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Diseases » Multiple Sclerosis » Glossary
 

Glossary for Multiple Sclerosis

  • AIDS: A term given to HIV patients who have a low CD4 count (below 200) which means that they have low levels of a type of immune cell called T-cells. AIDS patients tend to develop opportunistic infections and cancers. Opportunistic infections are infections that would not normally affect a person with a healthy immune system. The HIV virus is a virus that attacks the body's immune system.
  • Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis: A rare neurological disorder where an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord occurs due to damage to the protective covering (myelin sheath) around the nerves.
  • Acute fulminant multiple sclerosis: Malignant Multiple Sclerosis, is a particularly aggressive form of the disease. Thankfully very rare, this highly aggressive form is defined by its swift and relentless decline to significant disability or even death, often within a few weeks or months after the onset of the initial attack. It is characterized by widespread and progressive cerebral white matter destruction or by severe pathological involvement of clinically strategic regions such as brainstem, resulting in bulbar paralysis.
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy: A rare disorder which has characteristic symptoms of Addison disease (adrenocortical insufficiency) and Schilder disease (cerebral sclerosis). Bronze skin, brain sclerosis and demyelination are the main symptoms.
  • Alcohol abuse: Excessive use of alcohol ranging from binge drinking to severe alcoholism
  • Alzheimer's Disease: Dementia-causing brain disease mostly in seniors and the elderly.
  • Amantadine -- Teratogenic Agent: There is strong evidence to indicate that exposure to Amantadine during pregnancy may have a teratogenic effect on the fetus. A teratogen is a substance that can cause birth defects. The likelihood and severity of defects may be affected by the level of exposure and the stage of pregnancy that the exposure occurred at.
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A motor neuron disease involving progressive degeneration and eventual destruction of the function of nerves that control voluntary movement.
  • Autoimmune diseases: A group of disorders in which the primary cause is the an inflammatory reaction caused by the body's own immune system attacking tissues
  • Balo's concentric sclerosis (rare variant of MS): Balo's Concentric Sclerosis is a rare demyelinating disorder characterized pathologically by concentric rings of alternating demyelinated and relatively myelin preserved white matter. The pathogenesis of the concentric lesion may be explained by periodic suppression of demyelination in a rapidly expanding area of inflammation, allowing remyelination or only transient incomplete demyelination to occur.
  • Behcet's Disease: Recurring inflammation of small blood vessels affecting various areas.
  • Bell's Palsy: A usually temporary facial nerve disorder where a part or all of the face becomes suddenly paralysed.
  • Benign Multiple Sclerosis: Describes a type of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in which few relapses occur. These relapses tend to produce sensory symptoms, which go away and leave very little or no residual damage or disability
  • Blindness: The inability to see out of the eyes
  • Blurred vision: Blurriness of vision or images.
  • Brain abscess: Pus accumulating into an abscess on the brain
  • Brain cancer: Cancer of the brain.
  • Brain conditions: Medical conditions that affect the brain
  • Central nervous system infections:
  • Cerebrovascular accident: Occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted and results in cell injury and death.
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Severe chronic fatigue disorder often following infection.
  • Chronic liver disease: Any form of chronic liver disease
  • Color blindness: Difficulty distinguishing colors; various subtypes
  • Constipation: Difficult or dry bowel movements
  • Coordination and balance conditions: Medical disorders of the systems of balance and coordination.
  • Deafness: Inability to hear sounds.
  • Death: The cessation of life
  • Demyelinating disorder: Any condition that is characterised by the destruction of the myelin sheaths of the nerves
  • Dexamethasone -- Teratogenic Agent: There is evidence to indicate that exposure to Dexamethasone during pregnancy may have a teratogenic effect on the fetus. A teratogen is a substance that can cause birth defects. The likelihood and severity of defects may be affected by the level of exposure and the stage of pregnancy that the exposure occurred at.
  • Diabetes: Failing or reduced ability of the body to handle sugars.
  • Diplopia: Double vision
  • Disseminated Sclerosis with Narcolepsy: A rare condition characterized by the association of narcolepsy with multiple sclerosis. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder where characterized by the classic tetrad of excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, hypnagogic hallucinations and sleep paralysis.
  • Double vision: Double vision
  • Dysarthria: Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder characterized by difficulty forming and expressing words that is the result of injury to or pathology of the nervous system.
  • Eye symptoms: Symptoms affecting the eye
  • Familial multiple sclerosis: MS destroys myelin, the fatty sheath that protects nerve fibers carrying message traffic from various muscles to and from the central nervous system. For reasons currently unknown, in some people the myelin sheath breaks down, resulting in destruction of the nerve fibers and the symptoms of MS.
  • Fibromyalgia: A difficult to diagnose condition affecting the muscles and/or joints
  • Friedreich ataxia: A progressive inherited neuromuscular disorder involving slow degeneration of the spinal cord and brain.
  • Gliosis: proliferation of astrocytes in the central nervous system in response to injury - resulting in scar formation.
  • Glossopharyngeal neuralgia: A condition which is characterized by sever pain that originates on the side of the throat and extends to the ear
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome: A rare progressive form of ascending polyneuropathy believed to be an autoimmune response.
  • HIV/AIDS: HIV is a sexually transmitted virus and AIDS is the progressive immune failure that HIV causes.
  • Hereditary ataxia: Ataxia may depend on hereditary disorders consisting of degeneration of the cerebellum and/or of the spine
  • Horner's syndrome: A rare condition caused by damage to the sympathetic nervous system that supply the eye on the affected side of the head.
  • Immune disorders: Disorders that affect the immune system
  • Impotence: Inability to attain or sustain an erection.
  • Interstitial cystitis: A rare condition involving inflammatory disease of the bladder which progresses slowly.
  • Leukodystrophy: A very rare group of metabolic diseases where chemical anomalies affect the development or maintenance of the protective coating around nerves (myelin sheath). The brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves may be involved. The range and severity of symptoms is determined by the chemical involved but one of the main symptoms for all the leukodystrophies is a gradual loss of previously acquired mental or physical skills.
  • Lupus: Autoimmune disease with numerous effects on various organs and linings.
  • Lyme disease: Lyme disease is an emerging infectious disease caused by at least three species of bacteria belonging to the genus Borrelia.
  • Marburg multiple sclerosis: Malignant Multiple Sclerosis, is a particularly aggressive form of the disease. Thankfully very rare, this highly aggressive form is defined by its swift and relentless decline to significant disability or even death, often within a few weeks or months after the onset of the initial attack. It is characterized by widespread and progressive cerebral white matter destruction or by severe pathological involvement of clinically strategic regions such as brainstem, resulting in bulbar paralysis.
  • Mental illness: Any psychological syndrome
  • Movement disorders: Medical conditions affecting the movement systems, such as walking or tremor.
  • Movement symptoms: Changes to movement or motor abilities
  • Multiple sclerosis -- ichthyosis -- factor 8 deficiency: A very rare syndrome characterized mainly by multiple sclerosis, scaly skin and a blood anomaly.
  • Muscle conditions: Any condition that affects the muscles of the body
  • Muscle spasm: A muscle spasm is a sudden, involuntary contraction of a muscle, a group of muscles, or a hollow organ, or a similarly sudden contraction of an orifice.
  • Muscle weakness: A condition which is characterized by an inability of the muscles to function at their full strenght
  • Musculoskeletal conditions: Medical conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system of bones, muscles and related structures.
  • Myoclonus: Sudden involuntary muscle twitching or movement.
  • Neck trauma: injuries to the neck
  • Nervous system conditions: Diseases affecting the nerves and the nervous system.
  • Neurogenic bladder: Problems with the nerves controlling the bladder and urination.
  • Neuromyelitis Optica: A demyelinating disorder associated with transverse myelopathy and optic neuritis
  • Neurosyphilis: A complication of untreated syphilis where the infection invades the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and causes a range of neurological symptoms. The condition can be life-threatening but some cases are asymptomatic. There are four forms of the condition: asymptomatic, meningovascular, tabes dorsalis and general paresis.
  • Nystagmus: Involuntary jerky eye movements
  • Ophthalmoplegia: A disorder that is characterised by the paralysis of the eye muscles
  • Optic atrophy: Dysfunction of the optic nerve which results in impaired vision. The disorder may be congenital or acquired. The rate and degree of atrophy is greatly variable depending on the cause.
  • Optic neuritis: Optic nerve inflammation
  • Optic-spinal form of multiple sclerosis: The optic-spinal form of multiple sclerosis (OSMS), characterized by recurrent involvement of optic nerve and spinal cord with rare brain magnetic resonance imaging lesions.
  • Overactive bladder/urinary incontinence:
  • Papillitis: A progressive eye disorder characterized by inflammation and degeneration of part of the optic nerve (optic disk) which can result in blindness and can affect only one, or both eyes. The degree of vision loss is variable.
  • Paralysis: The loss of motor function due to dysfunction of the spinal cord
  • Paresthesia: Pins-and-needles or burning-like sensations.
  • Pernicious anemia: Pernicious anemia is a blood disorder where the body is unable to use it properly use Vitamin B12 to make red blood cells.
  • Polyarteritis: A systemic inflammation of arteries, especially involving the kidneys and gut.
  • Polyarteritis nodosa: A serious blood vessel disease where small and medium-sized arteries become swollen and damaged and are unable to adequately supply oxygenated blood to various tissues in the body. The disease can occur in a mild form or a serious, rapidly fatal form.
  • Primary progressive multiple sclerosis: Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) is most commonly found in men.
  • Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy: Progressive degenerative condition of the brain.
  • Pruritus: The sensation of itch
  • Pseudotumoral form of multiple sclerosis: Pseudotumoral form of multiple sclerosis is a very rare form of multiple sclerosis.
  • Raynaud's phenomenon: Blood vessel constriction attacks affecting fingers and/or toes.
  • Red-green color blindness: Inability to distinguish red and green colors.
  • Relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis: During this form of the disease, patients tend to experience an attack or series of attacks (exacerbations) followed by complete or partial remission
  • Ruptured intervertebral disk: A herniated nucleus pulposus is a slipped disk along the spinal cord.
  • Sarcoidosis: Rare autoimmune disease usually affecting the lungs.
  • Schilder's Disease: Rare nerve myelin condition.
  • Sclerosis: The induration or hardening of tissues
  • Secondary chronic progressive multiple sclerosis: Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (spms) begins with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. The relapsing remitting (rrms) stage of the disease may persist for many years before the onset of secondary progressive ms.
  • Sensations: Changes to sensations or the senses
  • Sensorineural hearing loss: Hearing loss due to abnormal functioning or damage to the hearing nerve or the cochlea (inner ear) or the part of the brain that processes sound. The hearing problem may be present at birth or may be acquired through such things as aging, excessive noise or diseases such as meningitis.
  • Sjogren's Syndrome: Autoimmune disease damaging the eye tear ducts and other glands.
  • Spinal Cord Disorders: Any condition that affects the spinal cord
  • Spinal Cord Tumor: Cancer of the spinal cord or central nervous system.
  • Spinal conditions: Any condition that affects the spine
  • Spinal stenosis: Narrowing of the spinal cavity around the spinal cord.
  • Spinocerebellar Ataxia: A condition characterised by a failure of muscle coordination due to pathology arising in the spinocerebellar tract of the spinal cord
  • Stroke: Serious brain event from bleeding or blood clots.
  • Subdural hematoma: Type of bleeding in the brain
  • Syphilis: A sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacteria (Treponema pallidum). The condition is often asymptomatic in the early stages but one or more sores may be present in the early stages. Untreated syphilis usually results in remission of visible symptoms but further severe damage may occur to internal organs and other body tissues which can result in death.
  • Syringomyelia: Spinal cord cysts
  • Systemic disorders: Any condition that occurs in a system of the body
  • Thyroid disorders: Any disorder of the thyroid gland.
  • Transient Ischemic Attack: Temporary disturbance of blood supply to a restricted area of the brain, resulting in brief neurologic dysfunction that persists, by definition, for less than 24 hours.
  • Trigeminal neuralgia: Trigeminal neuralgia is a very painful inflammation of the nerve (trigeminal nerve) that delivers sensations to the face and "surface" of the eye.
  • Tropical Spastic Paraparesis: A form of spastic partial paralysis of the lower limbs which occurs in the tropics
  • Tunglang-Savage-Bellman syndrome: A very rare syndrome characterized mainly by hearing loss and abnormal salivary gland function.
  • Uveitis: A condition which is characterised by the inflammation of the uvea of the eye
  • Vague symptoms: Vague, unclear, mild or non-specific symptoms
  • Vision changes: Any change in vision or sight.
  • Vitamin B12 Deficiency: A deficiency of Vitamin B12 primarily causes anemias the body is unable to make sufficient quantities of normal red blood cells. Severe cases can lead to permanent nervous system problems. The vitamin B12 deficiency can result from absorption problems, insufficient dietary intake, certain medications (e.g. metformin), inherited conditions (e.g. transcobalamin deficiency) and certain chronic parasitic intestinal infestations.

 

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