Brain Infection Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Brain Infection article.

Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abdominal cavity: The cavity within the abdomen, the space between the abdominal wall and...

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

Abscess: A local accumulation of pus anywhere in the body. The following are some example...

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Acquired: Not inherited, or present at birth (congenital), but developing after birth. For...

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

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

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Antibiotic: A drug used to treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics have no effect on viral...

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Antifungal: A medication that limits or prevents the growth of yeasts and other fungal org...

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Antiretroviral: An agent or process effective against a retrovirus. For example, a drug to...

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Antiviral: An agent that kills a virus or that suppresses its ability to replicate and, he...

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Arms: An appendage in anatomy and in clinical trials. See: Arm.

Back pain: Pain felt in the low or upper back. Causes of pain in the low and upper back in...

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Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms that can exist either as independent (free-living) ...

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Bacterial: Of or pertaining to bacteria, as in a bacterial lung infection.

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Bacterium: The singular of bacteria.

BCG: An effective immunization against tuberculosis. BCG stands for Bacille Calmette Gueri...

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Blindness: Loss of useful sight. Blindness can be temporary or permanent. Damage to any p...

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Borrelia: A group of bacteria that are helical spirochetes of the genus Borrelia. Some spe...

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Borrelia burgdorferi: The spirochete (a type of bacteria) that causes Lyme disease. Named ...

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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 swelling: See: Cerebral edema.

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

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Cardiac: Having to do with the heart.

Cardiac muscle: A type of muscle tissue that is found only in the heart and is distinguish...

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The US agency charged with tracking and invest...

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Cerebral: Of or pertaining to the cerebrum or the brain.

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

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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

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Coma: A state of deep, unarousable unconsciousness. A coma may occur as a result of head t...

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Common cold: A contagious viral upper respiratory tract infection. The common cold can be ...

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Complication: In medicine, an unanticipated problem that arises following, and is a result...

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Compression: 1. The act of pressing together. As in a compression fracture, nerve c...

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Contagious: capable of being transmitted from one human to another human via direct or ind...

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Contrast: Short for "contrast media." Contrast media are X-ray dyes used to provide contra...

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

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Cysticercosis: An infection caused by the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. Infection occurs w...

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Deafness: Partial or complete hearing loss. Levels of hearing impairment vary from a mild ...

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Delirium: A sudden state of severe confusion and rapid changes in brain function, sometime...

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

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Diabetes: Usually refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabe...

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

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Digestive system: The system of organs responsible for getting food into and out of the bo...

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Dysfunction: Difficult function or abnormal function.

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Eastern equine encephalitis: Abbreviated EEE. A mosquito-born viral disease. The EEE virus...

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Electrolyte: A substance that dissociates into ions in solution and acquires the capacity ...

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Encephalitis: Inflammation of the brain, which may be caused by a bacterium, a virus, or a...

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Endemic: A characteristic of a particular population, environment, or region. Examples of ...

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Epstein-Barr virus: A virus in the herpes family that is best known as the cause of infect...

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Escherichia coli: Full term for E. coli, the colon bacillus.

Extremity: An uttermost part of the body, such as a hand or a foot.

Feces: The excrement discharged from the 'intestines.

Fetus: An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after concep...

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37...

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Flexion: The process of bending, or the state of being bent. For example, flexion of the f...

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Flu: Flu is a colloquialism for influenza. The flu is an acute respiratory illness caused ...

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

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Fungal: Pertaining to a fungus. For example, a fungal skin infection.

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Fungi: Plural of fungus.

Fungus: A single-celled or multicellular organism. Fungi can be true pathogens (such as hi...

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Gait: A manner of walking. Observation of gait can provide early diagnostic clues for a nu...

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Germ: 1. A cell or group of cells (called a primordium) capable of developing into ...

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GI tract: Short for gastrointestinal tract. See: Gastrointestinal tract.

Gray matter: The cortex of the brain, which contains nerve cell bodies. The gray matter is...

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Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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

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Herpes: A family of viruses. Herpes also refers to infection with one of the human herpesv...

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Herpes simplex type 2: A herpes virus that causes genital herpes, which is characterized b...

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HIB: Haemophilus influenzae type B.

HIV: Acronym for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the cause of AIDS (acquired immunodefi...

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Human immunodeficiency virus: HIV, the cause of AIDS. HIV has also previously been called ...

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

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Immune: Protected against infection, usually by the presence of antibodies.

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Immune response: Any reaction by the immune system. For example, poison ivy can cause an i...

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Immune system: A complex system that is responsible for distinguishing a person from every...

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Immunity: The condition of being immune. Immunity can be innate'for example, humans are in...

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Immunization: Vaccination. Immunizations work by stimulating the immune system, the natur...

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Immunocompromised: Having an immune system that has been impaired by disease or medical tr...

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Immunodeficiency: The inability to form a normal immune response. Immunodeficiency can be ...

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Incidence: The frequency with which something, such as a disease or trait, appears in a pa...

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Infant: A young baby, from birth to 12 months of age.

Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Influenza: Influenza is an acute respiratory illness caused by influenza A or B viruses Mo...

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Insertion: A chromosome abnormality that is due to insertion of a segment from one chromos...

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Intracranial: Within the cranium, the bony dome that houses and protects the brain.

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

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Knee: The knee is a joint which has three parts. The thigh bone (the femur) meets the lar...

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Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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Learning disability: A childhood disorder characterized by difficulty with certain skill...

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Lethargy: Abnormal drowsiness, stupor.

Libido: 1. Sexual drive. 2. In psychoanalysis, the psychic energy from all ...

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Listeria: A group of bacteria capable of causing illness including potentially fata...

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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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Lyme disease: An inflammatory disease that is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi...

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Lymphatic: Pertaining to a small, thin channel that is similar to a blood vessel and that ...

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Lymphatic system: The tissues and organs, including the bone marrow, spleen, thymus, and l...

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Malaise: A vague feeling of discomfort, one that cannot be pinned down but is often sensed...

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Measles: An acute and highly contagious viral disease characterized by fever, runny nose,...

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

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Meninges: The three membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord (singular: meninx).

Meningitis: Inflammation of the meninges, the three membranes that envelop the brain and t...

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Meningococcal meningitis: Inflammation of the meninges due to infection with the bacterium...

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

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging.

Multiple sclerosis: A disease that is characterized by loss of myelin (demyelinization). A...

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Mumps: An acute (sudden, shortlived) viral illness that usually presents with inflammation...

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

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Mycobacterium: A large family of bacteria that have unusually waxy cell walls that are res...

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Mycobacterium tuberculosis: The bacterium that causes tuberculosis. M. tuberculosis has un...

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Myelitis: Inflammation of the spinal cord, such as from infection or immune inflammation.

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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Neck pain: Neck pain is the sensation of discomfort in the neck area. Neck pain can result...

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Neisseria: A group of bacteria that includes the bacterium that causes gonorrhea.

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

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Neurosurgeon: A physician who specializes in surgery on the brain and other parts of the n...

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Nose: The external midline projection from the face. The purpose of the nose is to warm, c...

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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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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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

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Palsy: Paralysis, generally partial, whereby a local body area is incapable of voluntary m...

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Panic: A sudden strong feeling of fear that prevents reasonable thought or action. The wor...

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

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Parasite: A plant or an animal organism that lives in or on another and takes its nourishm...

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Parasitic: Having to do with a parasite, as in a parasitic infection; or acting like a par...

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Pediatric: Pertaining to children.

Peripheral: Situated away from the center, as opposed to centrally located.

Peripheral nervous system: The portion of the nervous system that is outside the brain and...

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Photophobia: Painful oversensitivity to light. For example, photophobia is often seen in m...

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

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Polio: Abbreviation for poliomyelitis, an acute and sometimes devastating disease caused ...

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Poliomyelitis: An acute and sometimes devastating viral disease. Man is the only natural h...

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Poliovirus: A member of the enterovirus subgroup, family Picornaviridae. Enteroviruses are...

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Pork tapeworm: Taenia solium.

Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.

Prion: A small proteinaceous infectious disease-causing agent that is believed to be the s...

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

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Psychiatric: Pertaining to or within the purview of psychiatry, the medical specialty conc...

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Pupil: The opening of the iris. The pupil may appear to open (dilate) and close (constrict...

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Rabies: A potentially fatal viral infection that attacks the central nervous system. Rabie...

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Radiculopathy: Any disease of the spinal nerve roots and spinal nerves. Radiculopathy is c...

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Rash: Breaking out (eruption) of the skin. A rash can be caused by an underlying medical c...

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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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Reservoir: 1. A place where something such as water is kept in reserve.
2....

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

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

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Roundworm: A type of parasitic worm that hatches in the intestines and lives there. The eg...

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

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

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Seizure: Uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain, which may produce a physical conv...

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Sensitivity: 1. In psychology, the quality of being sensitive. As, for example, sen...

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Shock: In medicine, a critical condition that is brought on by a sudden drop in blood flow...

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Short-term memory: A system for temporarily storing and managing information required to ...

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Shunt: 1) To move a body fluid, such as cerebrospinal fluid, from one place to another. 2...

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Sinus: 1. An air-filled cavity in a dense portion of a skull bone. The sinuses decr...

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

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Spine: 1) The column of bone known as the vertebral column, which surrounds and protects ...

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

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Streptococcus: A group of bacteria that causes a multitude of diseases. Under a microscope...

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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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Symptomatic: 1 With symptoms, as a symptomatic infection. 2 Characteristic o...

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Tapeworm: A worm that is flat like a tape measure and functions as an intestinal parasite,...

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

Throat: The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of th...

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Tick: A small wingless bloodsucking insect that, along with the mite, belongs to the order...

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Tick bite: A bite from a bloodsucking, parasitic insect that punctures the skin with a sha...

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Ticks: Small wingless bloodsucking insects that, along with the mite, belongs to the order...

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Toxoplasma gondii: A single-celled parasite that causes toxoplasmosis (toxo) .

Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

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Trichinella spiralis: The worm that causes trichinosis. Trichinella spiralis larvae can ...

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Trichinosis: A disease that is due to eating raw or undercooked pork or wild game that is ...

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Trimester: In obstetrics, one of the three divisions of three months each during pregnancy...

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Tuberculosis: A highly contagious infection caused by the bacterium called Mycobacteriu...

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Tuberculous: Pertaining to tuberculosis. Affected by tuberculosis. Caused by Mycobacterium...

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Tuberculous meningitis: Meningitis due to tuberculosis. Tuberculous meningitis is the most...

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Ubiquitous: Present everywhere. The small protein called ubiquitin was so-named because it...

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Upper respiratory infection: An infection of the upper part of the respiratory system whic...

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Urinary: Having to do with the function or anatomy of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or ur...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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Vaccination: Injection of a killed microbe in order to stimulate the immune system against...

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Vaccines: Microbial preparations of killed or modified microorganisms that can stimulate a...

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Valley fever: Lung infection with the fungus Coccidioides immitis. The fungus is common in...

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Vector: In medicine, a carrier of disease or of medication. For example, in malaria a mosq...

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Vein: A blood vessel that carries blood that is low in oxygen content from the body back t...

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Ventricles: 1, The right ventricle and the left ventricle, the lower two chambers o...

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

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Viral: Of or pertaining to a virus. For example, if a person has a viral rash, the rash wa...

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Viral infection: Infection caused by the presence of a virus in the body. Depending on th...

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Virus: A microorganism that is smaller than a bacterium that cannot grow or reproduce apar...

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Viruses: Small living particles that can infect cells and change how the cells function. I...

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Vomit: Matter from the stomach that has come up into and may be ejected beyond the mouth, ...

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West Nile virus: The mosquito-borne virus that causes West Nile fever. One of the flavivi...

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World Health Organization: The subagency of the United Nations (UN) that is concerned with...

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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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Medical Dictionary