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Activities of daily living:  The basic elements of personal care such as eating, washing and showering, grooming, walking, standing up from a chair and using the toilet.

Activity:  A task or action completed by an individual.  Activity limitations are difficulties that an individual may have in doing certain activities.

Agnosia:  Inability to recognize sounds, smells, objects or body parts (belonging to others or one’s own).

Alternate level of care (ALC):  A person receiving ‘alternate level of care’ is one who has finished the acute or rehab phase of treatment but stays in an acute or rehab care bed while awaiting transfer to another care setting such as a  rehabilitation hospital, long-term care home, etc.

Aneurysm:  A permanent abnormal balloon-like bulging of an arterial wall.  The bursting of an aneurysm in a brain artery causes a hemorrhagic stroke.

Anticoagulant:  Medication used to prevent clotting of blood.  These types of drugs are used to prevent ischemic stroke.

Antiplatelet agents:  Medications that prevent platelets from binding together to form a blood clot.  These medications are used to prevent ischemic stroke.

Aphasia:  Loss of the ability to produce or understand language because of an injury to a specific area in the brain that controls the ability to speak, understand, read and/or write.

Apraxia:  Difficulty planning and sequencing movements or activities because of an injury to a specific area in the brain.  It is not due to weakness, incoordination or sensory loss.

Angiography or Angiogram:  A test in which dye is injected into blood vessels which are then examined using X-rays.  The test gives information about the condition of the blood vessels and detects if there are blood clots.

Aspiration:  When food, fluid or saliva goes into the airway leading to the lungs.  This can result in an infection such as pneumonia.

Assistive technology:  Technology designed to help an individual to function and perform daily activities.

Ataxia:  Uncoordinated movements caused by damage or injury to the brain.

Atherosclerosis:  Hardening or narrowing of the arteries caused by build-up of fatty deposits.  This reduces blood flow through the artery and can cause a stroke.

Atrial fibrillation:  Very fast, irregular pumping of the heart muscle in the upper chambers of the heart (the atria).  As a result, the heart cannot pump blood around the body effectively and blood clots can form in the heart which may cause a stroke.