Cluster Headache FAQs Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Cluster Headache FAQs article.

Abortive: Tending to cut short the course of a disease, as in abortive polio (polio cut sh...

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Acetate: A molecular ion derived from acetic acid. The formula of acetate is CH3COO-.

Acupuncture: The practice of inserting needles into the body to reduce pain or induce anes...

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

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Allergic rhinitis: Medical term for hay fever, an allergic reaction that mimics a chronic ...

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Antidepressants: Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression.

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

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Artery: A vessel that carries blood high in oxygen content away from the heart to the far...

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Asthma: A common lung disorder in which inflammation causes the bronchi to swell and narro...

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Benign: Not malignant. A benign tumor is one that does not invade surrounding tissue or sp...

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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 tumor: A benign or malignant growth in the brain. Primary brain tumors initially for...

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Calcium: A mineral found mainly in the hard part of bones, where it is stored. Calcium is ...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Capillaries: Capillaries are the smallest of blood vessels. They serve to distribute oxyge...

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Capsaicin: Capsaicin is an active component of chili peppers that is used to relieve muscl...

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Carcinoma: Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover body organs. Ex...

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Cavernous sinus: A large channel of venous blood creating a "sinus" cavity bordered by the...

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Chin: Medically, the mentum. The lower portion of the face below the lower lip including t...

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Chiropractic: A system of diagnosis and treatment based on the concept that the nervous sy...

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

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Cluster: In epidemiology, an aggregation of cases of a disease or another health-related c...

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Cluster headache: A distinctive episodic syndrome of headaches. The most common cluster he...

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Congestion: An abnormal or excessive accumulation of a body fluid. The term is used broadl...

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Conjunctival: Pertaining to the conjunctiva, the clear moist membrane that covers the inne...

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Consultant: An individual to whom one refers for expert advice or services. The use of con...

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CT scan: Computerized tomography scan. Pictures of structures within the body created by a...

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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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Edema: The swelling of soft tissues as a result of excess fluid accumulation. Edema is oft...

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

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Eskalith: See: Lithium.

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

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Gland: A group of cells that secrete a substance for use in the body. For example, the thy...

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Hay fever: A seasonal allergy to airborne particles characterized by itchy eyes, runny nos...

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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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Hemorrhage: Bleeding or the abnormal flow of blood.

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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Histamine: A substance that plays a major role in many allergic reactions, dilating blood ...

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Histamine cephalalgia: A distinctive syndrome of headaches, also known as cluster head...

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Horner syndrome: A condition resulting from interruption of the sympathetic nerve pathways...

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IHS: The Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency within the Department of Health and Human ...

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Imitrex: Brand name for sumatriptan, a triptan drug for the treatment of migraine.

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Indicate: In medicine, to make a treatment or procedure advisable because of a particular ...

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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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Ipsilateral: On the same side, as opposed to contralateral. For example, a tumor involving...

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JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association. JAMA began publication in 1883. It ...

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Lacrimation: Shedding tears, or shedding more tears than is normal (for example, as a resu...

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Lithium: A naturally occurring salt that, in purified form, is used to treat certain psych...

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Lithobid: See: Lithium.

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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Lung cancer: Cancer of the major organ of respiration - the lung. Lung cancer kills more m...

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

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Migraine: Usually, periodic attacks of headaches on one or both sides of the head. These ...

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Migraine headache: The most common type of vascular headache involving abnormal sensitivit...

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Migrainous neuralgia: A distinctive syndrome of headaches, today better known as cluster ...

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MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging.

Narcotic: 1. A drug that causes insensibility or stupor. A narcotic induces narcosi...

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Nasal: Having to do with the nose.

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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Neuralgia: Pain along the course of a nerve.

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

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Neurology: The medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders o...

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Neuromuscular: Pertaining to both nerves and muscles, as in neuromuscular blockade by an a...

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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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Occipital: 1. Pertaining to the occiput, the back of head.
2. Located...

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Opioid: 1. A synthetic narcotic that resembles the naturally occurring opiates. 2. Any sub...

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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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Pain management: The process of providing medical care that alleviates or reduces pain. Mi...

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

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Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly sup...

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Piercing: Using a sharp instrument, usually a needle, to make a temporary or permanent ...

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Pituitary: 1. As an adjective, pertaining to the pituitary gland or its hormonal se...

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Pituitary gland: The main endocrine gland. It is a small structure in the head. It is ca...

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

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Psychosis: In the general sense, a mental illness that markedly interferes with a person'...

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Ptosis: Downward displacement. For example, ptosis of the eyelids is drooping of the eyeli...

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

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

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Remission: Disappearance of the signs and symptoms of cancer or other disease. A remission...

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Rhinitis: Irritation of the nose.

Rhinorrhea: Medical term for a runny nose. From the Greek words "rhinos" meaning...

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

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Runny nose: The production of extra mucus by the nose. Rhinorrhea is the medical term for ...

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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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Sensation: In medicine and physiology, sensation refers to the registration of an incoming...

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Sensory: Relating to sensation, to the perception of a stimulus, to the voyage made by inc...

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

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Sphenopalatine neuralgia: A distinctive syndrome of headaches, better known today as clust...

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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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Steroid: One of a large group of chemical substances classified by a specific carbon struc...

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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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Subarachnoid: Literally, beneath the arachnoid, the middle of three membranes that cover t...

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Subarachnoid hemorrhage: A bleeding into the subarachnoid, the space between the arachnoid...

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Sumatriptan: A triptan drug for the treatment of migraine. Marketed under the brand name I...

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

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Sweating: The act of secreting fluid from the skin by the sweat (sudoriferous) glands. The...

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

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Tachycardia: A rapid heart rate, usually defined as greater than 100 beats per minute.

Tension: 1) The pressure within a vessel, such as blood pressure: the pressure within t...

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

Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

Tricyclic antidepressants: One of a class of medications used to treat depression. The tri...

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Trigeminal nerve: The chief nerve of sensation for the face, which is also the motor nerve...

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Triptan: A class of drugs introduced in the 1990s for the treatment of migraine that act a...

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Tumor: An abnormal mass of tissue. Tumors are a classic sign of inflammation, and can be ...

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Valsalva: 1. The Valsalva maneuver in which a person tries to exhale forcibly with ...

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

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Vertebral artery: One of two key arteries located in the back of the neck that carry blood...

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Vertical: In anatomy, upright. As opposed to horizontal.

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Vessel: A tube in the body that carries fluids. Examples of vessels are blood vessels and ...

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Weight loss: Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (die...

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Zolmitriptan: A triptan drug for the treatment of migraine. Marketed under the brand name ...

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Zomig: Brand name for zolmitriptan, a triptan drug for the treatment of migraine.

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