Spina Bifida Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Spina Bifida article.

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

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

Allergic reaction: The hypersensitive response of the immune system of an allergic indiv...

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

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Amniocentesis: A before-birth diagnostic procedure during which a long needle is used to o...

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Amniotic fluid: The fluid bathing a fetus within the uterus, which serves as a shock absor...

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

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

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Asymptomatic: Without symptoms. For example, an asymptomatic infection is an infection wit...

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Bifid: Split in two.

Birth defect: Any defect present in a baby at birth, irrespective of whether the defect is...

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

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

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

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Catheter: A thin, flexible tube.

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

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Circulation: In medicine, the movement of fluid through the body in a regular or circuitou...

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CT scan: Computed tomography scan. Detailed images of internal organs are obtained by this...

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Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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Cyst: A closed sac or capsule, usually filled with fluid or semisolid material.

Diabetes: Usually refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabe...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Drain: A device for removing fluid from a cavity or wound. A drain is typically a tube or ...

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Epidural: Outside the dura, the outermost, toughest, and most fibrous of the three membran...

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Essential: In medicine, of unknown cause, as in essential hypertension (high blood pressur...

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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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Folate: Folic acid, one of the B vitamins that is a key factor in the synthesis (the makin...

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Folic acid: One of the B vitamins that is a key factor in the synthesis (the making) of nu...

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Fracture: A break in bone or cartilage. Although usually a result of trauma, a fracture ca...

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Gait: A manner of walking. Observation of gait can provide early diagnostic clues for a nu...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Growth hormone: A hormone made in the pituitary gland that stimulates the release of anoth...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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

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Heredity: The genetic transmission of characteristics from parent to child.

Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activit...

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Hydrocephalus: Hydrocephalus is an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the v...

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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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Inheritance: The transmission of a gene from parent to child. The pattern of inheritance i...

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Injure: To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emotional sense. Fr...

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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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Intervention: The act of intervening, interfering or interceding with the intent of modify...

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Joint: The area where two bones are attached for the purpose of permitting body parts to m...

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

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Lipoma: A benign tumor of adipocytes (fat cells). Lipomas are common in the skin and are f...

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Lumbar: Referring to the five lumbar vertebrae, the disks below them, and the correspondin...

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

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

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Maternal: 1. Pertaining to the mother as, for example, the maternal mortality rate....

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

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

Mental retardation: The condition of having an IQ measured as below 70 to 75 and significa...

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Metabolism: The whole range of biochemical processes that occur within a living organism. ...

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MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging.

Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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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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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).

Neural tube defect: A major birth defect caused by abnormal development of the neural tube...

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

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

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Obesity: The state of being well above one's normal weight.

Operation: In medicine, a surgical procedure. Many operations are named after persons. The...

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Orthotic: A support, brace, or splint used to support, align, prevent, or correct the func...

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Osteoporosis: Thinning of the bones, with reduction in bone mass, due to depletion of calc...

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

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

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Pathologic: 1. Indicative of or caused by disease, as in a pathologic fracture, pat...

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Pathologic fracture: A bone broken, not by trauma alone, but so weakened by disease as to ...

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Physical therapist: A person who is trained and certified by a state or accrediting body t...

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

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Posture: The carriage of the body as a whole, the attitude of the body, or the position of...

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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.

Premature birth: A birth that takes place before 37 weeks of gestation have passed. Histor...

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Prenatal: Occurring or existing before birth.

Prenatal diagnosis: Diagnosis before birth. Methods for prenatal diagnosis include ultraso...

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Prenatal surgery: The surgical treatment of the fetus before birth. Also called antenatal ...

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Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or dev...

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Prevalence: The proportion of individuals in a population having a disease or characterist...

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

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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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Rejection: In transplantation biology, when the body's immune system attacks transplanted ...

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

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Sacral: Referring to the sacrum. For example, sacral agenesis is absence of all or part of...

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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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Scoliosis: Lateral (sideways) curving of the spine. The degree of scoliosis may range from...

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

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

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Serum: The clear liquid that can be separated from clotted blood. Serum differs from plas...

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Shunt: 1) To move a body fluid, such as cerebrospinal fluid, from one place to another. 2...

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Spasticity: A state of increased tone of a muscle (and an increase in the deep tendon refl...

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Spina bifida: A major birth defect and a type of neural tube defect that involves an openi...

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Spina bifida cystica: A bony defect in the vertebral column that causes a cleft in that c...

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Spina bifida occulta: A bony defect in the vertebral column that causes a cleft in that co...

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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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Spine: 1) The column of bone known as the vertebral column, which surrounds and protects ...

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Stool: The solid matter that is discharged in a bowel movement.

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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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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Tailbone: Popular name for the coccyx, the small bone at the bottom of the spine made up o...

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

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

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Urinary: Having to do with the function or anatomy of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or ur...

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Urinary tract: The organs of the body that produce, store, and discharge urine. These orga...

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Urinary tract infection: An infection of the kidney, ureter, bladder, or urethra. Abbrevia...

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

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Vertebrae: The preferred plural of vertebra. (The alternate plural is vertebras.) See also...

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Vitamins: The word "vitamin" was coined in 1911 by the Warsaw-born biochemist Casimir Funk...

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Womb: The womb (uterus) is a hollow, pear-shaped organ located in a woman's lower abdomen ...

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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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Youth: The time between childhood and maturity.

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