ALA: 1. Alpha-linolenic acid 2.Aminolevulinic acid, a naturally occurring chemical in the body that is converted to protoporphyrin IX, a light-sensitive compound. Aminolevulinic acid has been used in the photodynamic therapy of skin precancer and cancer. In this therapy topical treatment with forms of ALA sensitizes the tissues to light. Then a special blue or red light depending upon the form of ALA used is then shone on the tissue to be treated. The reaction of the ALA treated tissues to the light source can kill cells.
- Alagille syndrome
Alagille syndrome: Also known as arteriohepatic dysplasia, this is a genetic disorder characterized by jaundice in the newborn period, liver disease with cholestasis, peripheral pulmonic stenosis and unusual face. Children with Alagille syndrome usually present with jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes) in the newborn period. Cholestasis (stagnant flow of bile […]
Alanine: An amino acid, one of the 20 building blocks of protein. It is not essential to the diet, as it can be made by the body from other substances. Alanine was discovered in protein in 1875. Symbol: Ala.
- Alanine aminotransferase (ALT)
Alanine aminotransferase (ALT): An enzyme that is normally present in liver and heart cells. ALT is released into blood when the liver or heart is damaged. The blood ALT levels are thus elevated with liver damage (for example, from viral hepatitis) or with an insult to the heart (for example, from a heart attack). Some […]
- Alarm clock headache
Alarm clock headache: A relatively rare form of headache in which the patient is awakened from sleep at the same time every night, usually between 1 and 3 o’clock, with intense dull or throbbing pain over the whole head. Each episode may last up to 1 hour and be associated with nausea. Similar episodes may […]
Alb-: Prefix from the Latin “albus” meaning “white.” As in albino and albinism. The term “albino” was first applied by the Portuguese to “white” people they encountered in West Africa. Those “white” people probably had partial or complete albinism, an inherited lack of pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes.