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Word Definition


Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Sub-cortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy is an inherited disorder caused by mutations in a gene called Notch 3. CADASIL causes thickening of blood vessel walls blocks the flow of blood to the brain.  It is the most common genetic cause of stroke and vascular dementia in adults. CADASIL is characterized by migraine headaches and multiple strokes.
CADASIL is a type of disease. 

It can cause strokes.

It runs in families. 

It happens before you are born.

It causes blood vessels to thicken. 

This blocks the flow of blood to the brain.  

CADASIL causes bad headaches and many strokes.

CADSIL stands for Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Sub-cortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy.


Capacity refers to a level of cognitive ability required before a person can lawfully do various things. If a person has capacity, they are able to make decisions for themselves. If they do not, an alternative decision maker may be needed.
Capacity is a legal term. 

It means that you can understand what is happening. 

When you have capacity, you can make decisions for yourself. 

If you don’t have capacity, someone else might have to make decisions for you.


A doctor who specialises in treating disorders of the heart, including heart disease.
A cardiologist is a type of doctor.

They look after your heart.

Cardiovascular system

Composed of the heart and blood vessels, the cardiovascular system is responsible for circulating blood throughout the body to supply it with oxygen and nutrients.
The cardiovascular system is the heart and blood vessels. 

Your heart pumps blood through your body. 

This gives oxygen and nutrients to your body

Carotid artery

Artery located on either side of the neck that supplies the brain with blood.
The carotid artery is on either side of your neck.

It carries blood to your brain.

Carotid doppler

Also known as a carotid duplex. An ultrasound test that looks at the arteries in the neck that supply the brain. This is to see how well the blood flows through these arteries.
A carotid doppler is a type of medical test. 

It is also called a carotid duplex. 

Doctors use an ultrasound to look at the arteries in the neck.

They can see how well the blood flows to your brain.

Carotid duplex

Also known as a carotid doppler. An ultrasound test that looks at the arteries in the neck that supply the brain. This is to see how well the blood flows through these arteries.
A carotid duplex is a type of medical test. 

It is also called a carotid doppler. 

Doctors use an ultrasound to look at the arteries in the neck.

They can see how well the blood flows to your brain.

Carotid endarterectomy

An operation to unblock narrowed carotid arteries in your neck.
A carotid endarterectomy is a type of surgery. 

It unblocks the carotid arteries in your neck.


Small tube for withdrawing or introducing fluids.
A catheter is a small tube for taking out or putting in fluids.


Clinical controlled trial
Clinical controlled trial


Carotid endarterectomy
Carotid endarterectomy


Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography
Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography

Central nervous system

Part of the nervous system including the brain, spinal cord and cranial nerves.
The central nervous system includes your brain, spinal cord and the nerves in your brain.

Central pain

Pain caused by damage to an area in the thalamus. The pain is a mixture of sensations, including heat and cold, burning, tingling, numbness, and sharp stabbing and underlying aching pain.
Central pain is caused by damage to an area in the brain. 

This area is called the thalamus. 

When it is damaged, it can cause pain. 

This pain is a mix of feelings. 

It can be hot and cold, burning, tingling, numb, sharp stabbing and aching pain.



Cephalalgia is another word for headache.


The part of the brain that controls the complex, voluntary movement of the muscles and helps maintain posture and balance.
The cerebellum is a part of your brain.

You use it to control your movement. 

It helps you stand, sit and balance.

Cerebral angiogram

A contrast (dye) is injected into the blood vessels of the brain. This outlines them for the x-ray machine to take pictures.
A cerebral angiogram 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.

Cerebral haemorrhage

A bleed in the brain following a ruptured blood vessel.
Cerebral haemorrhage is when a blood vessel breaks in your brain. 

This causes bleeding in your brain.

Cerebral infarct

An area of brain tissue that has not received its blood supply and as a result it has been damaged. An infarct can be tiny or affect a larger part of the brain.
Cerebral infarct is when an area of your brain is damaged. 

This damage happens when a part of your brain does not get blood. 

Some cerebral infarcts are very small. 

Others affect larger parts of your brain.

Cerebral or cerebro

The brain.
Cerebral or cerebro are medical words for brain.

Cerebral trauma

Damage to the brain.
Cerebral trauma is damage to the brain.

Cerebrovascular disease

A reduction in the supply of blood to the brain either by narrowing of the arteries through the buildup of plaque on the inside walls of the arteries  (stenosis) or through blockage of an artery due to a blood clot.
Cerebrovascular disease is when not enough blood gets to your brain. 

This can be caused by narrowing of your arteries. 

It can also be caused when a blood clot blocks an artery.


A fatty substance present in blood. If cholesterol levels becomes too high the fatty substance can build up along artery walls.
Cholesterol is a kind of fat in your blood. 

Sometimes you have too much cholesterol. 

If this happens, the fats can stick to your artery walls. 

Your arteries can get blocked.


Continuing for a long time or constantly recurring.
A chronic illness is one you have had for a long time. 

It also means illnesses that keep coming back.


Confidence interval
Confidence interval


Constraint induced language therapy
Constraint induced language therapy


Constraint induced movement therapy
Constraint induced movement therapy

Clinical trial

A research program conducted with patients to evaluate a new medical treatment, drug or device.
A clinical trial is used to test new treatments. 

Doctors can then decide if the treatment will work.


The process of administering the drug rt-PA intravenously to break up a blood clot.
Clot busting means breaking up a blood clot. 

This is done with a medicine called rt-PA. 

The doctors will give you rt-PA through a needle.


Coagulation or clotting is the process by which blood changes from a liquid to a gel.
Coagulation is when the blood forms a clot. 

The blood changes to a jelly. 

This is to protect your body when you get a cut. 

The blood forms a clot to stop you bleeding. 

This is normally a healthy thing but the same process can sometimes cause a stroke.

Cochrane review

A comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis (where possible).
A comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis (where possible).


Thinking ability, including memory, thinking, language and judgment.
Cognition means how you think. 

It includes: 
  • Memory 
  • Thinking 
  • Language 
  • Judgment

Cognitive behavioural therapy

Short term, solution-focused approach to counselling that helps individuals to identify unhelpful thoughts and behaviours and learn or relearn healthier skills and habits.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is a type of counselling. 

It is usually done with a psychologist. 

The psychologist will teach you to recognise your unhelpful thoughts and behaviours. 

They will teach you how to change them.

Cognitive impairment

Difficulty with thinking, memory, thinking, language and judgment.
Cognitive impairment is when you have trouble with your thoughts. 

It includes problems with: 
  • Memory 
  • Thinking 
  • Language 
  • Judgment

Complete blood count

Information about the kinds and numbers of cells in the blood, especially red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
A complete blood count is a medical test. 

It finds out the kinds and numbers of cells in your blood. 

This includes: 
  • Red blood cells that carry oxygen
  • White blood cells that fight infection
  • Platelets that form clots to stop you bleeding

Computerized axial tomography

Also known as a CT scan. X-ray imaging technique that uses a computer to produce cross-sectional images. It can be used to identify the blood vessels in the brain affected by stroke.
Computerized axial tomography is a medical test. 

It is also call a CT scan.

Doctors can use the scan to see inside your brain. 

They can find out which parts of your brain the stroke has damaged.


Automatic control of bladder and bowel function.
Continence means being able to control when you go to the toilet. 

It is an automatic function that you don’t have to think about.


Shortening of a muscle, resulting in the joint becoming fixed in one position.
Contracture is when a muscle gets shorter.  

It can lock your joint in one position.


Medical reasons that prevents a person from using a certain drug or treatment.
A contraindication is a medical reason why you can’t take a certain medicine.

Controlled trial

Research that involves at least two groups: one that receives the intervention being evaluated and the other that receives either a placebo or another intervention.
A controlled trial is a type of research. 

It is a way to find out if a new medicine works.

It uses two groups of people.

One group of people is given the medicine. 

The other group is not given the medicine. 

The doctors look at both groups to see if the medicine works.


Seizures, epileptic fit.
A convulsion is when you lose control of your muscles. 

Your body shakes. 

Other words for convulsion are seizure or epileptic fit.


See Warfarin.
See Warfarin.


Continuous positive airway pressure
Continuous positive airway pressure


Central post-stroke pain
Central post-stroke pain


Computed tomography
Computed tomography


Computed tomography angiography
Computed tomography angiography

CT scan

See computerized axial tomography.
See computerized axial tomography.


Cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease