Panic Attacks Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Panic Attacks article.

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

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Aerobic: Oxygen-requiring. Aerobic bacteria need oxygen to grow. Aerobic exercise requires...

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Aerobic exercise: Brisk exercise that promotes the circulation of oxygen through the blood...

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Agoraphobia: An abnormal and persistent fear of public places or open areas, especially th...

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Alprazolam: A benzodiazepine sedative that causes dose-related depression of the central n...

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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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Anxiety disorder: A chronic condition characterized by an excessive and persistent sense o...

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Apnea: The absence of breathing (respiration).

Aspartame: A man-made sweetener with almost no calories used in place of sugar.

Aspirin: Once the Bayer trademark for acetylsalicylic acid, now the common name for this a...

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

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

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

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

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Cardiac: Having to do with the heart.

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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Chills: feelings of coldness accompanied by shivering. Chills may develop after exposure t...

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Clinical depression: Depressed mood that meets the DSM-IV criteria for a depressive disord...

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Clinical trials: Trials to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medications or medical...

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

Cymbalta: Brand name for duloxetine hydrochloride, a drug approved by the FDA to treat maj...

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

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Duloxetine: See: Cymbalta.

ECG: Electrocardiogram.

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EEG: Electroencephalogram.

Electroencephalogram: A technique for studying the electrical currents within the brain. E...

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

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Endocrine: Pertaining to hormones and the glands that make and secrete them into the blood...

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Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family, including inform...

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

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Generalized anxiety disorder: Abbreviated GAD. A condition characterized by 6 months or mo...

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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 disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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

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

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Hot flashes: A sudden wave of mild or intense body heat caused by rushes of hormonal chang...

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Hyperventilation: Overbreathing. Hyperventilation causes dizziness, lightheadedness, a sen...

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

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Leg: In popular usage, the part of the body from the top of the thigh down to the foot, an...

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Lips: Aside from the lips of the mouth, there are two pairs of lips at the entrance to the...

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

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Magnesium: A mineral involved in many processes in the body including nerve signaling, the...

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Magnesium deficiency: Can occur due to inadequate intake or impaired intestinal absorption...

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

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

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Mitral valve: A valve in the heart that is situated between the left atrium and the left v...

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Mitral valve prolapse: A common heart valve anomaly affecting 5'10 percent of people that ...

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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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Neurologist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of th...

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

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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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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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Panic disorder: An anxiety disorder that is characterized by sudden attacks of fear and pa...

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

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

Placebo effect: Also called the placebo response. A remarkable phenomenon in which a place...

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

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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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Psychotherapy: The treatment of a behavior disorders, mental illness, or any other conditi...

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PTSD: Post-traumatic stress disorder.

Random: Determined solely by chance.

Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

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

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

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

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

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Sleep apnea: The temporary stoppage of breathing during sleep, often resulting in daytime ...

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Sleep disorders: Any disorder that affects, disrupts, or involves sleep. The most common...

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Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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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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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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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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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.

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Trigger: Something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predispose...

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

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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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Xanax: See: Alprazolam.

Zinc: A mineral that is essential to the body and is a constituent of many enzymes that pe...

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Medical Dictionary