Alzheimer's Disease Facts Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Alzheimer's Disease Facts article.

Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Affinity: In immunology, the strength of binding interaction between antigen and antibody ...

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Aging: The process of becoming older, a process that is genetically determined and environ...

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Alzheimer disease: See: Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease: A progressive degenerative disease of the brain that leads to dementi...

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Amyloid: Any of a number of complex proteins that are deposited in tissues and that share ...

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Analysis: In psychology, a term for conversation-based therapeutic processes used to gain ...

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Anesthesia: Loss of feeling or awareness, as when an anesthetic is administered before sur...

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Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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Atrophy: A wasting away or diminution. Muscle atrophy is a decrease in muscle mass, often ...

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Autopsy: A postmortem examination. Also known as necropsy.

Biochemical: Relating to biochemistry, the application of the tools and concepts of chemis...

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Biomarker: A biologic feature that can be used to measure the presence or progress of dise...

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Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope to check for ...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Brain biopsy: Biopsy of the brain. Removal of a small piece of tissue from the brain for d...

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Cerebrospinal fluid: A watery fluid that is continuously produced and absorbed and that fl...

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Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body. Cholesterol has a reputation for...

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Clinical depression: Depressed mood that meets the DSM-IV criteria for a depressive disord...

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Clinical trial: A study that is intended to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of medic...

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Clinical trials: Trials to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medications or medical...

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Cognitive: Having to do with thought, judgment, or knowledge.

CT scan: Computed tomography scan. Detailed images of internal organs are obtained by this...

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Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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Dementia: Significant loss of intellectual abilities, such as memory capacity, that is sev...

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Differential diagnosis: The process of weighing the probability of one disease versus that...

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Extracellular: Outside a cell. As opposed to intracellular, meaning within a cell.

Familial: A condition that tends to occur more often in family members than is expected by...

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fMRI: Functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Focal: Pertaining to a focus which in medicine may refer to:
1. The point at ...

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Genes: The basic biological units of heredity. Segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) nee...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Genetics: The scientific study of heredity. Genetics pertains to humans and all other orga...

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Glucose: The simple sugar that is the chief source of energy. Glucose is found in the bloo...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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Hemoglobin: The oxygen-carrying pigment and predominant protein in the red blood cells. He...

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Herbal: 1. An adjective, referring to herbs, as in an herbal tea.
2. A...

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High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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Hydrocephalus: Hydrocephalus is an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the v...

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Indication: 1. In medicine, a condition which makes a particular treatment or proce...

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Intracellular: Within a cell. In contrast to extracellular, meaning outside a cell.

Lumbar: Referring to the five lumbar vertebrae, the disks below them, and the correspondin...

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Lumbar puncture: A procedure in which cerebrospinal fluid is removed from the spinal canal...

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Lumbar vertebrae: The five vertebrae situated between the thoracic vertebrae and the sacra...

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Malnutrition: A term used to refer to any condition in which the body does not receive eno...

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Memory: 1. The ability to recover information about past events or knowledge. ...

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Metabolic: Relating to metabolism, the whole range of biochemical processes that occur wit...

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Metabolism: The whole range of biochemical processes that occur within a living organism. ...

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Mild cognitive impairment: Abbreviated MCI. A brain disorder in which thinking abilities a...

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MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging.

Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Nerve: A bundle of fibers that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit sensory an...

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Normal pressure hydrocephalus: A specific form of hydrocephalus in which the central cavi...

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Parenchyma: The key elements of an organ essential to its functioning, as distinct from th...

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Parkinson's disease: A slowly progressive neurologic disease that is characterized by a fi...

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Positron emission tomography: Unlike CT or MRI, which look at anatomy or body form, PET st...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Prognostic: Pertaining to the prognosis, the outlook for the patient.

Progressive: Increasing in scope or severity, advancing, or going forward. For example, a ...

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Protein: One of the three nutrients used as energy sources (calories) by the body. Protein...

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Proteins: Large molecules composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific orde...

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Radioactive: Emitting energy waves due to decaying atomic nuclei. Radioactive substances a...

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Radioactive tracer: A radioactive molecule that can be sent through the body's circulatory...

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Referral: The recommendation of a medical or paramedical professional. If you get a refer...

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Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of...

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Sedative: A drug that calms a patient, easing agitation and permitting sleep. Sedatives ge...

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Senile: 1. Pertaining to old age. 2. Pertaining to the physical decline ass...

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Spinal tap: Also known as a lumbar puncture or "LP", a spinal tap is a procedure whereby ...

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Sporadic: Occurring upon occasion or in a scattered, isolated, or seemingly random way.

Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Tomography: The process for generating a tomogram, a two-dimensional image of a slice or s...

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Vascular: Relating to blood vessels. For example, the vascular system in the body includes...

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Vascular dementia: A common form of dementia in older persons that is due to cerebrovascul...

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Vertebrae: The preferred plural of vertebra. (The alternate plural is vertebras.) See also...

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Vitamin E: Alpha-tocopherol, an antioxidant vitamin which binds oxygen free radicals that ...

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