An inherited disorder characterized by a lack of the alpha-1 antitrypsin protease inhibitor. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency leads to damage of various organs, especially the lung and liver. Symptoms may become apparent at a very early age or anytime later, manifesting as shortness of breath due to emphysema or as liver symptoms such as jaundice, fatigue, fluid in the abdomen, mental changes, or gastrointestinal bleeding. Treatment options include, for lung disease, replacement of the missing alpha-1 antitrypsin. Avoidance of smoking and of other lung irritants is an important part of management. Treatment of the liver disease is liver transplant. Also known as protease inhibitor 1 deficiency.
Alpha-ethltryptamine: An illicit hallucinogenic drug related to tryptamine. Street names for alpha-ethyltryptamine include: Alpha-ET; ET; Love pearls; Trip (also refers to LSD). Many agents in the class of tryptamines are hallucinogenic substances that exist naturally in some plants, fungi, and animals, but also can be produced synthetically. These hallucinogens have been placed in Schedule I […]
- Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)
Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP): AFP is a plasma protein that is normally produced by the fetus. It serves as the basis for some valuable tests. AFP is manufactured principally in the fetus’s liver and gastrointestinal (GI) tract besides the yolk sac, a structure temporarily present during embryonic development. The AFP level is typically high in the fetus’s […]
- Alpha-glucosidase inhibitor
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitor: A class of oral medications for type 2 diabetes that decrease the absorption of carbohydrates from the intestine, resulting in a slower and lower rise in blood glucose throughout the day, especially right after meals. Before carbohydrates are absorbed from food, they must be broken down into smaller sugar particles like glucose by […]
- Alpha-linolenic acid
Alpha-linolenic acid: An essential fatty acid found in flaxseed oil, canola oil and walnuts. Abbreviated ALA.
Alpha-synuclein: One in a family of structurally related proteins that are prominently expressed in the central nervous system. Aggregated alpha-synuclein proteins form brain lesions that are hallmarks of some neurodegenerative diseases (synucleinopathies). The gene for alpha-synuclein, which is called SNCA, is on chromosome 4q21. Defects in this protein are believed to be related to the […]