The genus of the class of Sporazoa that includes the parasite that causes malaria. Plasmodium is a type of protozoa, a single-celled organism that is able to divide only within a host cell. The main types of Plasmodium are P. falciparum, the species that causes falciparum malaria, the most dangerous type of malaria; P. malariae, the species that causes quartan malaria; P. ovale, a species found primarily in east and central Africa that causes ovale malaria; and P. vivax, the species that causes vivax malaria, which tends to be milder than falciparum malaria.
- Plastic surgeon
A surgeon who specializes in reducing scarring or disfigurement that may occur as a result of accidents, birth defects, or treatment for diseases, such as melanoma. Many plastic surgeons also perform cosmetic surgery that is unrelated to medical conditions.
- Plastic surgery
A surgical specialty that is dedicated to reconstruction of facial and body defects due to birth disorders, trauma, burns, and disease. Plastic surgery is also involved with the enhancement of the appearance of a person through cosmetic surgery.
- Plasticity, brain
The phenomenon of change and learning in the adult brain. Also known as brain malleability.
An irregular, disc-shaped element in the blood that assists in blood clotting. During normal blood clotting, the platelets clump together (aggregate). Although platelets are often classed as blood cells, they are actually fragments of large bone marrow cells called megakaryocytes.
- Platelet aggregation
The clumping together of platelets in the blood. Platelet aggregation is part of the sequence of events leading to the formation of a thrombus (clot).