Definitions provided by:
Alzheimer's Disease Glossary

Terms used to explain Alzheimer's can sometimes be confusing. To help you fully understand the articles and features related to this very important health topic, we have compiled a glossary of terms that can help.

Antidepressant

1an*ti*de*pres*sant
Pronunciation: \ˌant-i-di-ˈpres-ənt, ˌan-ˌtī-\


Function: adjective
: used or tending to relieve or prevent psychic depression

Apraxia

aprax*ia
Pronunciation: \(ˈ)ā-ˈprak-sē-ə\


Function: noun
: loss or impairment of the ability to execute complex coordinated movements without muscular or sensory impairment compare eupraxia

CT Scan

CT scan
Pronunciation: \(ˈ)sē-ˈtē-\


Function: noun
: see: cat scan

Delirium

de*lir*i*um
Pronunciation: \di-ˈlir-ē-əm\


Function: noun
: a mental disturbance characterized by confusion, disordered speech, and hallucinations

Dopamine

do*pa*mine
Pronunciation: \ˈdō-pə-ˌmēn\



Function: noun
1: a monoamine C8H11NO2 that is a decarboxylated form of dopa and occurs esp. as a neurotransmitter in the brain and as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of epinephrine see intropin

Excitotoxin

ex*ci*to*tox*in
Pronunciation: \ik-ˈsīt-ə-ˌtäk-sən\


Function: noun
: an excitotoxic agent (as kainic acid)

Hippocampus

hip*po*cam*pus
Pronunciation: \ˌhip-ə-ˈkam-pəs\


Function: noun
pl -pi
Pronunciation: \-ˌpī, -(ˌ)pē\
: a curved elongated ridge that is an important part of the limbic system, extends over the floor of the descending horn of each lateral ventricle of the brain, consists of gray matter covered on the ventricular surface with white matter, and is involved in forming, storing, and processing memory see pes hippocampi

Limbic System

limbic system
Function: noun
: a group of subcortical structures (as the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, and the amygdala) of the brain that are concerned esp. with emotion and motivation

MRI

MRI
Pronunciation: \ˌem-(ˌ)är-ˈī\


Function: noun
: see: magnetic resonance imaging; also: a procedure in which magnetic resonance imaging is used

Neurotransmitter

neu*ro*trans*mit*ter
Pronunciation: \ˌn(y)ur-ō-tran(t)s-ˈmit-ər, -tranz-\


Function: noun
: a substance (as norepinephrine or acetylcholine) that transmits nerve impulses across a synapse see false neurotransmitter

Pathology

pa*thol*o*gy
Pronunciation: \-jē\


Function: noun
pl -gies

1: the study of the essential nature of diseases and esp. of the structural and functional changes produced by them
2: the anatomic and physiological deviations from the normal that constitute disease or characterize a particular disease
3: a treatise on or compilation of abnormalities <a new pathology of the eye>

Placebo

pla*ce*bo
Pronunciation: \plə-ˈsē-(ˌ)bō\


Function: noun
pl -bos

1: a usu. pharmacologically inert preparation prescribed more for the mental relief of the patient than for its actual effect on a disorder
2: an inert or innocuous substance used esp. in controlled experiments testing the efficacy of another substance (as a drug)

Plaque

plaque
Function: noun

1 a: a localized abnormal patch on a body part or surface and esp. on the skin <psoriatic plaque>
b: a sticky usu. colorless film on teeth that is formed by and harbors bacteria
c: an atherosclerotic lesion
d: a histopathologic lesion of brain tissue that is characteristic of Alzheimer's disease and consists of a dense proteinaceous core composed primarily of beta-amyloid that is often surrounded and infiltrated by a cluster of degenerating axons and dendrites —called also senile plaque
2: a visibly distinct and esp. a clear or opaque area in a bacterial culture produced by damage to or destruction of cells by a virus

Psychosis

psy*cho*sis
Pronunciation: \sī-ˈkō-səs\



Function: noun

1: a serious mental disorder (as schizophrenia) characterized by defective or lost contact with reality often with hallucinations or delusions

Sedative

1sed*a*tive
Pronunciation: \ˈsed-ət-iv\


Function: adjective
: tending to calm, moderate, or tranquilize nervousness or excitement <sedative[1] effects of anesthetics and analgesics Linda C. Haynes et al>

Serotonin

se*ro*to*nin
Pronunciation: \ˌsir-ə-ˈtō-nən, ˌser-\


Function: noun
: a phenolic amine neurotransmitter C10H12N2O that is a powerful vasoconstrictor and is found esp. in the brain, blood serum, and gastric mucous membrane of mammals —called also 5-HT, 5-hydroxytryptamine

Synapse

1syn*apse
Pronunciation: \ˈsin-ˌaps also sə-ˈnaps, chiefly Brit ˈsī-ˌnaps\


Function: noun

1: the place at which a nervous impulse passes from one neuron to another
2: see: synapsis

Thyroid

1thy*roid
Pronunciation: \ˈthī-ˌroid\


Function: adjective

1 a: of, relating to, affecting, or being the thyroid gland <thyroid[1] disorders>
2: of, relating to, or being the thyroid cartilage

Vascular

vas*cu*lar
Pronunciation: \ˈvas-kyə-lər\


Function: adjective

1: of, relating to, constituting, or affecting a tube or a system of tubes for the conveyance of a body fluid (as blood or lymph) <vascular disease> <vascular surgical techniques>
2: supplied with or containing ducts and esp. blood vessels <a vascular tumor> <the vascular layer of the skin>

Audio pronunciation for hear it again
Having trouble hearing a pronunciation?
Click here to listen with your default audio player.
© 2011 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Inc.

Take a Personalized Health Test

Did You Know?

View Source

More than 5.3 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer's disease, with a new person developing the disease every 70 seconds. Americans ages 65 and older with Alzheimer's and dementia pay three times as much in health care costs.