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 enzymes in the small intestine. One of the enzymes involved in breaking down carbohydrates is called alpha glucosidase. By inhibiting this enzyme, carbohydrates are not broken down as efficiently and glucose absorption is delayed. The alpha-glucosidase inhibitors include Precose (acarbose) and Glyset (miglitol).
- 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 […]
- Alport syndrome
Alport syndrome: A hereditary condition characterized by kidney disease, deafness, and sometimes eye defects. Alport syndrome involves inflammation of the kidney (nephritis), often progressing to kidney failure, and sensory nerve hearing loss. Progression to kidney failure is gradual and usually occurs in males before 50 years of age.
Alprazolam: A benzodiazepine sedative that causes dose-related depression of the central nervous system. Alprazolam is useful in treating anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, and muscle spasms. The brand name is Xanax. A generic version is available.
ALPS: Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome. ALPS is caused by genetic mutation most often in the FAS gene. It is characterized by non-malignant proliferations of lymphoid tissue resulting in enlargement of lymph nodes and liver and sometimes the spleen- which can result in hypersplenism- a condition in which a large spleen too actively filters the blood, lowering […]