Acute Occurring suddenly over a short period of time.

Anaesthetic Drugs that put your child to sleep (general anaesthetic) or that numb a part of their body (local anaesthetic).

Benign A tumour or growth that is not cancerous but may still cause problems.

Biopsy A small sample of tissue taken from the body to make a diagnosis.

Cannula A short plastic tube put into a vein to deliver medication, fluids or a transfusion.

CT scan A computerised axial tomography scan. It is a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body taken from different angles. The pictures are created by a computer linked to X-ray machines. Sometimes a dye called contrast may need to be given before the scan to get a better picture.

Central nervous system (CNS) This refers to the brain and spinal cord. 

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Fluid made in the brain that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. 

Chemotherapy Drug treatment that kills cancer cells.

Chronic Persisting over a longtime or recurring constantly

Cyst An abnormal sac or closed cavity that is filled with fluid or semisolid matter.

Electroencephalogram (EEG) This tests the electrical activity of the brain. It is not painful but will involve electrical sensors being attached to your child’s head.

Electrolytes The minerals and salts in the body. For example, sodium, potassium and calcium.

Endocrine To do with hormones.

Endoscopic third venticulostomy (ETV) is a surgical procedure for treatment of hydrocephalus in which an opening is created in the floor of the third ventricle. This allows the cerebrospinal fluid to flow, bypassing the obstruction.

External ventricular drain (EVD) is a device used in neurosurgery to treat hydrocephalus and relieve elevated intracranial pressure when the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) inside the brain is obstructed. 

Genetic A condition caused by abnormal genes (may be inherited).

Histopathology The study of body tissues.

Hormone A substance made by a gland and carried in the bloodstream to parts of the body where it has a specific effect on the way the body works. 

Hydrocephalus A buildup of CSF fluid in the brain 

Intrathecal (IT) Into the spine, usually by lumbar puncture. See also lumbar puncture.

Intravenous (IV) Into a vein.

Malignant A tumour or growth that is cancerous. If a tumour is malignant it grows uncontrollably and can travel to other parts of the body.

MRI scan Magnetic resonance imaging scan. This uses radio waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer to take detailed pictures of areas inside the body. These pictures can show the difference between normal and diseased tissue.

Nausea Feeling sick.

Neuro- To do with the nerves or the nervous system

Oncology The study and treatment of cancer. 

Ophthalmology The study of the eyes.

Oral To do with the mouth. 

Palliative Relief of a symptom (for example, pain) rather than cure of the disease. 

Prognosis The expected outcome of a disease and its treatment.

Radiotherapy The use of high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells.

Refractory Resistant to treatment

Therapy Treatment.

Ultrasound A test that uses sound waves to check the tissues inside the body. 

Ventricles The 4 communicating cavities within the brain where CSF is produced and stored and transported around the CNS

Ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt  A device/catheter that is inserted in order to remove excess fluid from the brain or tumour. A VP Shunt is a piece of tubing that goes from the ventricles (fluid chambers) In your child’s brain into the peritoneal cavity (this is the area surrounding your child’s stomach). This tubing acts as a drainage system for excess fluid in the brain, this is called cerebrospinal fluid. The fluid drains into the abdomen / tummy area where it is reabsorbed by your child’s body.