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    This refers to neuronal or neurologic activity caused by neurotransmitters such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine.


Chemical substances that carry impulses from one nerve cell to another; found in the space (synapse) that separates the transmitting neuron's terminal (axon) from the receiving neuron's terminal (dendrite).

One of two chemicals (the other is norepinephrine) released by the adrenal gland that increases the speed and force of heart beats. It dilates the airways to improve breathing and narrows blood vessels in the skin and intestine so that an increased flow of blood reaches the muscles and allows them to cope with the demands of exercise.

A hormone produced by the adrenal glands that also acts as a neurotransmitter for nerve cells. Part of the fight-or-flight response.

A neurotransmitter that works in an axis with serotonin.


Adrenal Cancers
Tumors or cancer of the adrenal gland.

Adrenal cortex
The outer portion of the adrenal gland that secretes hormones that are vital to the body.

Adrenal Cortex Effects
The outer layer of the adrenal gland. It secretes mineralocorticoids, androgens, and glucocorticoids.

Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms
Tumors or cancers of the cortex of the adrenal gland.

Adrenal Cortical Rest Tumor
A rare, usually benign, ovarian tumor thought to be derived from embryonic rest cells of the adrenals. This tumor causes various degrees of masculinization.

Adrenal failure
A condition in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough of the adrenal hormones that control important functions such as blood pressure. The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys. The adrenal is made up of an outer layer (the cortex) and an inner portion (the medulla). The adrenal glands produce hormones that help control the heart rate, blood pressure, the way the body uses food, and other vital functions. The adrenal cortex secretes steroid (cortisone-related) hormones and mineralocortoids that regulate the levels of minerals such as sodium and potassium in the blood.

Adrenal Fasciculatas
The wide middle zone of the adrenal cortex. This zone consists of large lipid-laden cells radially arranged in parallel cords. It converts pregnenolone to cortisol by a series of enzymatically regulated steps. A small amount of corticosterone is formed as a by-product of cortisol synthesis.

Adrenal gland
The pair of adrenal glands are located on top of both kidneys. Adrenal glands work hand-in-hand with the hypothalamus and pituitary gland.

Adrenal glands
Two glands, one on top of each kidney, which produce a variety of hormones that affect nearly every body system.

Adrenal Glands
Paired glands situated in the retroperitoneal tissues at the superior pole of each kidney.

Adrenal Glomerulosas
The narrow subcapsular outer zone of the adrenal cortex. This zone consists of granular cells which stain deeply and are arranged in rounded groups. It converts pregnenolone to aldosterone by a series of enzymatically regulated steps.

Adrenal Hyperplasia, Congenital
A group of syndromes caused by inherited defects in cortisol (HYDROCORTISONE) and, in some types, ALDOSTERONE biosynthesis. Each of the several types that occur, such as simple virilizing forms (adrenogenital syndrome), salt-wasting forms, and virilizing hypertension forms may be caused by a variety of defects. Defects in 21-hydroxylase (STEROID 21-MONOOXYGENASE) are most common. Other defects occur in the enzymes 11 beta-hydroxylase (STEROID 11 BETA-MONOOXYGENASE), 17 alpha-hydroxylase (STEROID 17 ALPHA-MONOOXYGENASE), or 3-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3-HYDROXYSTEROID DEHYDROGENASES).

Adrenal medulla
"The inner portion of adrenal gland. (The outer portion is the adrenal cortex). The adrenal medulla makes epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline). Epinephrine is secreted in response to low blood levels of glucose as well as exercise and stress; it causes the breakdown of the storage product glycogen to the sugar glucose in the liver, facilitates the release of fatty acids from adipose (fat) tissue, causes dilation (widening) of the small arteries within muscle and increases the output of the heart. Norepinephrine secreted by the adrenal gland acts to narrow blood vessels and raise blood pressure. Underfunction of the adrenal medulla is virtually unknown. However, a tumor called a pheochromocytoma produces norepinephrine and epinephrine and is equivalent to overfunction of the adrenal medulla. Pheochromocytomas arise within the adrenal medulla or elsewhere in the sympathetic nervous system. They typically cause hypertension (high blood pressure) that may be paroxysmal (sharply episodic) with attacks of headaches, feelings of apprehension, sweating, flushing of the face, nausea and vomiting, palpitations and tingling of the extremities (the arms and legs)."

Adrenal Medullas
The inner part of the adrenal gland; it synthesizes, stores and releases catecholamines.

Adrenal Reticularis
The inner zone of the adrenal cortex. This zone consists of an anastomosing network of cells which resemble those of the zona fasciculata except for the fact that they contain less lipid. The mitochondria are elongated and contain a mixture of tubular and flattened cristae.

Excision of one or both adrenal glands. (From Dorland, 28th ed)

Or epinephrine. One of two chemicals (the other is norepinephrine) released by the adrenal gland that increases the speed and force of heartbeats. It dilates the airways to improve breathing and narrows blood vessels in the skin and intestine so that an increased flow of blood reaches the muscles and allows them to cope with the demands of exercise.

Adrenaline Hydrochloride
The active sympathomimetic hormone from the adrenal medulla in most species. It stimulates both the alpha- and beta- adrenergic systems, causes systemic vasoconstriction and gastrointestinal relaxation, stimulates the heart, and dilates bronchi and cerebral vessels. It is used in asthma and cardiac failure and to delay absorption of local anesthetics.

Adrenalitis, Meningococcal Hemorrhagic
A condition characterized by the abrupt onset of fever, petechiae, ARTHRALGIA, weakness, and myalgias followed by acute hemorrhagic necrosis of the adrenal glands and severe cardiovascular dysfunction. The syndrome is most often associated with meningococcal septicemia but may occur as a complication of sepsis caused by other organisms, including certain STREPTOCOCCUS species. This disorder may be associated with a prior history of SPLENECTOMY. (From J Emerg Med 1998 Jul-Aug;16(4):643-7)

Located on the top of the kidneys, these glands that are responsible for the production of stress-related hormones such as cortisol, DHEA, and adrenaline.

Adrenergic Agents
Drugs that act on adrenergic receptors or affect the life cycle of adrenergic transmitters. Included here are adrenergic agonists and antagonists and agents that affect the synthesis, storage, uptake, metabolism, or release of adrenergic transmitters.

Adrenergic Agonists
Drugs that bind to and activate adrenergic receptors.

Adrenergic alpha 1 Receptors
A subclass of alpha-adrenergic receptors (RECEPTORS, ADRENERGIC, ALPHA). alpha-1 Adrenergic receptors can be pharmacologically discriminated, e.g., by their high affinity for the agonist phenylephrine and the antagonist prazosin. They are widespread, with clinically important concentrations in the liver, the heart, vascular, intestinal, and genitourinary smooth muscle, and the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Adrenergic alpha 2 Receptors
A subclass of alpha-adrenergic receptors (RECEPTORS, ADRENERGIC, ALPHA). alpha-2 Adrenergic receptors can be pharmacologically discriminated, e.g., by their high affinity for the agonist clonidine and the antagonist yohimbine. They are found on pancreatic beta cells, platelets, and vascular smooth muscle, as well as both pre- and postsynaptically in the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Adrenergic alpha Agonist
Drugs that selectively bind to and activate alpha adrenergic receptors.

Adrenergic alpha-Receptor Blockaders
Drugs that bind to but do not activate alpha-adrenergic receptors thereby blocking the actions of endogenous or exogenous adrenergic agonists. Adrenergic alpha-antagonists are used in the treatment of hypertension, vasospasm, peripheral vascular disease, shock, and pheochromocytoma.

Adrenergic alpha-Receptors
One of the two major pharmacological subdivisions of adrenergic receptors. The alpha-beta distinction was originally based on cellular effects of receptor activation but now relies on the relative affinities for certain synthetic ligands. alpha-Adrenergic receptors are further subdivided into several subclasses based on studies of endogenous and cloned receptors.

Adrenergic Antagonists
Drugs that bind to but do not activate adrenergic receptors. Adrenergic antagonists block the actions of the endogenous adrenergic transmitters epinephrine and norepinephrine.

Adrenergic beta 1 Receptors
A subclass of beta-adrenergic receptors (RECEPTORS, ADRENERGIC, BETA). beta-1 Adrenergic receptors are equally sensitive to epinephrine and norepinephrine and bind the agonist dobutamine and the antagonist metoprolol with high affinity. They are found in the heart, juxtaglomerular cells, and in the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Adrenergic beta 2 Receptors
A subclass of beta-adrenergic receptors (RECEPTORS, ADRENERGIC, BETA). beta-2 Adrenergic receptors are more sensitive to epinephrine than to norepinephrine and have a high affinity for the agonist terbutaline. They are widespread, with clinically important roles in skeletal muscle, liver, and vascular, bronchial, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary smooth muscle.

Adrenergic beta 3 Receptors
A subclass of beta-adrenergic receptors (RECEPTORS, ADRENERGIC, BETA). beta-3 Adrenergic receptors are the predominant beta-adrenergic receptor type expressed in white and brown ADIPOCYTES and are involved in modulating ENERGY METABOLISM and THERMOGENESIS.

Adrenergic beta Agonists
Drugs that selectively bind to and activate beta-adrenergic receptors.

Adrenergic beta Antagonists
Drugs that bind to but do not activate beta-adrenergic receptors thereby blocking the actions of beta-adrenergic agonists. Adrenergic beta-antagonists are used for treatment of hypertension, cardiac arrythmias, angina pectoris, glaucoma, migraine headaches, and anxiety.

Adrenergic beta-Receptors
One of the two major pharmacologically defined classes of adrenergic receptors. The alpha-beta distinction was originally based on the cellular effects of receptor activation but now relies on the relative affinities for characteristic synthetic ligands. Beta adrenergic receptors are further subdivided based on information from endogenous and cloned receptors.

Adrenergic Fibers
Nerve fibers liberating catecholamines at a synapse after an impulse.

Adrenergic Receptor
Cell-surface proteins that bind epinephrine and/or norepinephrine with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes. The two major classes of adrenergic receptors, alpha and beta, were originally discriminated based on their cellular actions but now are distinguished by their relative affinity for characteristic synthetic ligands. Adrenergic receptors may also be classified according to the subtypes of G-proteins with which they bind; this scheme does not respect the alpha-beta distinction.

Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors
Drugs that block the transport of adrenergic transmitters into axon terminals or into storage vesicles within terminals. The tricyclic antidepressants (ANTIDEPRESSIVE AGENTS, TRICYCLIC) and amphetamines are among the therapeutically important drugs that may act via inhibition of adrenergic transport. Many of these drugs also block transport of serotonin.

Pigment obtained by the oxidation of epinephrine.

Adrenocortical carcinoma
Adrenocortical carcinoma is a carcinoma of the cortex (outer layer) of the adrenal gland. While most tumors of the adrenal cortex are benign (adenomas) and only occasionally cause Cushing's syndrome, the malignant form makes up about 3% of all cortical tumors and requires surgery and sometimes chemotherapy. Excess cortisol production may require suppression with ketoconazole or metyrapone. Production of aldosterone or androgens by carcinomas is extremely rare.

Adrenocortical hormone
One of the hormones, for example cortisol, secreted not from the internal medulla but from the external cortex of the bilateral adrenocortical glands.

Adrenocorticotropic Hormone, Inappropriate Secretion
Inappropriate secretion of anterior pituitary gland hormones. The most common hormones involved in over-secretion are SOMATOTROPIN (which may cause ACROMEGALY) and PROLACTIN (which results in HYPERPROLACTINEMIA). THYROTROPIN; luteinizing hormone (LH); CORTICOTROPIN; and FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE may also be secreted at inappropriate levels. Hypersecretion syndromes are frequently associated with the presence of a pituitary ADENOMA (see also PITUITARY NEOPLASMS).

Adrenocortiotrophic hormone
The hormone released from the pituitary gland. It interacts with receptors on the adrenal gland to begin the process of cortisol and DHEA production. ACTH uses the second messenger cyclic AMP to signal target cells in the adrenal gland.

An iron-sulfur protein which serves as an electron carrier in enzymatic steroid hydroxylation reactions in adrenal cortex mitochondria. The electron transport system which catalyzes this reaction consists of adrenodoxin reductase, NADP, adrenodoxin, and cytochrome P-450.

Adrenodoxin Reductase
An enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation and reduction of ferredoxin or adrenodoxin in the presence of NADP. EC

A rare genetic (inherited) disorder characterized by the breakdown or loss of the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells in the brain and progressive dysfunction of the adrenal gland. Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is one of a group of genetic disorders called the leukodystrophies that cause damage to the myelin sheath of the nerve fibers in the brain. The myelin sheath is a fatty covering which acts as an electrical insulator.

Adrenoleukodystrophy, X-linked
An X-linked recessive leukodystrophy characterized by an abnormal accumulation of saturated very long chain fatty acids in LYSOSOMES. It primarily affects the white matter of the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM and the ADRENAL CORTEX. This disorder results from defective beta-oxidation and occurs almost exclusively in males and has multiple phenotypes. Relatively common clinical features include the childhood onset of ATAXIA; NEUROBEHAVIORAL MANIFESTATIONS; HYPERPIGMENTATION; adrenal insufficiency; SEIZURES; MUSCLE SPASTICITY; and DEMENTIA. A related condition, adrenomyeloneuropathy, usually has its onset in adult life and is characterized by spastic paraparesis, adrenal insufficiency, neuropathy, and HYPOGONADISM. (From Neuropediatrics 1998 Feb;29(1):3-13; Menkes, Textbook of Child Neurology, 5th ed, p188) The defective gene for this disorder has been localized to the long arm of the X chromosome (Xq28).

A naturally occurring glucocorticoid. It has been used in replacement therapy for adrenal insufficiency and as an anti-inflammatory agent. Cortisone itself is inactive. It is converted in the liver to the active metabolite HYDROCORTISONE. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p726)


The loss of a previously possessed ability to engage in arithmetic calculation.

Acculturation difficulty
A problem stemming from an inability to appropriately adapt to a different culture or environment. The problem is not based on any coexisting mental disorder.

Acting out
This is the process of expressing unconscious emotional conflicts or feelings via actions rather than words. The person is not consciously aware of the meaning or etiology of such acts. Acting out may be harmful or, in controlled situations, therapeutic (e.g., children's play therapy).

The realization of one's full potential - intellectual, psychological, physical, etc.

The inability to perform rapid alternating movements of one or more of the extremities. This task is sometimes requested by physicians of patients during physical examinations to determine if there exists neurological problems.


This word is used to described observable behavior that represents the expression of a subjectively experienced feeling state (emotion). Common examples of affect are sadness, fear, joy, and anger. The normal range of expressed affect varies considerably between different cultures and even within the same culture. Types of affect include: euthymic, irritable, constricted; blunted; flat; inappropriate, and labile.

Affective disorders
Refers to disorders of mood. Examples would include Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthymia, Depressive Disorder, N.O.S., Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood, Bipolar Disorder...

Age-associated memory impairment (AAMI)
The mild disturbance in memory function that occurs normally with aging; benign senescent forgetfulness. Such lapses in memory are lately humorously referred to as representing "a senior moment".

Failure to recognize or identify objects despite intact sensory function; This may be seen in dementia of various types. An example would be the failure of someone to recognize a paper clip placed in their hand while keeping their eyes closed.

Agonist medication
A chemical entity that is not naturally occuring within the body which acts upon a receptor and is capable of producing the maximal effect that can be produced by stimulating that receptor. A partial agonist is capable only of producing less than the maximal effect even when given in a concentration sufficient to bind with all available receptors.

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