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A-BOM Glossary

Anamnestic– the complete history recalled and recounted by a patient.

Biomarker– something that can be measured and quantified and is connected to the progress of a disease or the severity of a disorder.

Biorepository– a place where biological specimens are stored for future research.

Clinical Trial– early drug tests in which researchers must try the medication on animals or cell models

Phases of Clinical Trials

                 Phase 0:   Phase 0 is the first time a drug is administered to humans.

                 Phase 1:   Phase 1 will test if the amount of drug necessary for treatment is safe

                 Phase 2:   Phase 2 will further evaluate the safety of the drug as well as testing how effective the drug is compared to an                                            existing drug or a placebo (no drug). 

                 Phase 3:   Phase 3 will confirm the safety and efficacy of the drug by evaluating the drug with a larger group of people.  

                 Phase 4:   Phase 4 occurs after the drug is on the market and is in use by the medical community. 

Deictic– relating or denoting a word or expression whose meaning is dependent on the context in which it is used.

Developmental quotient– a number expressing the development of a child determined by dividing the age of the group into which test scores place the child by the child’s chronological age and multiplying by 100.

Mental Age– a person’s mental ability expressed as the age at which an average person reaches the same ability.

Occlusive phonemes– in phonetics, a stop caused by blocking the vocal tract so that airflow ceases.

Outcome Measure– tests that describe “how a patient feels, functions or survives” after treatment

Paternal uniparental disomy– received more than one copy of a chromosome from the father

Periventricular– situated or occurring around a ventricle, especially a ventricle of the brain.

Pre-competitive data– studies that are done when drug companies work together and share their data so that they can better understand a disease, or look for outcomes that will most help patients and their families.

Scoliosis– a medical condition in which a person’s spine has a sideways curve (usually S- or C-shaped).

Ceiling effect– the level at which an independent variable no longer has an effect on a dependent variable, or the level above which variance in an independent variable is no longer measured or estimated.

Floor effect– basement effect; when a data-gathering instrument has a lower limit to the data values it can reliably specify.

Atonic seizures– drop seizures, akinetic seizures, or drop attacks; brief lapse in muscle tone caused by temporary alterations in brain function.

Epilepsy– neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

Myoclonic– twitches, jerks or seizures caused by:

             Positive myoclonus– sudden muscle contractions
             Negative myoclonus– brief lapses of contractions

Tonic-clonic seizures– a type of generalized seizure that affects the entire brain.

Hypotonia– floppy baby syndrome; a state of low muscle tone, often involving reduced muscle strength.

Truncal– low muscle tone in upper body

Hypertonia– abnormal increase in muscle tension and a reduced ability of a muscle to stretch. Caused by injury to motor pathways in CNS.

Hyperreflexia– autonomic dysreflexia. State that is unique to patients after spinal cord injury at T5 and above. Condition in which the involuntary nervous system overreacts to external or bodily stimuli.


Cycloplegia– paralysis of the ciliary muscle of the eye, resulting in a loss accommodation. Due to the paralysis, the lens can no longer be adjusted to focus on nearby objections.

Fundus oculi– the fundus of the eye is the interior surface of the eye opposite the lens, and includes the retina, optic disc, macula, fovea, and posterior pole.

Hypopigmentation– loss of skin color

Nystagmus– vision condition in which the eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements.

Optokinetic nystagmus (OKN)– an innate and complex ocular motor reflex that allows us to adequately follow moving objects when we keep our head steady. OKN is thought to occur because the eyes are trying to keep a moving image stationary on the fovea.

Refractive error– the shape of the eye does not bend light correctly, resulting in a blurred image.

             Hypermetropia– farsightedness (distant > near)

Saccades– rapid movements of the eye between fixation points.

Strabismus– disorder in which the eyes don’t look in exactly the same direction

           Esotropia– form of strabismus in which one or both eyes turns inward.
           Exotropia– form of strabismus in which one or both of the eyes turn outward.

Visual acuity– sharpness of vision, measured by the ability to discern letters or numbers at a given distance according to a fixed standard.

Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)– a semi-structured assessment of communication, social interaction, and play (or imaginative use of materials) for individuals suspected of having autism or other pervasive developmental disorders. Consists of four modules, each of which is appropriate for children and adults of differing developmental and language levels, ranging from nonverbal to verbally fluent.

Gross Motor Function Measure Scale (GMFMS)– 88-item measure designed to evaluate change in gross motor function over time or with intervention for children with cerebral palsy.

Griffiths Mental Developmental Scales (GMDS)– used to measure the rate of development of young children.

IPDDAG Italian Scale– Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Early Detection for Parents. A specific questionnaire aimed to detect subjects that are “at risk” of ADHD during pre-school age, performed through the assessment of parents.

Inventory for Client and Agency Planning– standardized assessment instrument that measures adaptive and maladaptive behavior

             Personal Living Skills
            Home Living Skills
            Community Living Skills
            Employment Skills

MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory– Parent report instruments which capture important information about children’s developing abilities in several domains of early language, including vocabulary comprehension, production, gesture use, and early grammar.

             PVB– Italian version of this inventory

Užgiris & Hunt Scale (UHS)– UHS Ordinal Scales of Psychological Development in Infancy. Set of six scales of cognitive development designed for infants from 1 to 24 months of age. Inspired by the work of Piaget (theory that development is an “epigenetic process of evolving new, more complex, hierarchical levels of organization in intellect and motivation”).
                   Good (but technical) resource:

(UHS)– UHS Ordinal Scales of Psychological Development. Set of six scales of cognitive development designed for infants from 1 to 24 months of age. Inspired by the work of Piaget (theory that development is an “epigenetic process of evolving new, more complex, hierarchical levels of organization in intellect and motivation.”

Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales (VABS)– designed to measure adaptive behavior of individuals from birth to age 90. Main domains:

              Daily Living Skills
              Motor Skills
              Maladaptive behavior (optional)

Glossary created by Lorena Infante Lara