Alkaloid
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  Alkaloid



Alkaloid

   A member of a large group of chemicals that are made by plants and have nitrogen in them. Many alkaloids possess potent pharmacologic effects. The alkaloids include cocaine, nicotine, strychnine, piperine, caffeine, morphine, pilocarpine, atropine, methamphetamine, mescaline, ephedrine, and tryptamine.

RELATED TERMS
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Cocaine
Cocaine, from the leaves of the coca plant, is one of the most powerfully addictive drugs. Cocaine is distributed on the street in two main forms: cocaine hydrochloride, a white crystalline powder that can be snorted or dissolved in water and injected; and crack cocaine hydrochloride that has been processed with ammonia or baking soda and water into a freebase cocaine. These chips, chunks, or rocks can be smoked. Heavy use of cocaine may produce hallucinations, paranoia, aggression, insomnia and depression. Cocaine in powder-form is also called coke, snow, nose candy, flake, blow, big C, lady, white and snowbirds.

Nicotine
Nicotine is a substance found in cigarettes and considered an addictive drug. It causes changes in the brain that make people want to use it more and more. In addition, addictive drugs cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Caffeine
A stimulating drug found in coffee, tea, and cola beverages. After a headache begins, caffeine may be helpful in aborting headaches, so it is widely used in combination drugs prescribed for relief of headache. Paradoxically, using caffeine to excess or too rapid withdrawal from caffeine, may cause headaches in some individuals.

Atropine
A drug obtained from belladonna that is administered via injection, eye drops, or in oral form to relax muscles by inhibiting nerve responses. Used to dilate the pupils and as an antispasmodic. From the Greek goddess Atropos, the oldest and ugliest of three sisters, the Fates, who controlled the destiny of men. Her youngest sister Klotho placed the gold and silver thread of life onto the spindle of the loom. The middle sister Lachesis spun the thread. And Atropos cut it to bring the life of a person on Earth to a close.

Methamphetamine
A central nervous system stimulant similar to amphetamine sulfate but more potent. It is a member of the amphetamine class and is preferred by habitual amphetamine users. In intravenous form, it produces an almost instantaneous onset of the drug's effect. Slang names include "meth," "speed," and "crystal."

Ephedrine
An alpha- and beta-adrenergic agonist that may also enhance release of norepinephrine. It has been used in the treatment of several disorders including asthma, heart failure, rhinitis, and urinary incontinence, and for its central nervous system stimulatory effects in the treatment of narcolepsy and depression. It has become less extensively used with the advent of more selective agonists.



SIMILAR TERMS
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Alkadienes
Acyclic branched or unbranched hydrocarbons having two carbon-carbon double bonds.

Alkalescens-Dispar Group
A species of gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria (GRAM-NEGATIVE FACULTATIVELY ANEROBIC RODS) commonly found in the lower part of the intestine of warm-blooded animals. It is usually nonpathogenic, but some strains are known to produce DIARRHEA and pyogenic infections.

Alkali Metals
Metals that constitute group 1(formerly group Ia) of the periodic table. They are the most strongly electropositive of the metals. Note that HYDROGEN is not considered an alkali metal even though it falls under the group 1 heading in the periodic table.

Alkaline Comet Assays
A genotoxicological technique for measuring DNA damage in an individual cell using single-cell gel electrophoresis. Cell DNA fragments assume a ""comet with tail"" formation on electrophoresis and are detected with an image analysis system. Alkaline assay conditions facilitate sensitive detection of single-strand damage.

Alkaline Earth Metals
Metals that constitute the group 2 (formerly group IIa) of the periodic table.

Alkaline Hematin D 575
Chloro(7,12-diethenyl-3,8,13,17-tetramethyl-21H,23H-porphine-2,18-dipropanoato(4-)-N(21),N(22),N(23),N(24)) ferrate(2-) dihydrogen.

Alkaline phosphatase
An enzyme made in the liver, bone, and the placenta and normally present in high concentrations in growing bone and in bile. Alkaline phosphatase is released into the blood during injury and during such normal activities as bone growth and pregnancy. It is measured in a routine blood test. Abnormally high blood levels of alkaline phosphatase may indicate disease in bone or liver, bile duct obstruction, or certain malignancies. The enzyme is often elevated in the leukemic cells in chronic myelogenous leukemia. Abnormally low levels of alkaline phosphatase is a genetic condition called hypophosphatasia which results in bone deformities. The enzyme is termed alkaline phosphatase because it works under alkaline (non-acidic) conditions, as opposed to acid phosphatase.

Alkaline Phosphatase
An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. EC 3.1.3.1.

Alkaline Proteinase, Tritirachium
An enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of keratin, and of other proteins with subtilisin-like specificity. It hydrolyses peptide amides. Endopeptidase K is from the mold Tritirachium album Limber. (Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992) EC 3.4.21.64.

Alkaloid, vinca
See: Vinca alkaloid.

Alkaloids, Belladonna
Alkaloids obtained from various plants, especially the deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), variety acuminata; atropine, hyoscyamine and scopolamine are classical, specific antimuscarinic agents with many pharmacologic actions; used mainly as antispasmodics.

Alkaloids, Berberine
A group of related plant alkaloids that contain the BERBERINE heterocyclic ring structure.

Alkaloids, Cephalotaxus
Substances isolated from the seeds of Cephalotaxus harringtonia, var. drupacea. They are esters of the alkaloid cephalotaxine and may be effective as antineoplastic agents.

Alkaloids, Cevane
Structurally-related alkaloids that contain the cevane carbon backbone.

Alkaloids, Cinchona
Alkaloids extracted from various species of Cinchona.

Alkaloids, Ergot
Alkaloids originally isolated from the ergot fungus Claviceps purpurea (Hypocreaceae). They include compounds that are structurally related to ergoline (ERGOLINES) and ERGOTAMINE (ERGOTAMINES). Many of the ergot alkaloids act as alpha-adrenergic antagonists.

Alkaloids, Indole
Group of alkaloids containing a benzylpyrrole group (derived from TRYPTOPHAN)

Alkaloids, Rauwolfia
Alkaloids from Rauwolfia serpentina Benth and other species. The prototype is RESERPINE, which is a depleter of catecholamines and serotonin from the sympathetic postganglionic fibers and brain areas. They have been used in hypertension and psychoses despite their wide range of potentially adverse effects.

Alkaloids, Salsoline
Tetrahydroisoquinolinol alkaloids in both dextro and levo forms, originally from Salsola richteri; may be hypotensive due to inhibition of certain brain enzymes; may be formed de novo in brain from dopamine during alcoholism.

Alkaloids, Senecio
Alkaloids found in various species of Senecio and other plants. There are at least ten different chemicals, many of them hepatotoxic, teratogenic, and carcinogenic. The plants may cause damage in grazing herds, but no longer have medical use.

Alkaloids, Solanum
Alkaloids, mainly tropanes, elaborated by plants of the family Solanaceae, including Atropa, Hyoscyamus, Mandragora, Nicotiana, Solanum, etc. Some act as cholinergic antagonists; most are very toxic; many are used medicinally.

Alkaloids, Veratrum
Alkaloids with powerful hypotensive effects isolated from American or European Hellebore (Veratrum viride Ait. Liliaceae and Veratrum album L. Liliaceae). They increase cholinergic and decrease adrenergic tone with appropriate side effects and at higher doses depress respiration and produce cardiac arrhythmias; only the ester alkaloids have been used as hypotensive agents in specific instances. They have been generally replaced by drugs with fewer adverse effects.

Alkaloids, Vinca
A class of alkaloids from the genus of apocyanaceous woody herbs including periwinkles. They are some of the most useful antineoplastic agents.

Alkaloids, Xanthine
Alkaloids, which contain xanthine as their nitrogenous base.

Alkalosis
A dangerous decrease in the normal acidity of the blood. There is too much base in the blood and body. This is a distinctly abnormal condition. It results from the accumulation of base or from the depletion of acid. The pH of the alkalotic body is above normal. Alkalosis can be caused by high altitudes, hyperventilation, and excessive vomiting. The opposite of alkalosis is acidosis in which there is too low a pH due to excess acid or insufficient base in the body.

Alkalosis, Respiratory
A state due to excess loss of carbon dioxide from the body. (Dorland, 27th ed)

Alkan Hastanesi
The Alkan Hastanesi is a hospital in Ankara, Turkey.

Alkanesulfonates
Organic esters or salts of sulfonic acid derivatives containing an aliphatic hydrocarbon radical.

Alkaptonuria
Due to deficiency of homogentisic acid oxidase with features of ochronosis - pigmentation of articular cartilage, early osteoarthritis and calcification of intervertebral discs. Urine turns dark on standing.



PREVIOUS AND NEXT TERMS
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Aleve
See: Naproxen.

Alexander disease
A slowly progressive and ultimately fatal brain disorder that most commonly occurs in children. The infantile form of the disease is characterized by megalencephaly (an abnormally large head), seizures, spasticity and developmental retardation. It leads to death usually within the first decade. Patients with the juvenile and adult forms of Alexander disease typically experience ataxia and spasticity and a more slowly progressive course. The classic hallmark of all forms of Alexander disease is the presence of Rosenthal fibers, abnormal inclusions in astrocytes that contain the intermediate filament protein GFAP. Mutations in the gene for GFAP (glial fibrillary acidic protein) cause Alexander disease, the first known example of a primary genetic disorder of astrocytes, one of the major cell types in the vertebrate CNS. The disease was first described by W. Stewart Alexander, a New Zealand pathologist, in 1949.

Algia
Word ending indicating pain, as in arthralgia (joint pain), cephalgia (headache), fibromyalgia, mastalgia (breast pain), myalgia (muscle pain), and neuralgia (nerve pain). Derived from the Greek algos meaning pain.

Alice Stewart
See: Stewart, Alice.

Alkaline phosphatase
An enzyme made in the liver, bone, and the placenta and normally present in high concentrations in growing bone and in bile. Alkaline phosphatase is released into the blood during injury and during such normal activities as bone growth and pregnancy. It is measured in a routine blood test. Abnormally high blood levels of alkaline phosphatase may indicate disease in bone or liver, bile duct obstruction, or certain malignancies. The enzyme is often elevated in the leukemic cells in chronic myelogenous leukemia. Abnormally low levels of alkaline phosphatase is a genetic condition called hypophosphatasia which results in bone deformities. The enzyme is termed alkaline phosphatase because it works under alkaline (non-acidic) conditions, as opposed to acid phosphatase.

Alkaloid

Alkaloid, vinca
See: Vinca alkaloid.

Alkalosis
A dangerous decrease in the normal acidity of the blood. There is too much base in the blood and body. This is a distinctly abnormal condition. It results from the accumulation of base or from the depletion of acid. The pH of the alkalotic body is above normal. Alkalosis can be caused by high altitudes, hyperventilation, and excessive vomiting. The opposite of alkalosis is acidosis in which there is too low a pH due to excess acid or insufficient base in the body.

Alkyl group
In chemistry, a group of atoms derived from an alkane (a hydrocarbon with no carbon-to-carbon multiple bonds) by the loss of a hydrogen atom.

ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia)
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia, also less often called acute lymphocytic leukemia. See: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Allele
An alternative form of a gene. One of the different forms of a gene that can exist at a single locus (spot on a chromosome). Also one of the different forms of any segment of a chromosome.

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