass of blood vessels. This malformation can occur anywhere in the body including the brain.
Arteriovenous malformation is a type of disease. 

It is when blood vessels get tangled.

It usually happens before you are born or soon after. 

It can happen in the brain. 

It is also called an AVM.

Arteriovenuous malformation

Also known as an AVM. This is a tangled mass of blood vessels. This malformation can occur anywhere in the body including the brain.
Arteriovenous malformation is a type of disease. 

It is when blood vessels get tangled.

It usually happens before you are born or soon after. 

It can happen in the brain. 

It is also called an AVM.

Artery

Blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart.
An artery is a blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart.

Aspiration

Food, fluid or saliva goes into the windpipe and lungs, instead of into the stomach.
Aspiration is when food or drink goes down the wrong way. 

It gets into your windpipe and lungs, instead of your stomach.

Aspirin

Used as a blood thinning medication, to stop platelets from sticking together.
Aspirin is a blood-thinning medication. 

It stops platelets sticking together.

This helps stop blood clots forming.

Ataxia

Impaired ability to coordinate muscle movement.
Ataxia is when you have trouble moving. 

It happens when you can’t control your muscles.

Atherosclerosis

Hardening or narrowing of the arteries. It is a disease of the blood vessels caused by the build-up of fatty deposits that reduces blood flow through the artery.
Atherosclerosis is a type of disease. 

Plaques are sticky deposits that get stuck on the walls of your arteries. 

Your arteries get narrower and this blocks the flow of blood.

Atrial fibrillation

A heart disorder where the heart beats irregularly. Sometimes the heart may also beat too quickly.
Atrial fibrillation is a problem with your heart. 

Sometimes your heart beats too quickly. 

It might also not beat in a steady pattern.

ATSI

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

Augmentative and alternative communication

Non-verbal communication, e.g. through gestures or by using computerised devices.
Non-verbal communication, e.g. through gestures or by using computerised devices.