Glossary

Acetylcholine receptor
"Docking sites"/ binding sites in cell membranes for the neurotransmitter (messenger in the nervous system) acetylcholine, to be found in different areas of the nervous system.

Acetylcholine
One of the most important neurotransmitters (messenger in the nervous system), responsible for the transmission of information of a nerve cell via contact sites, the so-called synapses, to the other nerve cell.

Acute
Short persistent, breaking out quickly, occurring suddenly, intense. Usually, a period of 3-14 days is meant.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
The disease "age-related macular degeneration" (degeneration = degradation, ivolution) usually only occurs with increasing age, beyond the 50th year of age. In AMD, the retina is destroyed at the site of the sharpest vision - the macula - by pathological changes. Most common cause of age-related vision loss. The cause of the degeneration of the retina in the area of the macula is not known for certain. An initial explanation for the disease is the assumption that it is a result of circulatory disorders (AMD model according to Friedmann).

Angiologic = concerning angiology.

Angiology
The angiology is a branch of internal medicine that deals with vascular diseases.

Antibodies
Proteins, also known as "immunoglobulins", are formed by specific immune cells (B cells) and are distributed. They are directed against elements of alien structures (antigens) and have the ability to bind them. Antibodies are divided into five immunoglobulin (IG) subtypes: IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG, IgM. Depending on the subtype, antibodies can exist solute freely in the blood (IgG and IgM) or in other body fluids (IgA in saliva) or also bound to cells (IgE).

Arthritis
Also called "joint inflammation"; expresses itself in painful and swollen joints that are often limited in their mobility.

Atherosclerosis
Also known as "hardening of the arteries"; chronically progressive degeneration of the arteries and their branches as a result of a hardening or thickening of the vascular wall by intercalation and deposition of so-called plaques. Coupled with a loss of vascular elasticity and a narrowing of the artery.

Auto-antibodies
Antibodies that are directed against endogenous tissues, cells or substances.

Auto-immune
Disease where the body forms antigens (antibodies) against its own tissue.

Blood plasma, plasma
The cell-free part of blood that consists of approximately 90% water and 10% dissolved substances. The plasma percentage in the blood volume is approximately 55%.

Cardiovascular
Means "concerning the heart and the vascular system".

Cell
Smallest unit of any organism. The cell is a self-regulatory system in a superordinate system (plant, animal, human). It possesses the ability of reproduction (cell division), is composed of the cell nucleus and its cell body (cytoplasm) with various cellular components and is limited by the cell wall (cell membrane).

Central nervous system (CNS)
The nerve structures which are located in the brain and spinal cord are called the central nervous system. The central processing of stimuli and the coordination of the stimuli coming from the periphery can be found here.

Cerebrovascular
Means "concerning the blood vessels of the brain", in a broader sense also: "concerning the cerebral circulation".

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP)
CIDP is also called the chronic form of the Guillian-Barré syndrome.

Chronic
Slowly developing or long lasting.

Coronary heart disease
The coronary heart disease (CHD), also: ischemic heart disease is a disease of the coronary vessels.

Dialysis
Physical process that is especially used in acute or chronic renal failure. The dialysis takes over the detoxification function of the kidneys, i.e. the elimination of endogenous metabolic substances and of added exogenous substances.

EDS scale
The Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) is a scale system for a systematic acquisition of the disability of neurological patients suffering from multiple sclerosis. The scale should help with the assessment of adequate therapy.

Encephalitis
Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain that is most commonly triggered by viruses but can also be triggered by various factors, such as certain auto-antibodies (see above).

ENT
Abbreviation for otolaryngology.

Extracorporeal
Lying outside the body, are carried out outside the body.

Fibrinogen
Protein; precursor of the fibrin. By a cleaving (proteolytic) effect of thrombin, fibrinogen converts into fibrin which is necessary for blood clotting.

Foreign protein
Foreign proteins are proteins that have not been produced in our own organism. For example, foreign proteins are used in blood or plasma transfusions in the form of protein or immunoglobulin solutions.

Granulocytes
Group of white blood cells (leukocytes). Granulocytes are large in their diameter and occur - with 60 to 75 percent of all white blood cells - more frequently than other groups of leukocytes.

Guillian-Barré-Syndrome (GBS)
The Guillian-Barré-Syndrome is a disease of the nerves. The exact cause still is not fully understood. Probably auto-antibodies play a role that is directed against the insulating layer (myelin sheath) of the nerves which are outside the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves). Therefore an ascending numbness occurs (often symptoms start in the legs) and signs of paralysis of the arms and legs.

Immune system
Endogenous defense system that reacts to substances that are detected as not belonging to the body.

Immunoglobulins
Proteins formed from plasma cells which serve as antibodies in the endogenous immune system.

Immunology
Teaching and science of the defense mechanisms of the organism against exogenous substances as well as various immune diseases.

Indication
Therapeutic indication, IE. the indication of results from the diagnosis and leads to the application of a specific medical procedure; (legally recognized) reason, to undertake an abortion.

Leukocytes
White blood cells. They include granulocytes and lymphocytes, both of which have different functions in the endogenous immune system.

Limbic encephalitis
Umbrella term for a group of inflammations of the central nervous system. They usually proceed subacutely and are mainly only found in adults. Characterized by psychiatric symptoms and seizures among other things. Limbic encephalitis can have different causes. The cause may be cancer (paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis) or another cause (non-paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis), such as an auto-immune disease.

Lymphocytes
White blood cells that descend from stem cells in the bone marrow and are formed in the bone marrow, lymph nodes, thymus and spleen. There is a difference between the B and T lymphocytes which have different functions in the context of the immune system.

Metabolism
Refers to all biochemical reactions of the body that serve for the ingestion, processing, conversion and excretion of substances. In addition to the inhalation of air, this also includes food ingestion, combustion and excretion.

Microcirculation
Process that comprises the circulation in the smallest vessels as well as the entire exchange of substances with the surrounding tissue at the molecular and cellular levels.

Molecular
Concerning molecules.

Molecule
Particle that consists of two or more interconnected atoms of (different or equal) elements.

Morbus
Latin word for disease.

Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that attacks the focal sheaths of the nerve fibers (myelin sheath) and targets people aged between 20 and 40 years of age. The results are neurological failures (e.g. visual disturbances and signs of paralysis) that can infect all parts of the nervous system as a result of the faulty stimulus transmission.

Myasthenia gravis, myasthenia
Myasthenia gravis is an auto-immune disease of the skeletal muscles. Auto-antibodies are directed against acetylcholine receptors that are located in a variety of muscular tissues and therefore block the stimulus transmission from the nerves to the affected muscle groups. This no longer allows the muscles to be energized and so to speak to be "controlled" by the brain. Signs of paralysis take place.

Myelin sheath
Structure consisting of myelin that coat the nerve fibers, serves as food for and protection of the nerve fibers. Isolation and therefore acceleration of the stimulus conduction.

Myelin
Fat and protein substance, basis for myelin sheath.

Natalizumab
A drug used to treat particularly aggressive forms of relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS). Natalizumab is a monoclonal antibody.

Ophthalmologic
Concerning ophthalmology.

Outpatient
Treatment of patients in doctors' offices or clinics without admission into the in-patient care (ward). Opposite: in-patient.

Peripheral arterial occlusive disease
Artery occlusive disease (AOD) or peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAO), colloquially also known as "intermittent claudication", is a disorder of the arterial circulation to the extremities.

Phytanic acid
Fatty acid that people only ingest through food (among other things through milk and fat from cows or sheep). Deriving from green vegetable dye, the chlorophyll.

Plasma protein
Large protein molecules in the blood plasma that are responsible for the transport of difficult soluble substances or blood clotting. Approximately 100 different proteins occur in blood plasma. They weigh 6-8 g/100 ml.

Plasma therapy
Therapeutic method in which the blood in blood fluid (plasma) and cells is separated.

Progredient
Means "progressive". A progredient disease shows an increasingly severe process.

Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, PML
PML (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy) is a disease of the central nervous system and is caused by the JC virus that belongs to the genus polyomavirus. The name of the virus is derived from the initials of the patient from whom it was initially isolated. The disease occurs almost exclusively in persons with severely weakened immune systems. It is an acute, progressive disease in which numerous functional changes of the nervous system, for example motor and cognitive disorders, can occur.

Protein
Proteins that occur in animal and vegetable cells and fulfill important functions there, such as supporting oxygen transportation.

Refsum
Professor Dr. Sigvald Refsum, Norwegian neurologist (1907-1991).

Rheumatoid arthritis
Chronic disease of the joints that has an inflammatory nature and especially affects wrists and ankles. Joint swelling and pain will occur and even cartilage and bone resorption in the affected joints. Women are taken ill about two to three times more often than men and most frequently between the 35th and 45th year of age.

Rheumatoid
Like a rheumatic disease, "similar to rheumatism".

Subacute
Intermediate stage between acute and chronic diseases. Occurring moderately fast. Usually, a period of 14-30 days is meant.

Therapeutic apheresis
Removal of disease-causing substances from blood or blood plasma is divided into plasma therapy and whole blood process.

Therapy
Treatment to cure a disease.

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