Medical Translation – The Brain

It seems like yesterday when I thought about creating a blog and publishing articles related to the translation area. In fact, it has been a year since “Arca do Saber” was published.

For that reason, I am here to celebrate its first anniversary with an article related to an area of my expertise as a translator: Life Science. In this English article, you will learn about the most important part of our body, especially for a translator: the brain. You will also find specific terminologies related to this complex organ.

For those who, like me, are medical translators, enjoy yourselves!

How does our brain work?

The human brain is an amazing organ. It weighs about 1.4 kilograms, in the adult phase, and is one of the most complex organs in the human body. The brain contains more than 100 billion nerve cells called “neurons” and trillions of connections called “synapses”. It makes part of the central nervous system (CNS), being responsible for controlling all functions of our body: movements, thoughts, emotions, the five senses (smell, touch, taste, sight and hearing), memory, speech, and others.





Cerebrum – the cerebral cortex is the largest part of the brain, which is divided into two hemispheres: left and right.

  • The left hemisphere is basically responsible for our speech, logical thoughts, comprehension and communicative functions.
  • The right hemisphere is primarily in charge of our creativity, artistic skills, feelings and emotions.

Cerebellum – it is located under the cerebrum and coordinates our motor movements and is divided into the following lobes: frontal, parietal, occipital and temporal.

  • Frontal lobe – it manages our speech, thoughts, concentration, intelligence, emotions, planning, judgement and other rationale functions
  • Parietal lobe – it is basically responsible for processing sensory and cognitive information
  • Occipital lobe – it is the vision control center
  • Temporal lobe – it involves the auditory process: hearing, comprehension, emotional responses

Brainstem – it connects the cerebrum and the cerebellum to the spinal cord and it controls the sleep cycle, breathing, heart rate, blood pressure.

Basal ganglia – it is a group of neurons located in the center of the brain. It coordinates messages between multiple other brain areas.

The brain is surrounded by three layers of protective tissue called “meninges”. Also, there is the skull, composed of the cranium and the mandible, which protects the brain from injury.

Do you want to learn more about the terms related to the brain? 


So let’s see some of them with their respective translations into Brazilian Portuguese.


Amygdala Amígdala
Basal ganglia Gânglios basais
Brain Cérebro
Brainstem Tronco cerebral
Central nervous system (CNS) Sistema nervoso central (SNC)
Cerebellar hemisphere Hemisfério cerebelar
Cerebellum Cerebelo
Cerebral cortex Córtex cerebral
Cranial nerves Nervos cranianos
Cranium Crânio
Encéphale Encéfalo
Frontal lobe Lobo frontal
Frontal section of brain Seção frontal do cérebro
Gray matter Substância cinzenta ou massa cinzenta
Hippocampus Hipocampo
Hypothalamus Hipotálamo
Left hemisphere Hemisfério esquerdo
Mandible Mandíbula
Meninges Meninges
Neurons Neurônios
Occipital lobe Lobo occipital
Parietal lobe Lobo parietal
Pituitary gland Glândula pituitária
Right hemisphere Hemisfério direito
Scalp Escalpo
Sensory cortex Córtex sensorial
Skull Crânio
Spinal cord Espinha dorsal, coluna vertebral ou medula espinhal
Synapses Sinapses
Temporal lobe Lobo temporal
White matter Substância branca


Alzheimer’s Disease Doença de Alzheimer
Anorexia Anorexia
Anxiety Ansiedade
Atherosclerosis Aterosclerose
Attention Deficit Déficit de atenção
Bipolar Disorder Transtorno bipolar
Brain Abscess Abscesso cerebral
Brain Aneurysm Aneurisma cerebral
Brain Cancer/Brain Tumor Câncer cerebral ou tumor cerebral
Bulimia Bulimia
Cerebral Edema Edema cerebral
Cerebrovascular accident (CVA) Acidente vascular cerebral (AVC)
Concussion Concussão
Dementia Demência
Depression Depressão
Encephalitis Encefalite
Epidural Hematoma Hematoma epidural
Epilepsy Epilepsia
Glioblastoma Glioblastoma
Headache Cefaleia
Huntington’s Disease Doença de Huntington
Hydrocephalus Hidrocefalia
Hypertension Hipertensão
Insanity Insanidade ou demência
Intracerebral hemorrhage Hemorragia intracerebral
Labyrinthitis Labirintite
Meningitis Meningite
Meningococcal Meningitis Meningite meningocócica
Migraine Enxaqueca
Multiple Sclerosis Esclerose múltipla
Parkinson’s Disease Mal de Parkinson ou Doença de Parkinson
Postpartum Depression/Baby Blues Depressão pós-parto
Psychosis Psicose
Schizophrenia Esquizofrenia
Sleep Disorders Distúrbios do sono
Stress Estresse
Stroke Derrame ou acidente vascular cerebral
Subdural Hematoma Hematoma subdural
Traumatic Brain Injury Traumatismo craniano ou lesão cerebral traumática


Antibiotics Antibióticos
Antiplatelet Agents Agentes antiplaquetários
Brain Surgery Neurocirurgia ou cirurgia cerebral
Cholinesterase Inhibitors Inibidores de colinesterases
Craniotomy Craniotomia
Levodopa Levodopa ou L-Dopa
Lumbar drain Drenagem lombar
Radiation Therapy Radioterapia
Thrombolytics Trombolíticos
Ventriculostomy Ventriculostomia



Angiography Angiografia
Brain biopsy Biópsia cerebral
Computed tomography (CT scan) Tomografia computadorizada (TC)
Electroencephalogram (EEG) Eletroencefalograma (EEG)
Lumbar puncture (spinal tap) Punção lombar
Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) Angiografia por ressônancia magnética (ARM)
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Imagem por ressonância magnética (IRM) ou ressonância magnética nuclear (RMN)
Neurocognitive testing Teste neurocognitivo

By Ligia Ribeiro

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