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  • Systolic

    The blood pressure when the heart is contracting. It is specifically the maximum arterial pressure during contraction of the left ventricle of the heart. The time at which ventricular contraction occurs is called systole. In a blood pressure reading, the systolic pressure is typically the first number recorded. For example, with a blood pressure of […]

  • Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF)

    Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF): A syndrome due to the dengue virus that tends to affect children under 10, causing abdominal pain, hemorrhage (bleeding) and circulatory collapse (shock). DHF starts abruptly with high continuous fever and headache plus respiratory and intestinal symptoms with sore throat, cough, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Shock occurs after 2 to […]

  • Menopause, natural

    Natural menopause occurs when the ovaries naturally decrease their production of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone; there are no menstrual periods for 12 consecutive months; and no other biological or physiological cause can account for this. Menopause is the end of the childbearing years. (It is important to remember that until 12 months have […]

  • Postpolio syndrome (PPS)

    Persons who have had polio may develop newly progressive fatigue, pain, and weakness 15 or more years after recovery from poliomyelitis. In some cases, muscle atrophy (muscle wasting) also occurs as part of PPS. In most cases, however, new symptoms are not due to progression of old polio but to a superimposed second condition, such […]

  • Back pain, low

    Back pain, low: Pain in the lower back area that can relate to problems with the lumbar spine, the discs between the vertebrae, the ligaments around the spine and discs, the spinal cord and nerves, muscles of the low back, internal organs of the pelvis and abdomen, or the skin covering the lumbar area.

  • Cancer, male breast

    Cancer, male breast: Breast cancer in men. Male breast cancer is much less common than breast cancer in women. Fewer than 1 percent of persons with breast cancer are male. However, breast cancer is no less dangerous in males than in females. After the diagnosis of breast cancer is made, the mortality rates are virtually […]

  • Iatrapistic

    Having a lack of faith in doctors.

  • Desquamation

    Desquamation: The shedding of the outer layers of the skin. For example, when the rash of measles fades, desquamation occurs.

  • Fatal familial insomnia

    Fatal familial insomnia: Abbreviated FFI. An hereditary prion disease characterized by disrupted sleep (insomnia), motor abnormalities (myoclonus, ataxia, dysarthria, dysphagia, and pyramidal signs), and hyperactivation of the autonomic nervous system. Due to a missense mutation at codon 178 of the prion protein gene on chromosome 20. A sporadic form of fatal insomnia is also known.

  • Lumbar radiculopathy

    Nerve irritation caused by damage to the discs between the vertebrae. Damage to the disc occurs because of degeneration (“wear and tear”) of the outer ring of the disc, traumatic injury, or both. As a result, the central softer portion of the disc can rupture (herniate) through the outer ring of the disc and abut […]