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General Medicine Terms

- N -

  • Narcolepsy

  • A sudden, uncontrollable disposition to sleep occurring at irregular intervals, with or without obvious predisposing or exciting cause.

  • National Cancer Institute

  • The US government agency for cancer research and information.

  • Natural Killer Cell (NK)

  • A lymphocyte which, unlike other lymphocytes, does not require specific activation by foreign antigen. They are considered to play a 'front line' role in controlling infection, curbing infection until a specific, coordinated immune response can be mounted.

  • Near point of accommodation

  • The closest point in front of the eyes that an object may be clearly focused.

  • Near point of convergence

  • The maximum extent the two eyes can be turned inward.

  • Needle aspiration (OF THE BREAST)

  • Uses a thin needle and syringe to collect tissue or drain a lump after using a local anesthetic.

  • Needle biopsy

  • Biopsy procedure in which a small sample of tissue is removed through a hollow needle.

  • Neoadjuvant therapy

  • Chemotherapy given before surgery or radiation therapy.

  • Nephrectomy

  • Surgical removal of the kidney.

  • Nephropathy

  • Diabetic kidney disease.

  • Nerve conduction test

  • Procedure to determine nerve impulse generation.

  • Nerve sparing technique

  • A surgical technique often used during a radial prostatectomy in which one or both of the neurovascular bundles controlling erections are spared.

  • Neural mobilization

  • Techniques by which neural tissues are moved, either by movement relative to their surroundings or by tension development.

  • Neural plasticity

  • Ability of the brain and/or certain parts of the nervous system to change in order to adapt to new conditions, such as an injury.

  • Neural prostheses

  • Devices that substitute for an injured or diseased part of the nervous system to enhance the function.

  • Neural stimulation

  • To activate or energize a nerve through an external source.

  • 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.

  • Neuralgia

  • A painful condition caused by disorders of the nervous system.

  • Neurasthenia

  • Nervous exhaustion. A functional neurosis marked by intense nervous irritability and weakness.

  • Neuritis

  • Inflammation of a nerve or nerves.

  • Neurogenic

  • Of nerve origin.

  • Neurogenic communication disorder

  • Inability to exchange information with others because of hearing, speech, and/or language problems caused by impairment of the nervous system.

  • Neuromyasthenia

  • Muscular weakness, usually of emotional origin.

  • Neuron

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

  • Neuropathology

  • The study of the nervous system.

  • Neuropsychiatric

  • Relating to organic and functional diseases of the nervous system.

  • Neurotransmitters

  • Substances produced in neurons that promote or inhibit the conduction of nerve impulses, such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, and gamma-aminobutyrate.

  • Neurotransmitters

  • 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).

  • Newborn screening

  • Examining blood samples from a newborn infant to detect disease-related abnormalities or deficiencies in gene products. There are other purposes for , and methods of, screening newborns.

  • NIH

  • National Institutes of Health.

  • Nissen fundoplication

  • Operation to sew the top of the stomach (fundus) around the esophagus; used to stop stomach contents from flowing back into the esophagus (reflux) and to repair a hiatal hernia.

  • Nitrogenous base

  • A nitrogen containing molecule having the chemical properties of a base.

  • Noise-induced hearing loss

  • Hearing loss that is caused either by a one-time or repeated exposure to very loud sound(s).

  • Non-insulin-dependent diabetes

  • See type 2 diabetes.

  • Noninvasive procedures

  • A diagnostic effort or treatment that does not require entering the body or puncturing the skin.

  • Nonsense mutation

  • A mutation in which a codon is changed to a stop codon, resulting in a truncated protein product.

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)

  • Medications that produces antipyretic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory effects.

  • Nonsyndromic hereditary hearing impairment

  • Hearing loss or deafness that is inherited and is not associated with other inherited clinical characteristics.

  • Nontropical sprue

  • See celiac disease.

  • Nonulcer dyspepsia

  • Constant pain or discomfort in the upper gastrointestinal tract.

  • Norepinephrine

  • A neurotransmitter found mainly in areas of the brain that are involved in governing autonomic nervous system activity, especially blood pressure and heart rate.

  • Norwalk virus

  • Virus that may cause gastrointestinal (GI) infection and diarrhea. (See also gastroenteritis.)

  • Nuclear medicine

  • A specialized area of radiology that uses very small amounts of radioactive substances to examine organ function and structure.

  • Nucleic acid

  • A large molecule composed of nucleotide subunits.

  • Nucleotide

  • A subunit of DNA or RNA, consisting of one chemical base plus a phosphate molecule and a sugar molecule.

  • Nucleus

  • The cell structure that houses the chromosomes.

  • Nutrients

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


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General Medicine Terms






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