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    Specialized chemical messenger (eg, acetylcholine, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin) that sends a message from one nerve cell to another. Most neurotransmitters play different roles throughout the body, many of which are not yet known.


The neurotransmitter substance at cholinergic synapses, which causes cardiac inhibition, vasodilation, gastrointestinal peristalsis, and other parasympathetic effects. It is liberated from preganglionic and postganglionic endings of parasympathetic fibers and from preganglionic fibers of the sympathetic as a result of nerve injuries, whereupon it acts as a transmitter on the effector organ; it is hydrolyzed into choline and acetic acid by acetylcholinesterase before a second impulse may be transmitted.

A neurotransmitter that works in an axis with serotonin.

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

Tissue that conveys sensation, temperature, position information to the brain.

Fundamental structural unit of all life. The cell consists primarily of an outer plasma membrane, which separates it from the environment; the genetic material (DNA), which encodes heritable information for the maintainance of life; and the cytoplasm, a heterogeneous assemblage of ions, molecules, and fluid.

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).


Neural tube defect
Type of birth defect, such as spina bifida, that results from failure of the spinal cord or brain to develop normally in a fetus.

Pain in distribution of nerve or nerves.

Neuralgic amyotrophy
See 'Brachial neuritis'.

Neuramate is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): meprobamate.

Inflammation of a nerve or nerves.

Neuro-electric acupuncture
(evidence-based acupuncture, physiologic acupuncture)|Subject of Beyond Yin and Yang|How Acupuncture Really Works (Warren H. Green, Inc., 1994), by George A. Ulett, M.D., Ph.D. Neuro-electric acupuncture is a nonvitalistic form of electroacupuncture.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP(TM), neurolinguistics)
Quasi-spiritual behavior-modification (or "performance psychology") technique whose crux is "modelling," or "NLP modelling"|imitating the behavior of high achievers. Richard Bandler and John Grinder initially formulated NLP in 1975, reputedly duplicating the "magical results" of several top communicators and therapists. (These included Milton H. Erickson, M.D., the originator of Ericksonian Hypnosis.) Advanced Neuro Dynamics, Inc., in Honolulu, Hawaii, has promoted a style of NLP that "recognizes the importance of the human spirit and its connection with the mind and body." Pure NLP(TM) is the brand of NLP promoted by The Society of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

An physician who specializes in treating patients with brain tumors, and/or the consequences of cancer upon the nervous system. The physician may be a trained neurologist, oncologist or neurosurgeon.

The branch of medicine concerned with the direct and indirect effects of neoplasms on the nervous system, neuromuscular junction, and muscle.

That branch of medicine concerned with the neurological aspects of the visual apparatus.

Physician who specializes in ear and hearing problems affecting the acoustic nerve.

The branch of neurology and anatomy that is concerned with nerve cells and the nervous system, including the brain.

Neurocardiogenic Syncope (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Dysautonomia)
Dysfunction of the autonomic nervous syndrome. Causes symptoms of fatigue, dizziness, increased heart rate, and other symptoms. See syncope.

The region of the embryo that eventually develops into the nervous system.

An inherited disorder that causes dark spots on the skin and tumors of the skin, peripheral, optic and acoustic nerves.

Shortage of glucose in the nerve cells of the brain. Since the brain cells depends upon glucose as their main fuel, low blood sugars can quickly result in malfunction of the brain (with change in mental function, and possible loss of consciousness or seizures). In patients with Hypoglycemia Unawareness, where the patient may not recognize low sugar levels because other symptoms such as sweating, tremor, and rapid heart rate, are absent, the first symptoms are neuroglycopenic -- namely, loss of mental functioning.

Neurolite is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): technetium tc-99m bicisate kit.

Neurologic Oncology
The study and treatment of cancers of the brain and nervous system.

The medical science that deals with the nervous system and disorders affecting it.

A physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of thenervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and nerve centers.

The branch of medicine that pertains to the nervous system.

A benign but sometimes painful tumor growing on a nerve.

Neuromuscular development
The development of the nervous and muscular systems.

A cell specialized to conduct and generate electrical impulses and to carry information from one part of the brain to another.

Neuron doctrine
The idea that nerve cells are independent biological units.

Neurontin is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): gabapentin.

A pathologist who establishes the diagnosis in diseases of the nervous system by careful microscopic examination of the tissue.

A disease of the nervous system. The three major forms in people with diabetes are peripheral neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, and mononeuropathy. The most common form is peripheral neuropathy, which affects mainly the legs and feet.

A branch of health science combining neurology and psychiatry.

A psychologist who specializes in ailments of the mind and mental processes caused by disease of the nervous system.

A radiologist who specializes in the use of radioactive substances, x-rays and scanning devices for the diagnosis of diseases of the nervous system.

The scientific study of the nervous system.

Physician who specializes in surgery of the nervous system.

Neurotic disorder
A mental disorder in which the predominant disturbance is a distressing symptom or group of symptoms that one considers unacceptable and alien to one's personality. There is no marked loss of reality testing ; behavior does not actively violate gross social norms, although it may be quite disabling. The disturbance is relatively enduring or recurrent without treatment and is not limited to a mild transitory reaction to stress. There is no demonstrable organic etiology.

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).


Nervous system
The system of cells, tissues and organs that regulates the body's responses to internal and external stimuli. In vertebrae it consists of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, ganglia and parts of the receptor and effector organs.

The medical specialty which focuses on the treatment of disorders of the kidneys.

Focusing defect in which the eye is overpowered. Light rays coming from a distant object are brought to focus before reaching the retina. Requires a minus lens correction to "weaken" the eye optically and permit clear distance vision.

Nystagmus is a rhythmic, repetitive, oscillatory eye movement. It may occur as a result of vestibular problems, as a result of visual problems, or as a result of certain brain stem or cerebellar abnormalities. Vestibular Nystagmus is characterized by a slow migration of the eyes in the wrong direction, followed by a sudden jerking back response.

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


Non-insulin-dependent diabetes
A condition in which the body either makes too little insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it makes to convert blood glucose to energy. Type 2 diabetes may be controlled with diet, exercise, and weight loss, or may require oral medications and/or insulin injections.

Proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals provided by food and necessary for growth and the maintenance of life.

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder of sleep regulation that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness. The four classic symptoms are excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations.

Natural Medicine

Nuclear Medicine
Imaging technique where small amounts of radioactive substances (radio-isotopes) are injected into a patient to trace disease processes. Sometimes the radioactive substance may concentrate directly in an organ/tissue, but in most cases it has to be attached to a carrier molecule with a "preference" for a certain tissue or disease process. The concentrated radioactivity may be detected by a so-called gamma camera as typical "hot spots".

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