Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease) Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease) article.

Airway: The path that air follows to get into and out of the lungs. The mouth and nose are...

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

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Aspiration: Removal by suction of fluid and cells through a needle. Aspiration also refer...

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

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Autoimmune: Pertaining to autoimmunity, a misdirected immune response that occurs when the...

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

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Bladder: A hollow organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine. The kidneys filter waste f...

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

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

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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

Constipation: Infrequent and frequently incomplete bowel movements. Constipation is the op...

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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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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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Dizziness: Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of ...

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Dysarthria: Speech that is characteristically slurred, slow, and difficult to understand. ...

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Dysfunction: Difficult function or abnormal function.

Dysphagia: Difficulty swallowing. Dysphagia is due to abnormal nerve or muscle control. It...

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Electrophysiologic: Pertaining to electrophysiology.

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

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Familial ALS: ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) in which there a family history of the d...

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Frontal: In anatomy, pertaining to the forehead. As, for example, the frontal bone, fronta...

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Frontal lobe: The part of each hemisphere of the brain located behind the forehead that se...

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Gene: The basic biological unit of heredity. A segment of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) need...

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Glutamate: A form of glutamic acid. See: Glutamic acid.

Involuntary: Done other than in accordance with the conscious will of the individual. The ...

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Juvenile: Between infantile and adult. Used in medicine to indicate onset in childhood, as...

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Lab test: A test that is done in the laboratory where the appropriate equipment, supplies,...

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Lateral: 1. In anatomy, the side of the body or a body part that is farther from th...

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Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Lobe: Part of an organ that appears to be separate in some way from the rest. A lobe may b...

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Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Magnetic resonance imaging: A procedure that uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer t...

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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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Microscope: An optical instrument that augments the power of the eye to see small objects....

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Motor: Something that produces or refers to motion. For example, a motor neuron is a nerve...

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Motor neuron: A neuron that sends electrical output signals to muscle neurons. Also called...

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Motor neuron disease: A group of related diseases of the nervous system that are character...

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MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging.

Mucus: A thick fluid that is produced by the lining of some organs of the body.

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

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Muscle biopsy: A minor surgical procedure done under local anesthetic using a needle or a...

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Muscular: Having to do with the muscles. Also, endowed with above average muscle developme...

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Muscular dystrophy: One of a group of genetic diseases characterized by progressive weakne...

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Mutation: A permanent change, a structural alteration, in the DNA or RNA. In humans and m...

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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

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Neurological: Having to do with the nerves or the nervous system as, for example, a neurol...

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Neurologist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of th...

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Neuron: A nerve cell that receives and sends electrical signals over long distances within...

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Neutrophil: A type of white blood cell, a granulocyte that is filled with microscopic gran...

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Nutrition: 1: The process of taking in food and using it for growth, metabolism, and repai...

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Nutritionist: 1) In a hospital or nursing home, a person who plans and/or formulates spe...

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Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Paralysis: Loss of voluntary movement (motor function). Paralysis that affects only one mu...

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Pathologist: A physician who identifies diseases and conditions by studying abnormal cells...

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Percutaneous: Through the skin. For example, a percutaneous biopsy is a biopsy that is obt...

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Physical therapist: A person who is trained and certified by a state or accrediting body t...

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Physical therapy: A branch of rehabilitative health that uses specially designed exercises...

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Pneumonia: Inflammation of one or both lungs, with dense areas of lung inflammation. Pneum...

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Primary care: A patient's main source for regular medical care, ideally providing continui...

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Primary care provider: In insurance parlance, a physician who is chosen by or assigned to ...

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

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Public health: The approach to medicine that is concerned with the health of the community...

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Quality of life: The patient's ability to enjoy normal life activities. Quality of life is...

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Reflex: An involuntary reaction. For example, the corneal reflex is the blink that occurs ...

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Regimen: A plan or a regulated course, such as a diet, exercise, or treatment, that is des...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

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Respiratory failure: Inability of the lungs to perform their basic task of gas exchange, t...

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Respiratory therapist: A person who has graduated from an approved respiratory therapist p...

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Risk factor: Something that increases a person's chances of developing a disease. For exam...

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Rule out: Term used in medicine, meaning to eliminate or exclude something from considera...

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Saliva: a watery secretion in the mouth produced by the salivary glands that aids in the d...

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Sclerosis: Localized hardening of skin. Sclerosis is generally caused by underlying diseas...

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Sequencing: Determining the order of nucleotides (base sequences) in a DNA or RNA molecule...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Spasticity: A state of increased tone of a muscle (and an increase in the deep tendon refl...

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Speech therapy: The treatment of speech and communication disorders. The approach used var...

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Spinal cord: The major column of nerve tissue that is connected to the brain and lies with...

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

Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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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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Substance: 1. Material with particular features.
2. The material that...

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Surgeon: A physician who treats disease, injury, or deformity via operative or manual meth...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Tiredness: See: Tired.

Tongue: A strong muscle that is anchored to the floor of the mouth. The tongue is covered ...

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Trachea: A tube-like portion of the respiratory tract that connects the larynx with the br...

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Tracheostomy: Surgery to create an opening (stoma) into the windpipe. The opening itself m...

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Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

Twitch: : an involuntary contraction of a group of muscles, also known as a fasciculation...

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Twitching: : Involuntary contractions of groups of muscle fibers. Also known as fasciculat...

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Ventilator: A machine that mechanically assists a patient in the exchange of oxygen and ca...

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Voluntary: Done in accordance with the conscious will of the individual. The opposite of i...

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Medical Dictionary