Glossary

APNEA – A temporary suspension of breathing, occurring in some newborns (infant apnea) and in some adults during sleep (sleep apnea).


ATAXIA – Loss of muscular coordination as a result of damage to the central nervous system.


DIABETES INSIPIDUS – Diabetes insipidus (DI) is an uncommon condition that occurs when the kidneys are unable to conserve water as they perform their function of filtering blood. The amount of water conserved is controlled by antidiuretic hormone (ADH), also called vasopressin. ADH is a hormone produced in a region of the brain called the hypothalamus. It is then stored and released from the pituitary gland, a small gland at the base of the brain. DI caused by a lack of ADH is called central diabetes insipidus. When DI is caused by a failure of the kidneys to respond to ADH, the condition is called nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.


DIABETES MELLITUS – A metabolic disease characterized by abnormally high levels of glucose in the blood, caused by an inherited inability to produce insulin (Type 1) or an acquired resistance to insulin (Type 2). Type 1 diabetes, which typically appears in childhood or adolescence, is marked by excessive thirst, frequent urination, and weight loss and requires treatment with insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes appears during adulthood, usually in overweight or elderly individuals, and is treated with oral medication or insulin. People with either type of diabetes benefit from dietary restriction of sugars and other carbohydrates. Uncontrolled blood glucose levels increase the risk for long-term medical complications including peripheral nerve disease, retinal damage, kidney disease, and progressive atherosclerosis caused by damage to endothelial cells in blood vessels, leading to coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular disease.


NEUROGENIC BLADDER – Defective functioning of the urinary bladder due to impaired nerve supply.


NEUROSENSORIAL DEAFNESS – a type of hearing loss in which the root cause lies in the vestibulocochlear nerve (Cranial nerve VIII), the inner ear, or central processing centers of the brain.


OPTIC ATROPHY – Degeneration of the optic nerve (the second cranial nerve) due to direct or indirect damage to a particular type of retinal cell, called ganglion cells, whose axonal projections collectively make up the optic nerve.


SUICIDAL ATTEMPTS – Sometimes a depressed person plans a suicide in advance. Many times, though, suicide attempts happen impulsively, in a moment of feeling desperately upset.