Cocaine Abuse Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Cocaine Abuse article.

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

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Abdominal pain: Pain in the belly. Abdominal pain can be acute or chronic. It may reflect ...

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

Abortion: In medicine, an abortion is the premature exit of the products of conception (t...

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Abruption: A sudden breaking off or away. Abruption of the placenta (abruptio placentae) i...

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

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Acetylcholine: A neurotransmitter released by nerves that is essential for communication b...

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

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Addiction: An uncontrollable craving, seeking, and use of a substance such as alcohol or a...

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Adrenaline: A stress hormone produced within the adrenal gland that quickens the heart bea...

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

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Alcoholism: Physical dependence on alcohol to the extent that stopping alcohol use would b...

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Alkaloid: A member of a large group of chemicals that are made by plants and have nitrogen...

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Amphetamine: A drug that has a stimulant effect on the central nervous system that can be ...

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

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Anesthetic: A substance that causes lack of feeling or awareness, dulling pain to permit s...

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Angina: Chest pain due to an inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart muscle. The pain is ...

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Ankle: The ankle joint is complex. It is made up of two joints: the true ankle joint and ...

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Antibiotic: A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. ...

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

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Aorta: The largest artery in the body, the aorta arises from the left ventricle of the he...

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Aortic: Pertaining to the aorta, the largest artery in the body.

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

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

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Bloody nose: Bleeding from the blood vessels of the nose. The nose is rich in blood vessel...

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Body packing: The practice of internally concealing illicit drugs. See: Body packer.

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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Bronchitis: Inflammation and swelling of the bronchi. Bronchitis can be acute or chronic.

Caffeine: A stimulant compound found naturally in coffee, tea, cocoa (chocolate), and kola...

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Cardiac: Having to do with the heart.

Cardiomyopathy: Disease of the heart muscle (myocardium).

Cardiovascular: Relating to the circulatory system, which comprises the heart and blood ve...

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Cartilage: Firm, rubbery tissue that cushions bones at joints. A flexible kind of cartilag...

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Cellulitis: A spreading bacterial infection underneath the skin surface characterized by r...

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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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Chest pain: Pain in the chest that can be a result of many things, including angina, heart...

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Chest X-ray: A type of X-ray commonly used to detect abnormalities in the lungs. A chest X...

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Child abuse: A complex set of behaviors that include child neglect and the physical, emoti...

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

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Chronic bronchitis: Inflammation and swelling of the lining of the airways, leading to nar...

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Cocaine: A substance derived from the leaves of the coca plant that is a bitter, addictive...

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Collapsed lung: Failure of full expansion of a once fully expanded lung. Medically cal...

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

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

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COPD: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Any disorder that persistently obstructs bron...

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Cornea: The clear front window of the eye, which transmits and focuses light into the eye....

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Coronary arteries: The vessels that supply the heart muscle with blood rich in oxygen. The...

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Cough: A rapid expulsion of air from the lungs, typically in order to clear the lung airwa...

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Cuts: Severed skin. Washing a cut or scrape with soap and water and keeping it clean and d...

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Delusion: A false personal belief that is not subject to reason or contradictory evidence ...

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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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Discharge: 1.The flow of fluid from part of the body, such as from the nose or vag...

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Dissection: The process of cutting apart or separating tissue as, for example, in the stud...

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

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Dopamine: An important neurotransmitter (messenger) in the brain.

Drip: Short for intravenous drip, a device for administering a fluid drop-by-drop into a v...

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Ear: The hearing organ. There are three sections of the ear, according to the anatomy tex...

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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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Emphysema: 1) A lung condition featuring an abnormal accumulation of air in the lung's ma...

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Epinephrine: A substance produced by the medulla (inside) of the adrenal gland. The name e...

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Euphoria: Elevated mood. Euphoria is a desirable and natural occurrence when it results f...

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Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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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 degr...

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Fibrillation: In cardiology, an abnormal and erratic twitching of the heart muscle.

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.

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

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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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Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of bloo...

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Heart muscle: A type of muscle with unique features only found in the heart. The heart mus...

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Heart rate: The number of heartbeats per unit of time, usually per minute. The heart rate ...

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Heart valves: There are four heart valves. All are one-way valves. Blood entering the ...

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Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, irrespective of the cause. Hepatitis is caused by a ...

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Hepatitis B: Inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis B virus (HBV), once thought t...

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Hepatitis C: Inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is usuall...

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Heroin: Semisynthetic drug derived from morphine. Discovered in 1874, it was introduced co...

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

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

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Hoarseness: Hoarseness is a term referring to abnormal voice changes. Hoarseness may be ma...

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Homicide: 1. The killing of a person. 2. Strictly speaking, the killing of a...

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Humor: In medicine, a fluid or semifluid substance. For example, the aqueous humor is the ...

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Hypertension: High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceedi...

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Hyperthermia: Overheating of the body, possibly due to extreme weather conditions. Unrelie...

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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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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Insomnia: The perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep due to a number ...

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Internist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and medical treatment of adults. T...

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Itching: An uncomfortable sensation in the skin that feels as if something is crawling on ...

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Jaundice: Yellow staining of the skin and sclerae (the whites of the eyes) by abnormally h...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Labor: Childbirth, the process of delivering a baby and the placenta, membranes, and umbil...

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

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Lactose: The sugar found in milk. Lactose is a large sugar molecule that is made up of two...

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Laryngitis: An inflammation of the larynx. Inflammation of the larynx is most often caused...

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Lethal: Deadly.

Lockjaw: See Tetanus.

Low blood pressure: Any blood pressure that is below the normal expected for an individua...

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

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Major depression: A disease with certain characteristic signs and symptoms that interferes...

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Malformation: A structural defect in the body due to abnormal embryonic or fetal developme...

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Mania: An abnormally elevated mood state characterized by such symptoms as inappropriate...

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Marijuana: A common street and recreational drug that comes from the marijuana plant: the ...

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Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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Medical journals: In 1665 the Royal Society in England published one of the first 2 scient...

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Membrane: A very thin layer of tissue that covers a 'surface.

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

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Menstrual: Pertaining to menstruation (the menses), as in last menstrual period, menstrua...

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Menstrual cramps: Cramping in the lower abdomen, usually in the first or second day of the...

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Miscarriage: Inadvertent loss of a pregnancy before the fetus is viable. A considerable pr...

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Morphine: A powerful narcotic agent that has strong analgesic (pain relief) action and oth...

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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.

Mucous: Pertaining to mucus, a thick fluid produced by the lining of some tissues of the b...

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

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Nasal: Having to do with the nose.

Nasal septum: The dividing wall that runs down the middle of the nose, separating the two ...

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

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Nicotine: An alkaloid (a nitrogen-containing chemical) made by the tobacco plant or produc...

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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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Nose picking: Using the finger to remove debris from within the nose. Compulsive nose pick...

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Nosebleed: Bleeding from the blood vessels of the nose. The nose is rich in blood vessels ...

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Nostril: The external opening of the nose. The nostrils are also called the nares.

Obstetrician: A physician who specializes in obstetrics.

Obstruction: Blockage of a passageway. See, for example: Airway obstruction; Intestinal o...

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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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Opium: An addictive narcotic drug that is derived from the unripe seedpods of the opium po...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Orifice: An opening. For example, the mouth is an orifice.

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

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Palpitations: Unpleasant sensations of irregular and/or forceful beating of the heart. In ...

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

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PCP: Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.

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

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Placenta: A temporary organ that joins the mother and fetus, transferring oxygen and nutri...

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

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Post-nasal drip: Mucous accumulation in the back of the nose and throat leading to or givi...

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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.

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

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

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

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Psychiatrist: A physician who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of m...

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

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Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.

Pulmonary edema: Fluid in the lungs.

Quinine: The original antimalarial agent, quinine took its name from the Peruvian Indian w...

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Rectum: The last 6 to 8 inches of the large intestine. The rectum stores solid waste until...

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Recurrent: Appearing or occurring again. For example, a recurrent fever is a fever that ha...

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Rehabilitation: The process of helping a person who has suffered an illness or injury rest...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

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

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Rupture: A break or tear in any organ (such as the spleen) or soft tissue (such as the ach...

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Schizophrenia: One of several brain diseases whose symptoms may include loss of personalit...

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

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Septic: Infected, or denoting infection. For example, septic shock is shock that is caused...

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Septum: A dividing wall or enclosure. For example, the septum of the nose is the thin cart...

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Serotonin: A neurotransmitter that is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses. Sero...

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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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Shortness of breath: Difficulty in breathing. Medically referred to as dyspnea. Shortness ...

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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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Sinusitis: Inflammation of the lining membrane in any of the hollow areas (sinuses) of the...

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Snort: Take in a drug by nasal inhalation. For example, snorting cocaine is inhaling cocai...

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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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Spontaneous abortion: A miscarriage, that is, any pregnancy that is not viable (the fetus...

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

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Stillbirth: The birth of a dead baby, the delivery of a fetus that has died before birth f...

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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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Subcutaneous: Under the skin. For example, a subcutaneous injection is an injection in whi...

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

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Substance abuse: The excessive use of a substance, especially alcohol or a drug. (There is...

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Suicidal: Pertaining to suicide. the taking of ones own life. As in a suicidal gesture, su...

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

Talc: A very soft, soapy-feeling mineral that is a silicate of magnesium, sometimes with s...

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

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Tetanus: An often fatal infectious disease that is caused by the bacterium Clostridium tet...

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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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Tobacco: A South American herb (Nicotiana tabacum) whose leaves contain 2 to 8 percent nic...

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Topical: Pertaining to a particular surface area. For example, a topical agent is applied ...

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

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Ultrasound: High-frequency sound waves. Ultra-sound waves can be bounced off tissues by us...

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

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Uterus: A hollow, pear-shaped organ that is located in a woman's lower abdomen, between th...

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Vagina: The muscular canal that extends from the cervix to the outside of the body. It is ...

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Ventricular: Pertaining to the ventricles, the lower chambers of the heart, as in ventricu...

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Ventricular fibrillation: An abnormal and irregular heart rhythm in which there are rapid ...

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Ventricular tachycardia: An abnormal heart rhythm that is rapid and regular and that origi...

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Vertigo: Aside from being the name of a classic 1958 Alfred Hitchcock film (with Jimmy St...

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

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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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Vital: Necessary to maintain life. For example, breathing is a vital function.

Withdrawal symptoms: Abnormal physical or psychological features that follow the abrupt di...

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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