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Abulia—Absence or inability to exercise will-power or to make decisions. Also, slow reaction, lack of spontaneity, and brief spoken responses.

Acalculia—The inability to perform simple problems of arithmetic. ADL—Activities of Daily Living (dressing, bathing, etc.) Affect—The observable emotional condition of an individual at any given time.

Agnosia—Failure to recognize familiar objects although the sensory mechanism is intact.

Agraphia—Inability to express thoughts in writing. Alexia—Inability to read. Ambulate—To walk.

Amnesia—Lack of memory about events occurring during a particular period of time.

Aneurysm—A balloon-like deformity in the wall of a blood vessel. The wall weakens as the balloon grows larger, and may eventually burst, causing a hemorrhage.

Anomia—Inability to recall names of objects. Persons with this problem often can speak fluently but have to use other words to describe familiar objects.

Anosagnosia—The apparent unawareness of or failure to recognize one’s own functional defect.

Anosmia—Loss of the sense of smell.

Anoxia—A lack of oxygen. Brain cells need oxygen to exist. When blood flow to the brain is reduced or when oxygen in the blood is low, brain cells are damaged.

Aphasia—Difficulty expressing or understanding information in any form.

Apraxia—Partial or complete inability to carry out a planned, purposeful sequence of movements, in the absence of paralysis, sensory changes or deficiencies in understanding.

Aspiration—A swallowing problem when food, liquid or secretions enter the lungs. Astereognosia—Inability to recognize things by touch.

Ataxia—Interruption of smooth muscular movements, characterized by incoordination.

Atrophy—A wasting away or decrease in size of a cell, tissue, organ, or part of the body caused by lack of nourishment, inactivity or loss of nerve supply.


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