Dementia Medication Overview Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Dementia Medication Overview article.

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

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

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Acetylcholinesterase: An enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine at the...

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

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Allergy: A misguided reaction to foreign substances by the immune system, the body system ...

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Alzheimer disease: See: Alzheimer's disease.

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

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

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

Antihistamines: Drugs that combat the histamine released during an allergic reaction by bl...

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Antipsychotic: A medication (or another measure) that is believed to be effective in the t...

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

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Benzodiazepines: A class of drugs that act as tranquilizers and are commonly used in the t...

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Bicarbonate: In medicine, bicarbonate usually refers to bicarbonate of soda (sodium bicarb...

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

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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

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Cognition: The process of knowing. Cognition includes both awareness and judgment.

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

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

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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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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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Erythromycin: Erythromycin is a common antibiotic for treating bacterial infection. Sold...

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Estrogens: Female hormones produced by the ovaries. Estrogen deficiency can lead to osteop...

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

Food and Drug Administration: An agency within the US Public Health Service that provides ...

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

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

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Huntington disease: An hereditary disorder with mental and physical deterioration leading ...

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Ibuprofen: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used to treat pa...

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

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

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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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Liver disease: Liver disease refers to any disorder of the liver. The liver is a large org...

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Menopause: The time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop; it is also ...

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

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

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Nerve cell: See: Neuron.

Nursing: 1) Profession concerned with the provision of services essential to the maintena...

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Nursing home: A residential facility for people with chronic illness or disability, partic...

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

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Parkinson disease: A slowly progressive neurologic disease characterized by a fixed inexpr...

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

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

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Sodium: The major positive ion (cation) in the fluid surrounding cells in the body. The ch...

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Statins: A class of drugs that lower cholesterol.

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

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Therapeutic: Relating to therapeutics, the branch of medicine that is concerned specifical...

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

Toxicity: The degree to which a substance (a toxin or poison) can harm humans or animals. ...

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

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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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Vitamin C: An essential nutrient found mainly in fruits and vegetables. The body requires ...

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

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