The National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS)
It is headquartered in New York, has local chapters in most communities. They publish educational pamphlets and sponsor research. Their website, http://www.nmss.org, is one of the few truly helpful websites available to MS patients and their families as well as to neurologists and other physicians.
Information about MS in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Russian is available. International Portal provides access to member MS Societies around the world. Their website (http://www.msif.org) has a link from the NMSS.
Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA)
Although a smaller organization, MSAA is another important resource. Their address is as follows: 706 Haddonfield Road, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002. Telephone: (800) Learn MS. Their website is http://www.msaa.com.
The National Organization for Rare Diseases
This organization supports important MS relevant issues. Their website is http://www.rarediseases.org/.
This is a newer foundation that is getting a lot of attention. Their focus is on research. 331 West 57th Street, PMB #420, New York, NY 10019. Their telephone is: 212-830-0343; Fax: 212-262-4608. Their website is http://www.montelms.org/.
Established in 1986, the MSF is a national, service-based, nonprofit organization. Their mission is to ensure quality of life through support, educational programs, research into the cause and cure, and investigation of medical and complementary treatment options. They offer a resource-rich web site, www.msfocus.org; a peer counselor and caseworker staffed tollfree helpline, and a multimedia library in English and Spanish. Address: Multiple Sclerosis Foundation 6350 North Andrews Avenue Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309-2130 USA Toll-free Phone: 888-MSFOCUS (673-6287)
The pharmaceutical industry sponsors websites that can provide helpful guidance, especially for the products they provide. The companies are listed alphabetically:
The Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book (Doubleday Publishers) By
Roy Laver Swank, MD; and Barbara Brewer Dugan
This book is based on a lifetime of interest, experience, and study. It is a winner. Dr. Swank spent his life studying MS.
"ABC": A commonly used unofficial reference to Avonex-Betaseron-Copaxone as approved drugs for MS treatment.
Acinetobacter: A bacterium that infects the upper respiratory tract and that has been hypothesized to be a causative factor in MS by some researchers in England. Acne: A skin condition common in young people with increased secretion from oil glands in the skin, accompanied by formation of comedos (blackheads). These glands tend to become infected with organisms living in or on the skin making the skin raised and red.
ACTH: Adrenocorticotropic hormone (now also called corti-cotrophin), the hormone made in the brain and stored in the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. It is the only FDA-approved treatment for shortening MS attacks.
Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis: An acute spontaneous, postinfectious, or postvacinial central nervous system disease. It is characterized by simultaneous appearance of nervous system symptoms due to inflammation in the white matter of the brain and or the spinal cord, resembling an attack of MS. Unlike MS it ordinarily does not relapse in adults but may occasionally do so in children. It can be very serious but more often is a relatively mild illness.
Adhesion molecules: Velcro-like proteins on the surface of white blood and other cells that allow them to stick to the lining of veins.
Adrenal glands: Glands of internal secretion situated above the kidneys sometimes referred to as supra-renal glands. The cells of the cortex (on the outside of the gland) secrete cortisone and other steroid hormones that are important in the body's response to stress. Adrenaline and noradrenalin are hormones also secreted by nerve cells in the center (medulla) of the gland.
Adrenaline: The principal hormone secreted by the adrenal medulla. This hormone is made from the amino acid tyrosine and is not a steroid. It makes the heart beat more forcefully and faster and raises the blood pressure. Adrenalin secretion is also part of the "fight or flight" response to stress.
Antibody: Proteins made by the immune system to defend against infectious agents. At times, antibody may be directed against our own tissues, resulting in autoimmune disease. Antibody is produced when B-cells are stimulated by antigen.
Anticholinergic: Drugs that block the effect of the hormone acetyl-choline in the body and are called anticholinergic drugs. These drugs include atropine, scopolamine, Ditro-pan, etc. and are used to slow the heart rate down, dry secretions, and reduce the contractions of bowel and bladder. These drugs produce dryness of the mouth and constipation as common side effects.
Antigen: An antigen is any substance (bacterium, virus, or single molecule), usually a protein, but sometimes a sugar or fat that stimulates an immune reaction in the body. This immune reaction may result in the production of antibody or a cellular immune reaction.
Antigen-antibody complexes: Immune complexes form when antibody binds to antigen (defined above) in the blood. The formation of the antigen-antibody complex usually involves another protein called complement. This is a factor in autoimmune disease.
Arthritis: A term commonly used to describe joint disease causing pain. It should, however, be reserved for inflammatory disease of joints, as rheumatoid arthritis. Artificial insemination: Achieving pregnancy by artificial means; most commonly semen from a male donor is injected mechanically into the woman's vagina and or uterus.
Autoimmunity: The consequence of the arousal of the immune system leading to antibody production or a cellular (lymphocyte) reaction directed against self. The autoimmune response is an immune response generated against tissues in ones own body (antigens). This response may be antibody mediated, as a result of antigen-antibody complexes, lymphocyte mediated or both by antibody and lymphocytes.
Axon: A nerve fiber arising from a neuron (nerve cell). Signals (messages) arising from one neuron are transmitted to another via the axon.
Bacteria: Microscopic infectious organisms that cause a variety of diseases in humans and other species.
Biofeedback: A training technique that enables a patient to gain voluntary control over autonomic function.
(BDNGF): A specific nervous system hormone which can stimulate repair of the nervous system. It was originally found in the brain but more recently it has been found that it can be produced by cell causing inflammation in the brain.
Cataracts: Any opacification (loss of transparency) of the lens or its capsule. They are not considered significant if they do not interfere with vision.
Catheterization [Bladder]: Removal of urine from the bladder by means of a urinary catheter (tube).
Cell: The smallest unit of a living animal. Cells are enclosed in a membrane (the cell membrane). They have a nucleus containing chromosomes, mitochondria and other "machinery."
Central nervous system (CNS): The term CNS refers to the brain and spinal cord.
Cerebellum: The part of the brain that controls movement, resulting in coordinated movement. It is located behind the brainstem and under the cerebral hemispheres and resembles a pair of tennis balls stuck to the brain stem.
Cervical spondylosis: A disease in which the disks between the vertebral bodies in the neck extrude like mortar between bricks. Sometimes the disks will compress the spinal cord, producing "MS-like" symptoms of weak ness and loss of sensation in the legs. The disease process can result in pressure on nerve roots as they leave the spinal canal, resulting in weakness and/or pain in the arms and hands.
Charcot's triad: The collection of symptoms includes nystagmus (shaky eyes), dysarthria, and tremor (slurred speech and shaking of the hands and body) that was described as being characteristic of MS. Although occurring in MS, it is rare.
Chlamydia pneumoniae: A bacterium that can cause pneumonia that has been studied as a potential factor in MS as well as other diseases. It is not the organism that causes genital infections in men and women.
Chromosome: Genetic material in the nucleus within each cell is collected in structures called chromosomes. Each human female cell contains 23 pairs of homologous chromosomes: 22 pairs of autosomes, 1 pair of X chromosomes. The human male contains the same 22 pairs of autosomes but only one X chromosome with one Y chromosome.
Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS):
Optic neuritis, acute vertigo or other isolated brainstem symptoms, or transverse myelitis may be referred to as CIS and may qualify for a diagno sis of MS when certain MRI abnormalities are present. Clitoral engorgement: Blood flow to the female sexual organ, the clitoris, is associated with sexual excitement and results in clitoral enlargement (engorgement), and ultimately improves arousal and orgasm (sexual climax) in women
Cortex (cerebral cortex): The layer of neurons covering the entire outside surface of the brain. It appears gray as compared with the white matter inside the brain.
Cortisol: The primary steroid hormone (17 hydroxy-corticoid) produced by the adrenal gland. It is the biologically active soluble form of cortisone.
Cortisone: The stored form of cortisol produced by the adrenal cortex.
Cognition: Ability to reason. Crohn's disease: An autoimmune inflammatory disease of bowel principally, but not exclusively, affecting small bowel. It occurs with increased frequency in MS patients.
Cystitis: Inflammation of the bladder associated with symptoms of urinary frequency and urgency. Cytomegaloviruses: A family of herpes viruses that inhabit the urinary tract of almost all humans. Several subtypes have been described and appear to have geographic distributions.
Demyelinating disease: Diseases caused by demyelination. Disease primarily associated with damage to myelin, e.g. acute disseminated encephalomyelitis and MS.
Demyelination: The loss of myelin surrounding the axon, or nerve fiber, regardless of the disease process.
Dental amalgam: The material dentists used for dental repairs (make dental fillings).
Detrusor muscle: The muscle of the urinary bladder that forms the actual storage organ and is the largest part of the bladder.
Distemper: Illness in dogs and cats caused by the measles like distemper paramyxovirus of the same name. Dysarthria: Slurred speech.
Dystonia: Abnormal muscle tone usually resulting in an abnormal position (posture) relative to the rest of the body.
EDSS (Extended Disability Status
Scale): A grading scale for recording levels of neurological disability. It was originally developed by Kurtzke. It is used universally for recording disability.
Encephalomyelitis: An illness associated with inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.
Enemas: Liquids that are used to facilitate bowel evacuation; usually water or oil based materials. They are put into the rectum via an enema tube attached to a bag or other container.
Environmental factor: Any factor in the environment that may contribute to the risk of a disease, such as MS.
The environmental factor in MS is assumed to be a virus.
Epilepsy: A brain disorder that occurs when the electrical signals in the brain are disrupted leading to a seizure. Seizures can cause brief changes in a person's body movements, awareness, emotions, and senses. Some people may only have a single seizure during their lives and does not mean that a person has epilepsy. People with epilepsy have repeated seizures. Epileptic seizures eventually occur in one of ten patients with MS.
Epstein-Barr virus: The CDC definition is as follows: Epstein-Barr virus, frequently referred to as EBV, is a member of the herpesvirus family and one of the most common human viruses. The virus occurs worldwide, and most people become infected with EBV sometime during their lives. In the United States, as many as 95% of adults between 35 and 40 years of age have been infected. Infants become susceptible to EBV as soon as maternal antibody protection (present at birth) disappears. Many children become infected with EBV, and these infections usually cause no symptoms or are indistinguishable from the other mild, brief illnesses of childhood. In the United States and in other developed countries, many persons are not infected with EBV in their childhood years. When infection with EBV occurs during adolescence or young adulthood, it causes infectious mononucleosis 35% to 50% of the time.
Erectile dysfunction: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines erectile dysfunction as the repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. The word "impotence" may also be used to describe other problems that interfere with sexual intercourse and reproduction, such as lack of sexual desire and problems with ejaculation or orgasm. Using the term erectile dysfunction makes it clear that those other problems are not involved.
Estrogen: The steroid produced by the ovary that is responsible for the secondary sexual characteristics of adult females.
Extended Disability Status Scale (EDSS): A grading scale for recording levels of neurologic disability. Kurtzke originally developed it. It is used universally for recording disability.
Familial infantile spastic paraplegia:
A group of different genetic disorders that cause spasticity in family members, usually occurring in infancy. Early onset in a family setting ordinarily easily distinguishes these rare disorders from MS.
Fatigability: The loss of muscle strength following repeated use or testing of one or more muscles. In the clinical neurological examination the inability to continue walking at least 500 meters is interpreted as a meaningful degree of fatigability of the lower extremities (legs). This is used by social security for disability determinations.
Fatigue: Fatigue is different from drowsiness. Drowsiness is feeling the need to sleep, whereas fatigue is a lack of energy and motivation. Apathy (a feeling of indifference or not caring about what happens) and drowsiness can be symptoms of fatigue. Fatigue can be normal after physical exertion or because of lack of sleep. When persisting fatigue is not relieved by enough sleep, good nutrition, or a low-stress environment, it should be investigated. Because fatigue is a common complaint, associated illness may be overlooked. It is a common symptom in MS and other autoimmune disorders. However, there are many other possible physical and psychological causes of fatigue including anemia, hypothy-roidism, infections, sleep disorders, depression, medications, etc. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition that starts with flu-like symptoms and lasts for 6 months or more. All other possible causes of fatigue are eliminated before this diagnosis is made.
Gadolinium: An injected contrast material used to make blood vessels (or tumors) more visible on MRI brain or other tissue scans.
Gastrocnemius: The large calf muscle that pulls and keeps the foot down (plantarflexes the foot).
Gene: The smallest amount of DNA in chromosomes or mitochondria that codes for a heritable characteristic or feature.
Genetic: Any issue or consideration having to do with heredity, genes or gene changes (mutations). Also, an inherited characteristic or change.
Genital herpes: Genital herpes is a contagious viral infection primarily affecting the genitals of men and women. It is characterized by recurrent clusters of vesicles and lesions in the affected areas and is caused by the herpes simplex-2 virus (HSV-2). This virus is one of several species of the herpes virus responsible for chick-enpox, shingles, mononucleosis, and oral herpes (fever blisters or cold sores, HSV-1). Infections have reached epidemic proportions with 500,000 diagnosed each year in the U.S. One in five American adults has genital herpes.
Glaucoma: The disease of the eye characterized by increased intraocular pressure causing damage to the retinal and impaired vision.
Gray matter: The cortex of the brain is the outermost layer of the brain and is made up of neurons. It completely covers the white matter. The neurons in the cortex send nerve fibers to, and receive them, from other parts of the brain and spinal cord.
Gynecologists: Physicians who specialize in diseases that uniquely affect women.
Hereditary: Transmitted from parent to child by information contained in the genes. See gene and genetics.
Herpes: Several species of the herpes viruses are responsible for disease including chickenpox, shingles, mononucleosis, oral herpes (fever blisters or cold sores, HSV-1) and roseola infantum. These are DNA viruses.
HIV: Human immunodeficiency virus, the AIDS virus. Hormone: The internal secretion of an endocrine organ such as the adrenal or ovary. Hormones are important chemical messengers that communicate with distant organs in the body.
Hypnotism: The use of suggestion; the field of study which encompasses, among other things, hypnotic trance; its induction, management, and application; and related subjects such as the phenomena of waking suggestion. Hypnotherapy is defined as the use of therapeutic techniques or principles in conjunction with hypnosis. Hyporeflexic bladder: Decreased bladder reactivity as defined by uro-dynamic testing in a laboratory.
Immune system: The host defense against infection comprised of the white blood cells (leukocytes) including lymphocytes and monocytes circulating in the blood and other tissues (including the bone marrow), lymph nodes, and the thymus. Immunology is the study of all aspects of host defense against infection and of adverse consequences of immune responses.
Iiiiiiiiuioglobiiliii: Another word for B
Iiiiiiiuiioiiiodiilatioii: Treatment E
aimed at changing immune responses I
to benefit a patient with autoimmune disease.
Irnrnunosuppressive therapy: Any treatment that results in decreased immune responses. Commonly used treatments in MS that are immu-nosuppressive are steroids (predni-sone, Medrol, Imuran, Cytoxan, and Novantrone). The interferons (Avonex, Betaseron, Rebif and Copaxone impact immune responses but are termed immunomodulatory drugs.
Irnrnunotherapy: Treatment of any kind directed against normal or abnormal immune function, whether involving the products of the immune system or not.
Incontinence: Urinary incontinence; involuntary loss of bladder control. Infectious rnononucleosis: Glandular fever. It is a common form of infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) consisting of fever, fatigue, enlarged lymph nodes, often with rash, splenic enlargement and hepatic enzyme elevation.
IiiiLuiiniatioii: The accumulation of fluid, plasma proteins, and white blood cells initiated by physical injury, infection, or local immune response.
Interferons: Cytokines; proteins made by lymphocytes that can induce cells to resist viral replication.
Intrathecal: Inside the central nervous system.
Lesion: Localized area of tissue damage, or pathology, regardless of cause. Libido: Sexual interest or drive.
Lymph glands: Collections of lymphocytes into organs of immune function also called lymph nodes. They are numerous in certain parts of the body including the neck, axillae (arm pits), and groins.
Lymphocytes: Citizens of the immune system.
Macrophages: Monocytes from the blood stream that have been "turned on" by interacting with lymphocytes.
Magnetic resonance imaging
(MRI): Imaging of the brain or other organs obtained by the use of magnetic fields and radio frequency together with computerized tomography.
Malignant MS: Frequent severe relapses with a rapid increase in disability constitute a very small but important subgroup of MS. Manic psychosis: A state of elevated mood and psychosis.
Metalloproteases (MMP): Members of a group of secreted neutral proteases that degrade the collagens of the extracellular matrix. Members of this group are important in the integrity of the blood-brain barrier. MMP9 appears to be the most important of the group in this regard. MMP9 is inhibited by interferonbeta (Avonex, Betaseron, and Rebif).
Mitochondria: The cells' power sources. They usually are rod-shaped but can be round. They have an outer membrane that limits the organelle and an inner membrane thrown into folds projecting inwards i.e. "cristae mitochondriales."
Molecule: A very small mass of matter; the smallest amount of a substance which can exist alone and must consist of at least 2 atoms.
Monocytes: A leukocyte (white blood cell), they are part of the human body's immune system that protect against infections and move quickly to sites of infection. Monocytes are one of the 5 major types of white blood cells, and the name is based on their appearance in stained smears under a microscope. They are larger than red blood cells and are typically identified in laboratories by flow cytometry by their surface expression of the protein CD 14. Monocytes are produced by the bone marrow from stem cell precursors, circulate in the blood stream for about one to three days and then typically move into tissues throughout the body. In the tissues monocytes mature into different types of macrophages at different anatomical locations. Monocytes which migrate from the blood stream to other tissues are called macrophages. These cells are responsible for phagocytosis, or digestion, of foreign substances in the body. An important function is the presentation of partially digested proteins via the MHC class II protein to lymphocytes T-cell receptors to initiate specific cellular immune responses, as in experimental allergic encephalomyelitis. This is thought to be important in MS, also. MOG (myelin-oligodendrocyte gly-coprotein): Specific protein found in oligodendrocytes and in myelin.
Multiple sclerosis: A neurologic disease that is characterized by focal demyelination in the central nervous system, lymphocytic infiltration in the brain, with a variably progressive course.
MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging): Imaging of the brain or other organs obtained by the use of magnetic fields and radio frequency together with computerized tomography.
Mutation: A change in the structure of DNA with a potential to alter the normal function of the gene.
Myelin: Lipoproteinaceous material composed of alternating layers of lipid and protein of the myelin sheath.
Myelin basic protein: A structural protein of myelin. It is the most antigenic protein in myelin, meaning it is the most potent protein capable of stimulating the immune system. It is highly effective in minuscule amounts in producing experimental (auto)allergic encephalomyelitis, an experimental form of MS. Myelin oligodendrocyte glycopro-tein (MOG): specific protein found in oligodendrocytes and in myelin.
Myelogram: X-ray studies of the spinal cord and spinal canal performed by the injection of contrast media. CT and MRI studies have replaced this procedure. Myopia: Short sightedness.
Narcotics: Derived from the Greek word for stupor, that originally referred to a variety of substances that dulled the senses and relieved pain. Narcotics may be defined chemically as substances that bind at opiate receptors (cellular membrane proteins activated by substances like heroin or morphine). Some refer to any illicit substance as a narcotic. In a legal context, narcotic refers to opium, opium derivatives, and their semi-synthetic substitutes. The term narcotic is used to refer to drugs that produce morphine-like effects.
Necrosis: Tissue death; a state of irreversible tissue damage.
Neurologist: A physician specializing in the diagnosis and care of neurological disease.
Neuron: Nerve cell; the morphologic and functional unit of the nervous system. It consists of the nerve cell body, the dendrite, and the axon.
Nucleus: The cellular organelle enclosing the chromosomes. It is bounded by a nuclear membrane.
Nystagmus: fine rhythmic oscillating movements of the eyeball. Oligoclonal band: Bands of antibody that are present on electrophoresis of
Oligodendrocyte: Glial cells that give rise to the myelin sheath. Each cell forms several myelin sheaths.
Ophthalmologists: Physicians specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the eye.
Optic nerve: The second cranial nerve which is actually an extension of the brain. Nerve fibers from the retina travel to the brain through the optic nerves.
Optic neuritis (retrobulbar neuritis): An inflammation of the optic nerve with pain and variable loss of vision. Most patients will eventually be diagnosed as having MS. Orgasm: Sexual climax.
Osteoporosis, or porous bone, is a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and an increased risk of fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. Men as well as women are affected by osteoporosis, a disease that can be prevented and treated. Osteopenia is a lesser degree of bone loss. Bone densitom-etry is an accurate way of detecting this bone loss and monitoring treatment.
Pathology: The scientific study of disease. It is also a term used to describe detectable damage to tissues.
Pituitary gland: An endocrine gland about the size of a pea at the base of the brain. Its posterior lobe is connected to a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The anterior pituitary lobe receives releasing hor mones from the hypothalamus. The pituitary gland secretes hormones regulating a wide variety of bodily activities, including trophic hormones that stimulate other endocrine glands. ACTH is but one of the hormones secreted by the pituitary and it regulates steroid production by the adrenal gland. The pituitary is regulated by releasing hormones from the hypothalamus.
Plaque: The plate-like hardened areas of myelin damage and scarring in MS located in the brain and spinal cord.
Pneumocystis: A one-cell organism that causes rapidly fatal lung infestations in AIDS patients. Polymorphisms: Referring to genetic polymorphisms, meaning many forms or shapes indicating the presence of mutations, chromosomal breaks, and transpositions, etc.
Acute disseminated encephalomy-elitis occurring following an infection.
Progressive multifocal leukoen-cephalopathy (PML): A serious infection of the brain caused by the JC papilloma virus. Proteolipid: A structural protein of myelin. It can be used to sensitize mice and produce a form of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis.
Pyelonephritis: An acute infection of the kidney associated with fever, contrasting with cystitis (a bladder infection) where fever does not occur.
Pyramidal tract: The nerve fiber tract in the brainstem and spinal cord comprised of the nerve fibers arising from the motor cortex. Rapidly progressive MS: (Marburg's variant of multiple sclerosis) is a very aggressive form of MS where the disease advances quickly and relentlessly leading to rapid disability and death. It is also known as acute or fulminant MS. Marburg's MS often strikes in younger people and is often preceded by or associated with fever. Relapse: Appearance of new signs or recurrence of previous signs of MS.
Rheumatoid arthritis: A common inflammatory joint disease caused by an autoimmune response. Sclerotic: A term referring to hardened tissue such as MS plaques in the brain. This hardness or sclerosis is caused by scarring.
Seizure: An epileptic event consisting of loss of consciousness usually associated with tonic and/or clonic movements.
Semen: The fluid portion of the ejaculate consisting of secretions from the seminal vesicles, prostate gland, and several other glands in the male reproductive tract. Semen may also refer to the entire ejaculate, including the sperm.
Shingles: Skin infection caused by the herpes zoster virus. They are typically associated with pain.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs): A group of gene alterations that may be a "signature group" for a disease.
Spinal fluid (CSF): Fluid produced by the choroid plexus within the brain. It is located in the ventricles and surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
Spinal MS: The older term for primary progressive MS which was commonly used prior to the modern era of imaging.
Spasticity: Velocity-dependent increase in muscle tone.
Sphincter: The sphincter is a circular muscle that constricts a passage such as the urethra or anus. When relaxed, a sphincter allows materials to pass through the opening and when contracted, it closes the opening.
Steroids: A large family of chemical substances, including many hormones, chemically defined as containing a tetracyclic cyclopenta alpha phenanthrene skeleton.
Syphilis: An infection due to Treponema pallidum. These infections are similar in type to infections by tuberculosis but are potentially more serious. One type (meningo-vascular syphilis) can cause small strokes and manifestations may resemble MS.
Systemic infections: As opposed to a localized infection, a system infection is any infection which causes generalized symptoms. It is usually associated with a fever. A septicemia would be an example of a severe generalized infection. "Sepsis" is a colloquial (slang) term for a systemic bacterial infection of the bloodstream. It is a very serious, frequently fatal condition. Infection with gram negative bacteria triggers septic shock via TNF-a (tissue necrosis factor alpha or lymphotoxin).
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): A chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorder that may affect many organ systems including the skin, joints and internal organs. The disease may be mild or severe and life-threatening. African-Americans and Asians are disproportionately affected. The ANA test helping in the diagnosis of SLE is positive in about one half of MS patients.
T-cell: A subset of lymphocytes developing in the thymus. Killer T-cell is the common term for a cytotoxic T-cell. T-cells are thymus-dependent lymphocytes that fail to develop in the absence of a functional thymus.
T-cell growth factor beta-1: An interleukin (hormone) produced by lymphocytes that stimulates scarring in tissues. It also stimulates myelin formation.
Testosterone: The principal steroid hormone produced by the male testicles, and to a lesser extent by the adrenal cortex. It is responsible for stimulating sexual development at male adolescence. It has a positive effect on protein metabolism (an anabolic effect).
Tetanus: A potentially fatal illness produced by infection with the bacterium Clostridium tentani most often complicating wound contamination.
It is characterized by rapidly increasing stiffness and may lead to seizures and death.
Toxoplasmosis: Infestation of the human body by the one celled animal Toxoplasma gondii.
Transverse myelitis: signs of spinal cord damage appearing acutely or subacutely with signs of inflammation. When accompanied by certain brain MRI abnormalities, it may qualify for a diagnosis of CIS/MS.
Tremor: An oscillating rhythmic movement usually involving an extremity. Head movement may accompany tremor but is termed titu-bation.
Trigeminal neuralgia: Intense, brief, facial pain typically occurring on one side. It is uncommon before 65 years of age, except in MS. Its occurrence in young adults is usually a sign of
Tuberculosis: The disease that results from infection by Mycobac-terium tuberculosis. Although most commonly affecting the lungs, any tissue in the body can be involved.
Tumor necrosis factor: A principal factor made by macrophages that damage myelin.
Urethra: The anatomical tube connecting the bladder with the outside of the body. In the male it extends to the opening in the penis.
Urology: The field of medical care dealing with diseases of the kidneys, bladder, and associated structures including the ureters, urethra, etc. In men the field deals with diseases of the male generative organs, also. Vaccination: The deliberate induction of adaptive immunity to a pathogen by injecting a vaccine, a dead or attenuated (nonpathogenic) form of the pathogen. Virus: Pathogens composed of a nucleic acid genome enclosed in a protein coat. Viruses can replicate only in a living cell.
White blood cells: Leukocytes of the blood. A general term used for all white blood cells including lymphocytes, polymorphonuclear leukocytes and monocytes.
White matter: White matter of the brain is largely made of myelin and gets its name because it has a lot of fat in it and looks whitish compared to the cortex.
Yeast vaginitis: A common infection due to the yeast Candida albicans.
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