Multiple Sclerosis Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Multiple Sclerosis article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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

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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Amino acids: The building blocks of polypeptides and proteins.

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

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Antibody: An immunoglobulin, a specialized immune protein, produced because of the introdu...

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

Antioxidant: A substance that reduces damage due to oxygen, such as that caused by free ra...

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

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

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Autoimmune disease: An illness that occurs when the body tissues are attacked by its own i...

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

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

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Blood count: The calculated number of white or red blood cells (WBCs or RBCs) in a cubic m...

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

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

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Cardiac: Having to do with the heart.

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

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Cerebellum: The portion of the brain that is in the back of the head, between the cerebrum...

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Chemotherapy: 1. In the original sense, a chemical that binds to and specifically k...

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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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Complete blood count: A set values of the cellular (formed elements) of blood. These meas...

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

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Corticosteroid: Any of the steroid hormones made by the outer portion (cortex) of the adre...

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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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Curable: Amenable to a cure, capable of being cured, to being healed and made well. From ...

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Demyelination: A degenerative process that erodes away the myelin sheath that normally pr...

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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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Dihydroorotate dehydrogenase: An enzyme necessary to pyrimidine synthesis and therefore es...

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Dysfunction: Difficult function or abnormal function.

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

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Encephalopathy: Disease, damage, or malfunction of the brain. In general, encephalopathy i...

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Enzyme: A protein (or protein-based molecule) that speeds up a chemical reaction in a livi...

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Enzymes: Proteins that act as a catalysts in mediating and speeding a specific chemical re...

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

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

Fiber: The parts of fruits and vegetables that cannot be digested. Fiber is of vital impor...

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Flu: Short for influenza. The flu is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract w...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

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

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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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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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Interferon: A naturally occurring substance that interferes with the ability of viruses t...

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

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

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Leukemia: Cancer of the blood cells. Strictly speaking, leukemia should refer only to canc...

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

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Mitochondrial: Referring to mitochondria.

Monoclonal: Derived from a single cell and cells identical to that cell.

Monoclonal antibody: An antibody produced by a single clone of cells. A monoclonal antibod...

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

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MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging.

Multifocal: Having to do with two or more foci or arising from two or more places. For exa...

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

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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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Myelin: The fatty substance that covers and protects nerves. Myelin is a layered tissue th...

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

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Neural: Having to do with nerve cells (neurons).

Neuritis: Inflammation of nerves. There are many causes of neuritis, including various vir...

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

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Optic: Having to do with vision.

Optic nerve: The optic nerve connects the eye to the brain. The optic nerve carries the...

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

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

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Placebo: A "sugar pill" or any dummy medication or treatment.

PML: Stands for progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a rapidly progressive, often f...

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

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

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

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

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Pyrimidine: One of the two classes of bases in DNA and RNA. The pyrimidine bases are thymi...

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Relapse: The return of signs and symptoms of a disease after a remission.

Residual: Something left behind. With residual disease, the disease has not been eradicate...

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Reuptake: The reabsorption of a secreted substance by the cell that originally produced an...

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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Synthesis: Putting together different entities to make a whole which is new and different....

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Taste: A perception that results from stimulation of a gustatory nerve. Taste belongs to t...

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

Tiredness: See: Tired.

Trait: In genetics, a trait refers to any genetically determined characteristic. In techni...

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

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

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White blood cell: One of the cells the body makes to help fight infections. There are seve...

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Medical Dictionary