Glossary of Terms
Actin - A filamentous protein that is a key component of the framework of the cell.
Allodynia - A disorder in which sensations that normally do not hurt become painful.
Analgesic - A class of drugs that relieves pain without causing loss of consciousness.
Apoptosis - Programmed cell death, or cell suicide, which is part of the natural life cycle of a cell. Apoptosis can be triggered by age, injury, or unknown factors. When the cell senses that it’s not healthy, it goes through a series of changes, finally chopping its DNA and proteins into small packets that are cleaned up by microglia.
Astrocytes - Cells that nourish and support spinal neurons.
Autonomic dysreflexia - A potentially fatal complication of spinal cord injuries that involves episodes of extreme hypertension and sometimes leads to intracranial hemorrhage or stroke. It occurs in 90% of people with cervical or high thoracic cord injuries.
Axon - The long tail of a neuron that transmits electrical impulses from the cell body.
Axonal Transport - The mechanism that enables neurons to send proteins and chemical messages back and forth along axons.
Courtesy Christopher Reeve Foundation