Neurological Terms beginning with C

Glossary of neurological terms
Click one of the letters above to go to the page of all terms beginning with that letter.
calpain search for term

a protein crucial to learning and memory

catechin search for term

a polyphenol found in red grapes, tea and cocoa, that has been implicated in mouse studies in significantly reducing cognitive deterioration by preventing the formation of amyloid beta

catecho-O-methyltransferase gene search for term

codes for the enzyme that metabolizes neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, and comes in two common versions (met and val -- met contains the amino acid methionine at a point in its chemical sequence where val contains a valine). The COMT gene, like the BDNF gene, has been implicated in schizophrenia as well as cognitive function.

CD147 search for term

is a protein, a subunit of gamma-secretase. Only recently discovered, it is thought to regulate the production of the toxic beta-amyloid peptides. CD147 is expressed in many tissues and has many functions, including a neural function: when the CD147 gene is deleted in mice, the result is defective nervous system development, loss of working memory, spatial learning deficits, and disorientation.

ceramides search for term

are a group of lipid-signaling molecules implicated in programmed cell death. Ceramide can stimulate growth or bring about cell death; which of these occurs is determined by contextual factors. Ceramide content is significantly increased in skeletal muscle in insulin-resistant obese humans. Ceramides have been implicated in ischemic stroke and Parkinson's. Ceramide content is high in the white matter of those with Alzheimer's, peaking at the stage of very mild dementia.

cerebrospinal fluid search for term

a clear salty liquid which cushions the brain

chandelier cells search for term

named for their structural resemblance to an old-fashioned candlestick. A rare type of GABAergic neuron (one that releases gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA)) found in the cerebral cortex that is strongly connected to many excitatory pyramidal cells.

choline acetyltransferase search for term

synthesizes acetylcholine in neurons and other cells. Decreases in ChAT activity are associated with a number of diseases, including Alzheimer's. Interestingly, older people with mild cognitive impairment have been found to have higher levels of ChAT; it's suggested that this reflects the brain's attempt to maintain normal function as neurons die.

cholinesterase inhibitors search for term

are drugs that slow the breakdown of acetylcholine (see donepezil; rivastigmine; galantamine). Most of the drugs approved for the treatment of Alzheimer's are cholinesterase inhibitors.

Clioquinol search for term

an experimental drug that binds zinc and copper, shown to lower the levels of beta amyloid. A small-scale clinical trial had some success in slowing cognitive decline in patients with moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's.

cognitive load search for term

 the burden on your limited working memory system made by information-processing tasks. In the context of education, cognitive load theory is the theory that the more information to be processed, the more challenging the learning task.

cognitive reserve search for term

the idea that education and mental stimulation during a lifetime can give older adults a cognitive reserve or neuroplasticity that can reduce the effect of brain abnormalities on cognitive function, allowing them to function normally for longer in the presence of such brain abnormalities.

consolidation search for term

new memories are initially 'labile' and sensitive to disruption before undergoing a series of processes (e.g., glutamate release, protein synthesis, neural growth and rearrangement) that render the memory representations progressively more stable. It is these processes that are generally referred to as “consolidation”.

corticotropin-releasing factor search for term

a neuropeptide released in the brain in response to stress, linked to increased levels of brain cell communication and implicated in increases in amyloid beta production. Different receptors - CRF1 AND CRF2 - have been respectively implicated in worsening and protecting the effects of stress on tau protein.

CREB search for term

cAMP response element–binding protein, an adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate response element–binding protein; implicated in keeping memories stable, and more recently seen to be involved in determining which neurons store memories.

cyclic adenosine monophosphate search for term

a messenger chemical formed from ATP, that affects the ability of an action potential to continue.

cytokines search for term

small proteins that regulate immunity and inflammation