C-peptide is a substance released by the pancreas into the bloodstream in equal amounts to insulin, therefore a test of C-peptide levels will show how much insulin the body is making.
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Cabermox is a brand name for Amoxicillin.
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Cachexia (cachexy) is a generally weakened condition of the body or the mind resulting from a debilitating chronic disease.
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Cacophobia is the fear of ugliness.
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In anatomy, a caecum is a cavity or pouch open at one end. The term is especially used to describe the pouch-like upper end of the large intestine.
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A Caesarian operation is the extraction of a baby from the womb by cutting through the avdomen. It is so named after Julius Caesar who is said to have been delivered by the operation.
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Cainophobia is the fear of newness, novelty.
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Cajeput Oil is a volatile oil distilled from the leaves of the cajeput tree. It is a bluish-green liquid with a strong penetrating odour. It is applied externally as a counter-irritant for chilblains, myalgia and rheumatism, and is used internally as a carminative for gastro-intestinal troubles.
Calamine is a pink powder that is made of zinc oxide with a small amount of ferric oxide. It is used in lotions, ointments, and liniments. It is a customary mixture that is soothing and healing to the skin. It is great for itchy rashes such as poison ivy. It is natural but some formulas contain phenol which can cause poisoning when applied to the skin. A blend of natural calamine and aloe vera is a good pure skin treatment for burns, rashes and insect bites.
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In human anatomy, the calcaneum or calcaneus bone, is the largest and strongest of the tarsal bones. It projects backwards beyond the bones of the leg to provide a lever for the muscles of the calf, and forms the lower, outer part of the ankle and extends downward to form the heel. It is responsible for bearing much of the immediate stress placed upon the foot during walking.
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Calcitonin is a hormone secreted by the thyroid that lowers blood calcium. It is often used in the treatment of hypercalcemia.
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A Calcium Channel Blocker is a drug used to lower blood pressure.
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Calculi are stones or solid lumps such as gallstones.
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In pathology, a calculus is a hard, inorganic formation within some organ of the body, such as a kidney stone or gallstone etc.
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Calenture is a fever resulting from exposure to extreme heat which attacks people in tropical countries.
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Caligynephobia is the fear of beautiful women.
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Callosity is any thickened or hardened part of the human skin caused by pressure and friction. The term is also applied to the natural cutaneous thickenings on the buttocks of monkeys.
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A callus is a callosity, that is a small area of skin, usually on the foot, that has become thick and hard from rubbing or pressure. Calluses may lead to other problems such as serious infection. Calluses are often caused by badly fitting shoes. The term is also applied to a new growth of osseous matter between the extremities of fractured bones, serving to unite them.
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A calmative is something soothing or which quiets the nerves, a sedative.
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In medicine, calvities is baldness of the head.
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The calyces are the recesses in the internal medulla of the kidney which enclose the renal pyramids. They are used to subdivide the sections of the kidney anatomically, with distinction being made between major calyces and minor calyces.
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Campylobacter pylori was the original name for the bacterium that causes ulcers. The new name is Helicobacter pylori.
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In anatomy, cancellous means full of interstices; spongy. The term is applied to certain bones.
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Cancer is a disease of malignant tumours, what causes it is unknown, however experiments in the 1950s revealed a connection between conscious belief and cancer, that is patients who had cancerous tumours removed and believed themselves to be free of the cancer were less likely to suffer re- emergence of the cancer than patients who believed the cancer would re-occur.
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Candidiasis is a mild infection caused by the Candida fungus, which lives naturally in the gastrointestinal tract. Infection occurs when a change in the body, such as surgery, causes the fungus to overgrow suddenly.
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The canines or dog-teeth are teeth that flank the incisors in the front corners of the mouth. The canines are predominantly conical, raising to a sharper point above the level of the other teeth. This structure makes the canines well suited to piercing and tearing pieces of food to be processed by the other teeth. The roots of canines have single root stems, like the incisors and the premolars.
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In medicine, a canker is a collection of small sloughing ulcers in the mouth, especially of children. Called also water canker.
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A cannula is a small tube used in surgery through which any abnormal collection of fluid is drawn from the body.
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The canthus is the notch at each edge of the eye, where the two eyelids meet. The inner, or medial, canthus is called the nasal canthus, because of its proximity to the nasal structures. The outer, or lateral, canthus is called the temporal canthus because of its proximity to the temporal region of the skull. The nasal canthus features the fleshy, pink lachrymal caruncle and the canaliculi which lead into the lachrymal sac.
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About ten billion capillaries lace all body tissues, bringing blood within reach of every cell. They are the smallest blood vessels, microscopic in size, and contain less than five percent of the total circulating blood volume at any one time. Capillaries branch off from the metarterioles which connect arterioles with venules. The capillaries have thin walls, only one cell thick, across which oxygen and metabolic exchanges take place. As blood flows through the capillaries in the lungs, it changes from venous blood to arterial blood by unloading carbon dioxide and picking up oxygen. Its colour changes in the process from a deep crimson to a bright scarlet. As blood flows through tissue capillaries, it changes back from arterial blood to venous blood. The oxygen leaves the blood to enter cells, and the carbon dioxide leaves the cells and enters the blood.
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The capitate bone is the largest bone in the human wrist. This bone is located in the centre of the distal row of the carpal bones.
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Capsicum oleoresin is an oil from the pepper family that is used in hair tonics to arouse the scalp. It is said to upgrade hair growth.
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The capsular ligaments encircle the shoulder joint, forming the bulk of the shoulder join capsule. These ligaments are attached to the margin of the glenoid cavity and around the neck of the humerus. They are reinforced by the supraspinatus, the subscapularis, the infraspinatus, the teres minor, and the long head of the triceps.
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Captopril is a drug used to control high blood pressure and aid in the relief of heart failure. It has the possible side effects of: increased heart rate, low blood pressure, loss of taste, lack of appetite, rash, itching, dizziness and fainting.
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Carana resin is a kind of balsamic resin obtained from Bursera acuminata and imported from tropical America, formerly used as an application in case of wounds.
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A carcinogen is a substance or agent that is known to cause cancer.
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Carcinophobia is the fear of cancer.
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Cardiac muscle is red-coloured involuntary muscle that contracts automatically and rhythmically, like a smooth muscle, but is striated and multinucleated, like skeletal muscle. The muscle is fast- acting and powerful. It is under the control of the autonomic nervous system and continuously contracts and relaxes throughout life.
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Cardiology is the branch of medical science concerned with the heart and its diseases.
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Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle usually caused by a biochemical defect or a toxin such as alcohol.
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Cardiophobia is the fear of heart disease.
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Cardioplegia is the deliberate arrest of the action of the heart, as by hypothermia or the injection of chemicals, so as to enable complex heart surgery to be carried out.
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Carditis is a general term for inflammation of any part of the heart or its linings. Coxsackie is a form of viral carditis. In most cases more than one layer of the heart muscle is infected. Myocarditis or pericarditis may be the only manifestation of the infection. The infection has an incubation period of three to five days and may produce symptoms such as chest pain, cardiac arrhythmia, circulatory failure, and damage to the structures of the heart. The virus is transmitted through fecal-oral or respiratory droplet contact with an infected person.
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Caries is a disease of bone resulting from inflammation of bony tissue.
In dentistry, the term caries means tooth decay.
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Carious is an adjective describing something as suffering from caries. Thus, a carious tooth is a decayed tooth; a carious bone is a diseased bone resulting from inflammation of the bony tissue.
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Carminatives are a class of remedies used in medicine for the relief of gastric and intestinal discomfort caused by the collection of gases formed during imperfect digestion.
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Carnophobia is the fear of meat.
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The arteries that provide the major portion of blood supply to the head and neck are the left and right common carotid, each of which divides into two branches: the external carotid, supplying the neck, the face, and the exterior of the head; and the internal carotid artery, supplying the anterior brain, eye, orbit, and sinuses. You can feel your pulse by placing your fingertips along the common carotid artery in the neck.
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The Carotid Arteries are three arteries on each side of the human neck. The term Carotid Artery is usually applied to the common carotid artery, which is the vessel injured when the throat is cut. Compression of the carotid arteries causes fainting from anaemia of the brain.
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Carpal refers to the wrist.
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Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common disorder that causes pain, and interferes with the use of the hand. It is caused by pressure on the median nerve as the nerve passes through a canal formed by the bones and ligaments in the wrist (the carpal tunnel). A wide variety of conditions can cause the carpal tunnel to narrow and put pressure on the median nerve, including injuries, such as wrist fractures; arthritis complicated by swelling of the tendons in the carpal tunnel; pregnancy, which may cause the synovium around the tendons to thicken; and glandular abnormalities, such as diabetes and thyroid disorders. Work that involves repetitive wrist motions may also cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include pain and numbness in the thumb and in the index, middle, and ring fingers. Many people wake at night with these symptoms. Some sufferers experience weakness of hand muscles and may drop objects. Symptoms often occur when the wrist is flexed during such activities as driving a car or holding a book while reading.
Doctors treat carpal tunnel syndrome by attempting to improve the underlying condition. In many cases, doctors apply a splint to the wrist and prescribe anti-inflammatory medications. In some cases, surgery is performed to relieve symptoms and to prevent permanent damage to the median nerve.
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The carpus or carpals, consist of eight individual bones which compose each wrist. The small bones fit together in an exacting way to allow a wide range of flexibility in the wrist, while maintaining structural integrity. The eight bones of each wrist include the hamate, navicular, trapezium, pisiform, trapezoid, lunate, triquetrum, and capitate bones, which articulate with the metacarpals, the radius, and the ulna.
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Carron oil is a mixture of linseed oil and lime water which was formerly used for treating burns. It was first used at the Carron ironworks near Falkirk.
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Cartilage, or gristle, is a firm and very elastic substance occurring in vertebrate animals. When cut, the surface is uniform, and contains no visible cells, cavities, nor pores, but resembles the section of a piece of glue. It enters into the composition of parts whose functions require the combination of firmness with pliancy and flexibility, the preservation of a certain external form with the power of yielding to external force or pressure. The ends of bones entering into the formation of a joint are always coated with cartilage. Temporary cartilages are those from which bones are formed by ossification. The permanent cartilages are of various kinds. They are found in the external ear and aid in forming the nose, the larynx, etc.
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In anatomy, a cartilaginous joint is an articulation where the bones are joined by cartilage, and a limited amount of movement is possible.
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Cascara is an extract of the bark of the Californian buckthorn used as a laxative or cathartic.
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In medicine, castabasis refers to the decline of a disease.
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Catagelophobia is the fear of being ridiculed.
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Catalepsy is a disease characterised by seizures or trances which last for hours or days with a suspension of sensation and consciousness.
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Catapedaphobia is the fear of jumping from high and low places.
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Cataplasm is a medical term for a poultice.
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In medicine, a cataract is a disease of the eye consisting in opacity of the lens which looks milky-white.
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Catarrh is the inflammation of a mucous membrane, particularly that of the nose, throat or bronchial tubes, causing an increased flow of mucus.
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In medicine, catharsis is the purging of a passage of the body, usually the bowel.
In psychotherapy, catharsis is the process of relieving an abnormal excitement by re-establishing the association of the emotion with the memory or idea of the event that first caused it, and of eliminating it by complete expression.
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A cathartic is a medicine which is capable of producing the second grade of purgation, of which a laxative is the first. As an adjective, cathartic describes something as cleansing the bowels.
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A catheter is a tube that is inserted into a hollow organ of the body in order to drain or introduce fluids. A urinary catheter is inserted into the bladder through the urethra to relieve obstruction to the flow of urine. Cardiac catheters are used to measure blood pressure in the heart. Similar catheters are used to inject radio- opaque substances into blood vessels for X-ray examination.
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Cathisophobia is the fear of sitting.
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Catoptrophobia is the fear of mirrors.
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The caudate nucleus and the lentiform nucleus are both part of the striated body (corpus striatum) of white and grey nerve fibres located just laterally from the fornix within the brain. The lentiform nucleus, or nucleus lenticularis, is the extra-ventricular portion, as it is imbedded in the white material of the cerebral hemisphere. The caudate nucleus, or nucleus caudatus, extends from the outer side of the optic thalamus to the roof of the decending cornu of the lateral ventricle, at the apex of the temporal lobe.
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In anatomy, the caul is the great omentum or that fold of the peritoneum which hangs from the stomach in front of the intestines and is attached below to the large intestine or colon.
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In surgery, cautery is the searing or burning of living flesh by a hot iron (actual cautery) or a caustic substance (potential cautery). The name is thus also given to a heated metal instrument used for burning or searing organic tissue.
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The cecum is the large, primary section of the large intestine, which accepts fluid food-by-products from the ileum of the small intestine through the ileocecal orifice. About eight centimeters long, the cecum transmits this by-product to the ascending section of the colon.
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Celebrex is a cox-2 inhibitor, a potentially deadly anti-inflammatory drug manufactured by the company Pfizer and very similar to the drug Vioxx, though a study in 2004 revealed that Celebrex is even more likely to cause a heart-attack or stroke than Vioxx, patients being roughly two and a half times more likely to suffer a stroke or heart attack if they take Celebrex than if they don't.
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The celiac artery (celiac trunk) branches from the descending aorta near the opening in the diaphragm. It is a short thick branch of artery about an inch in length and divides into three branches, the gastric, hepatic, and splenic. It supplies the intestines, spleen, and liver.
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The celiac ganglia are large clusters of nerve fibres which are related to the sympathetic nervous system. They are located on either side of the aorta, near where the celiac artery begins. Nerves extend from the sympathetic trunk to the celiac ganglia and from there to the stomach, gall bladder, bile ducts, adrenal glands, and further to the inferior and superior mesenteric ganglia, which innervate the intestines.
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In biology, a cell is the material unit of all living things. It is a microscopical mass of protoplasm, usually possessing a wall, the contents of the cell being known as the Cytoplasm. This is a jelly-like substance commonly spoken of as Protoplasm, of which the entire bodies of the simplest plants and animals are composed. Living creatures are therefore uni-cellular or multi-cellular. Within the cytoplasm is usually a minute structure termed the nucleus, and within this again a further substance called chromatin. The latter is all important in the process of cell division, or multiplication, since before this happens the chromatin forms itself into distinct masses or chromosomes. These are definite in number for each living species.
It would appear that the nature of the organism which is to develop from the cell depends upon the nucleus. This contains that special form of protoplasm termed the germ-plasm, the material basis of hereditary characters, or tendencies, which is identified by some with the chromatin. When a living entity consists of one single cell, it is obvious that this cell must perform all the functions necessary for the life of that organism, including those of reproduction and multiplication. Unicellular organisms reproduce themselves simply by separating portions of themselves into daughter cells which become distinct individuals. Multi-cellular organisms on the other hand, which are produced originally from a single cell (such as a fertilised ovum), reproduce in a more complicated manner. Their daughter cells do not separate in the successive generations, but remain as a complicated mass of great numbers of cells, which in course of time come to have separate and definite functions allotted them, thus introducing specialisation of function. All functions of whatever kind are produced by cells of some sort. In a highly complicated animal such as man, the various cells composing his tissues have been so specialised for separate functions that we find cells used for locomotion (muscle cells); support (bone cells); secreting special fluids (liver cells); excreting waste products (kidney cells); the performance of such extraordinarily complicated functions as the production of ideas and thoughts (brain cells). But whatever the manifestation of life may be, whether extremely simple or vastly complicated, it originates in one or more cells. In higher organisms the cells which are set apart for the all-important performance of reproduction are termed germ cells. All the other cells in a creature so highly organized are grouped together under the term of somatic (pertaining to the body) cells, which latter make up the .great mass of the organism.
In the higher animals the germ cells carried by the male are termed sperms, or spermatozoa; those which are carried by the female are termed eggs, or ova, and reproduction is the result of the union of a sperm and an ovum, which results in the production of the fertilised ovum. The corresponding cells in plants are called pollen grains and ovules, which unite in fertilisation like the sperm and the ovum. This union of germ cells is the process of conjugation, and its essential element seems to be the union of the chromatin contained in the nuclei of the two cells.
In certain cases both sets of germ cells are carried in the same individual, which is then known as a hermaphrodite,. In most higher animals, however, conjugation and fertilisation can only occur by the union of a sperm cell from a male with that of an ovum cell from a female. Two individuals are concerned, and the process of reproduction is therefore bi-parental. Self-fertilisation is the union of a sperm cell and an ovum cell of the same individual. Sexual reproduction, therefore, means the union of two sets of cells, sperms and ova, carried by the male and the female respectively. Asexual reproduction, which is characteristic of plants particularly, does not involve the necessity of the union of these special germ cells, but is due to the fact that some plants can produce an individual of their own species by means of cuttings, buds, and so forth. Here the capacity for reproduction is inherent in the cells concerned, which are not specialised germ cells.
It is thus apparent that the study of the most fundamental problems of biology, reproduction, growth, and heredity, is bound up with that of the intimate structure of cells. It has produced the modern science of cytology, the science of cells. The fact that plants were composed of large numbers of minute chambers was one of the most important discoveries ever made. The honour of making it fell to Hooke, in 1665, but almost 200 years passed before the cellular structure of plants was understood as it is to-day. A century later, Malpighi and Grew recognized cells in the structure of plants; Corti, in 1772, observed the movement of protoplasm in cells; Brown, in 1831-33, drew attention to the nucleus in the cell; Dujardin, in 1835, studied the tissue of the bodies of Infusoria; but it was not until 1837 and 1838, after the researches of Schleiden and Schwann, that biologists really turned their attention to the contents of cells and their significance. From that time great advances in the study of cytology were made.
In 1846 Von Mohl gave the name of protoplasm to the mass of the cell contents, which name has been attached to it ever since. In 1853 Cohn emphasised the essential similarity between animal and vegetable cells, followed by Schultze in 1861 who definitely asserted that it was the protoplasm which really constituted the cell. In fact, he denned a cell as a mass of protoplasm containing a nucleus. About the same time the general conception that the cell was the base of life and that all cells took their origin from preexisting cells, was enunciated in Virchow's famous phrase Omnis cellula e cellula (every cell is derived from a cell). Thus the true facts of cell life were being gradually discovered, but it was not until the modern means of investigation associated with microscopes of high magnifying power, and very elaborate methods of staining, that cytology became anything approaching an exact science.
Attention became riveted upon the nucleus of the cell as the result of the work of Strasburger in 1875 and subsequent years. Many observers about that time equally insisted upon the importance of the nucleus and nuclear changes. The cell theory had thus passed from the stage at which the wall was considered all important, to that in which the protoplasm was emphasised, and thence to that where attention was concentrated on the nucleus. Then it was found that some cells contained more than one nucleus, and as the methods of investigation became more and more exact, other structures were discovered in many cells, which have now been the subjects of thorough investigation.
The tissues of the bodies of plants and animals being made up of a number of units called cells, the detailed study of the processes of health and disease, life, growth, maintenance, reproduction, and degeneration resolves itself into the study of the minute changes in living cells. The cell, the ultimate biological unit, is a unit of both structure and function, and a higher plant or animal is a huge collection of cell units, acting as an independent individual. These cell units differ immensely in both structure and function, but most of them have very many characteristics in common, and it will be sufficient to construct a mental picture of an ideal cell which may be regarded as typically representative. That cell is the organized mass of living matter which forms the structural and functional unit from which all tissues are built up.
Its shape may be round, oval, polygonal, spindle-shaped, or quite irregular, and may even change at different times in the same cell. Thus a muscle cell has one shape when it is at rest; another shape when the muscle is contracting. The white cells, or leucocytes, of the blood exhibit many different shapes at different times.
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Cellulitis is a disease characterised by the existence of a spreading inflammation of the tissues underlying the skin.
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The cementum (substantia ossea) is the third hard tissue of the tooth. Periodically secreted by specialized cells (cementoblasts) in the periodontal membrane, the cementum is a coarse material which binds and anchors the tooth to the periodontal ligament. The cementum is composed of about 50% organic tissue, with the rest being water and inorganic (mostly calcium) salts. If the periodontal membrane is damaged, the cementum may be reabsorbed back into the membrane.
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Cenophobia is the fear of new things or ideas.
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In the human body the central nervous system is that part of the nervous system comprising the brain and the spinal cord and is responsible for issuing nerve impulses and analyzing sensory data.
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In medicine, a centre is a location in the brain or nervous system responsible for a particular faculty etc.
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In anatomy, the centrum is the body of a vertebra.
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Cephalagia is a medical term for headache.
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Cephalagic refers to something which is a remedy for headache.
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Cephalic is a classification of human skull. It refers to the shape of skull possessed by Kaffirs and Native Australians.
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The cephalic index is a number indicating the ratio of the breadth to the length of the human head. Introduced by Anders Retzius about 1842, the term cephalic index is often applied to the un-fleshed skull, whose measurement should properly be called the crainal index, the skull-ratio being approximately two units lower than the head-ratio. The breadth-number, multiplied by 100, is divided by the length-number, usually measured from the glabolla to the farthest point of the occipital bone. Medium-headed people range from 75 to 80. Below this they are long-headed, above this round-headed.
In former times great reliance was placed upon the cephalic index as a test of race, but it is recognized that this index alone is insufficient for this purpose, and that it serves only as a first approximation. It can be shown in many cases that there is no necessary correlation to be observed between head-length and head-breadth, whence it follows that the cephalic index may be the same for different varieties of head form.
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The cephalic vein extends along the biceps muscles to the shoulder where it eventually merges with the axillary vein just below the clavicle . In some people, this vein is connected to the external jugular vein or subclavian vein by a branch that extends in front of the clavicle.
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Cerate was the name of an external medicament, more or less liquid, having for its basis wax and oil. Simple cerate consisted of 8 ounces of lard and four of white wax melted together and stirred until cold.
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Ceraunophobia is the fear of thunder.
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The cerebellar arteries supply the part of the brain located at the base of the skull behind the brain stem, the cerebellum. Blockage, or occlusion, of one of the arteries leading to the cerebellum may result in the loss of awareness of pain and temperature, numbness of the face, and paralysis or lack of coordination on one side of the body.
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Cerebellar syndrome (Nonne's syndrome) is a disease of the cerebellum characterised by unsteady movements and the mispronunciation of words.
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The cerebellum is a division of the brain, located below the cerebrum and in the posterior of the brain. The cerebellum features a central portion, called the vermis, and two side portions, or hemispheres - one on each side. It is the responsibility of the cerebellum to coordinate and modify the resultant activity of impulses and orders sent from the cerebrum. It does this by receiving information from nerve endings all over the body, such as the balance and equilibrium centers in the inner ear, and adjusts and fine tunes these actions by passing the regulating signals to the motor neurons of the brain and spinal cord. Damage to the cerebellum therefore results in loss of ability to maintain precise muscular coordination and fine cooperative actions of the motor processes (called ataxia).
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The cerebral aqueduct is a small canal near the midbrain which allows passage of the cerbrospinal fluid from the third ventricle to the fourth ventricle. It is also called the aqueduct of Sylvius, after its discoverer.
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Cerebral diplegia is a form of cerebral palsy in which there is widespread damage to the parts of both cerebral hemispheres that control the movements of the limbs.
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In physiology, the word cerebrate means to accomplish by action of the brain. The word is also used to mean to exercise the functions of the brain.
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Cerebrospinal is an adjective describing something as consisting of, affecting, or pertaining to the brain and spinal cord.
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The cerebrum is the upper and larger portion of the brain and occupies the whole of the dome of the skull. The cerebrum is descriptively divided into four section, or lobes, named for the cranial bones which they are nearest: the frontal lobe, the occipital lobe, the parietal lobe, and the temporal lobe. Cerebrospinal fluid, used to support the brain and buffer it, is transmitted to these lobes by means of lateral ventricles which project branches, or horns (cornu), into the frontal, occipital, and temporal lobes. The functions of each lobe are coordinated by connecting, or commissural, fibres. The frontal lobe is located behind the frontal bone and is responsible for voluntary motor coordination. It houses control areas for muscular control of the body and for coordinated rhythmical movements of the head and throat, such as in chewing, licking, and swallowing. The frontal lobe also contains the higher thought processing centers of memory, reasoning, and associative conceptualizing.
The occipital lobe is located just in front of the occipital bone and contains the centers responsible for sight. Damage to the occipital lobe therefore often results in vision impairment. The parietal lobe is located in the upper, middle part of the brain, next to the parietal bones. It houses the control centers for processing impulses related to the sense of touch. Temperature, texture, size, shape, and weight are analyzed and processed here. The temporal lobe is located on the side of each hemisphere of the brain, next to the temporal bone, and houses areas for the processing and correlation of auditory (hearing) and olfactory (smell) senses. Damage to this section of the brain can result in deafness, auditory hallucinations, and other hearing disorders.
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Cerumen (popularly known as earwax) is the yellow waxy substance secreted by certain glands in the outer ear, in the passage leading to the tympanum.
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The ceruminous glands are the glands of the ear which secrete the cerumen or wax which lubricates the passage to the tympanum and prevents the entrance of foreign matter.
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The cervical lymph nodes are located in the neck. They are divided into two sets: superficial and deep. There are three sets of superficial lymph glands: the submaxillary, near the jaw, the suprahyoid, near the hyoid bone in the throat, and the cervical which are located along the course of the external jugular vein. The deep cervical glands are large glands that are situated near the pharynx, esophagus, and trachea. When you have a sore throat, white blood cells mass together in these nodes to fight the infection, which is why your throat will often feel swollen and tender.
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The cervical plexus is a group of ascending and descending vein branches found in the tissue and muscles of the neck. These branches eventually converge with the jugular veins. The superficial branches join with the internal jugular vein and the deep branches join with the external jugular vein.
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The cervical vertebrae are the first (upper) seven in the vertebral column. The first cervical vertebra is the atlas, so called because it directly bears the weight of the skull. The second cervical vertebra is called the axis, because it admits the rotation of the skull by allowing the atlas to pivot upon it. The other five cervical vertebrae have no names, but are called by their number (i.e., third cervical vertebra). Each of the cervical vertebra features a body and an arch. The body of each vertebra in the column bears the weight of the vertebrae above it (and the skull), while the arch serves to create a canal-like area along the spine to house and protect the spinal cord. Every cervical vertebra has a foramen in each of its transverse processes. The arch of the vertebra features a small knob or prominence, called an anterior tubercle. The anterior tubercles on the sixth cervical vertebra are particularly large and are known as the carotid tubercles.
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In anatomy and zoology, the cervix is the neck, especially the back of the neck. The word cervix is also applied to a narrow or constricted part of an organ, such as the lower part of the womb.
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The cervix uteri (cervix) is the neck of the womb. It is the part of the uterus that projects into the upper part of the vagina. It is a powerful ring of muscle which is closed at most times but is able to dilate widely during childbirth.
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Cetirizine dihydrochloride is an antihistamine widely used in the relief of hayfever and other allergies, the usual dosage is a single tablet containing 10 mg taken once a day by persons over the age of twelve - some sources advise cetirizine dihydrochloride is safe for children over the age of six. Cetirizine dihydrochloride should not be taken by pregnant or breast-feeding women, and can cause drowsiness, dizziness, agitation, stomach upset and intestinal pain.
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Chaetophobia is the fear of hair.
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Chaga's disease is a form of trypanosomiasis found in South America, caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi and characterised by fever and, often, inflammation of the heart muscles.
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Chalkstone is a name given to chalky deposits forming in the tissues and joints in patients suffering from gout.
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A chancre is a painless ulcer tha develops at the site where an infection enters the body, typically on the lips, penis, urethra or eyelid, and is primarily a sympton of infections such as sleeping sickness and syphilis.
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Charbon is an alternative name for anthrax. The term is also used for an infectious disease.
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Charcot's joint is a medical condition in which a joint becomes damaged, swollen and deformed, often the knee, due to repeated minor injuries being sustained of which the patient is unaware because the nerves that normally register pain are not working. Charcot's joint may occur in syphilis, diabetes mellitus and syringomyelia.
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The cheek is the soft, full part of the face below either eye.
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Cheilosis is the condition of having swollen, cracked, bright-red lips. It is a common symptom of many nutritional disorders including ariboflavinosis.
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Cheimaphobia is the fear of cold.
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Cheiropompholyx is a type of eczema that affects the palms of the hands and the fingers.
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Chemophobia is the fear of chemicals.
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Chemoprophylaxis is the prevention of disease by using chemical drugs.
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Chemosis is a swelling of the conjunctiva.
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Chemotherapy is the treatment or prevention of disease, particularly cancer, by means of chemical substances. The term is sometimes restricted to the treatment of infectious diseases with antibiotics and other drugs, or to the treatment of cancer with antimetabolites and similar drugs.
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Cherophobia is the fear of gaiety.
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In man and the higher vertebrates, the chest is the cavity formed by the breast-bone in front and the ribs and backbone at the sides and behind, shut off from the abdomen below by the diaphragm or midriff. It contains the heart, lungs, etc, and the gullet passes through it.
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Chicken-breasted is a popular term for having that form of breast, resulting from malformation or from carious disease or spinal weakness, in which the vertebral column is curved forwards, giving rise to projection of the sternum or breast-bone.
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Chickenpox, also called varicella, is a contagious viral infection caused by the herpes zoster (VZV) virus. It is the same virus that causes shingles. Chickenpox occurs primarily in young children and is a common childhood disease. It is rare in adults, but when it does occur it is usually more severe. It can be serious if left untreated. Symptoms include scattered red spots on the skin that have tiny 'watery blisters' in the center, weakness, nausea, fever, chills, and occasionally, in severe cases, pneumonitis. The virus is transmitted by direct contact with the skin rash or by airborne droplets (coughed or sneezed) from the respiratory tract of an infected person. The virus has an incubation period of two to three weeks before the rash begins to appear. The rash begins as small, flat, pink spots that develop into blisters. After several days, the blisters dry out and form scabs, which may itch. Scratching may lead to a secondary infection. Once the scabs have formed, the infected person is no longer contagious at this point. Although lifelong immunity is developed after an attack of chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in the tissues and may cause shingles later in life. There is no cure for the chickenpox, but its symptoms can be alleviated with plenty of bed rest and drinking lots of fluids to prevent dehydration.
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A chilblain is a redness of the foot or hand caused by frost or cold and sometimes accompanied by inflammation, ulceration and itching.
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Chillblains is the popular name for perniosis, a dusky red itchy swelling that develops on the extremeties in cold weather. The pain is not constant, but rather pungent and shooting at particular times, and an insupportable itching attends it. Chillblains usually clear in about two weeks, but in severe cases may be treated with nifedipine, in all cases the parts should be kept warm.
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The chin is the part of the face below the upper lip; the central point of the lower jaw below the mouth.
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Chincough is an old alternative name for whooping cough.
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Chinoline is an oily liquid obtained by distilling quinine with potash and a little water, or by the dry distillation of coal. It was formerly used in medicine as an antiseptic, and was especially effective when applied to the membranes of diphtheria, being also a remedy in intermittent fevers, etc.
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Chionophobia is the fear of snow.
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Chiraptophobia is the fear of being touched.
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The first chiropractic treatment was founded by David Palmer in the late 19th century. It is a theory of alternative healing based on the belief that disease results from a lack of normal nerve function. The chiropractor maintains or restores health by manipulating the vertebrae of the spine and the body's joints and muscles. Manipulation improves the flow of nerve impulses to the brain thus increasing the body's own ability to solve its health problems.
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Chitin is an organic substance which forms part of the exoskeleton of arthropods.
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Chlamydia is a genus of virus-like bacteria responsible for such diseases as trachoma, psittacosis, and some sexually transmitted diseases.
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Chlamydial pneumonia, or psittacosis, is caused by the bacteria-like organism Chlamydia psittaci. Other common names for this disease are ornothosis or parrot fever. The microorganism is transmitted to humans from infected birds, especially parrots. The incubation period of this organism is not known, but it occurs in infants from 4 to 12 weeks. Symptoms include a dry cough, headache, high fever and anorexia. The chlamydia organisms are hard to isolate and culture, making diagnosis difficult.
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Chloasma is the appearance on a person's skin, usually the face, of patches of a darker colour. It is associated with hormonal changes caused by liver disease or the use of oral contraceptives.
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Chloracne is a disfiguring skin disease resulting from contact with, ingestion or inhalation of certain chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons.
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Chloral hydrate is a white crystalline solid with a faint odour used in medicine as a hypnotic since 1869. Related to chloroform, chloral hydrate is not as strong as some of the more recent drugs in this category, but administered with alcohol, the crystalline powder - the so-called 'knockout drops' - can produce coma. Chloral hydrate also irritates mucous membranes and skin.
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Chlorambucil is a drug derived from nitrogen mustard, administered orally in the treatment of leukaemia and other malignant diseases.
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Chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride (known under the trade names of Librax, Libritabs, Librium, Mesural, Multum, Risolid, Silibrin, Sonimen, Zetran) is an orally ingested or injected limbic Central nervous system depressant (tranquilizer) used in medicine for the management of anxiety disorders or the short-term relief of anxiety.
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Chlordiazopoxide is a popular term for the tranquilizer chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride.
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Chlorodyne is a mixture of hydrchloride of morphine, chloroform, ether, prussic acid, treacle, extract of liquorice, oil of peppermint and syrup formerly used in medicine to treat severe diarrhoea, colic and coughs, as an analgesic and to induce sleep.
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Chloroform (trichloromethane) is a compound of carbon, hydrogen and chlorine, and was made from alcohol, water and bleaching powder. It was discovered by Soubeiran in 1831 and independently by Liebig in 1832. It was first used as an anaesthetic in 1847 by Sir James Simpson of Edinburgh. In the presence of light, however, it tends to decompose, yielding the highly poisonous compound phosgene. Even when pure, it causes fatal cardiac paralysis in about one out of 3000 cases, and so is seldom used for anaesthesia anymore.
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Chlorosis, populary known as greensickness, is a disorder, formerly common in adolescent girls, characterised by pale greenish-yellow skin, weakness, and palpitation and caused by insufficient iron in the body.
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Chlorpromazine hydrochloride (Thorazine, largactil) is a depressive drug which is orally ingested or injected. It has undetermined psychotropic effects on the Central nervous system and is used in the management of manic psychotic disorders and disturbances, and also post-operative vomiting. It is also used to produce a state of artificial hibernation for operations on the heart and great vessels.
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The choanae are the posterior nasal apertures, visible in the inferior vier of the skull. The two choanae are separated by the posterior border of the vomer, and are evident at the rear of the palatine bones.
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A cholagogue a medicine which has the property of carrying off bile.
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Cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gall bladder. It is carried out when gallstones or infection lead to inflammation of the gall bladder, which may then be removed either by conventional surgery or by keyhole surgery.
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Cholera is an acute, infectious, often fatal disease caused by the micro organism Vibrio cholerae. It is endemic in India and some other tropical countries and occasionally spreading to temperate climates. The symptoms of cholera are diarrhoea and the loss of water and salts in the stool.
In its more ordinary form it commences with sickness, vomiting, or perhaps two or three loose evacuations of the bowels; after which follow a sense of burning at the praecordia, an increased purging and vomiting of a white or colourless fluid, great prostration of strength, spasms at the extremities, which increase in violence with the vomiting and purging. Such cases may last from twelve to thirty- six hours; after this the patient generally sinks into a state of extreme collapse, and this stage in most cases passes by a gradual transition into a febrile one, which in a majority of instances proves fatal. Sometimes the patient is suddenly stricken down and dies, collapsed within a few hours without diarrhoea or vomiting.
In severe cholera, the patient develops violent diarrhoea with characteristic 'rice-water stools,' vomiting, thirst, muscle cramps, and sometimes circulatory collapse. Death can occur as quickly as a few hours after the onset of symptoms. The mortality rate is more than 50 percent in untreated cases, but falls to less than 1 percent with proper treatment. Treatment consists mainly of intravenous or oral replacement of fluids and salts. Packets for dilution containing the correct mixture of sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, and glucose have been made widely available by the WHO. Most patients recover in three to six days. Antibiotics such as tetracyclines, ampicillin, chloramphenicol, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole can shorten the duration of the disease, but have their own long term risks in damage to the immune system.
Cholera first appeared (in recognised form) in Europe in 1829, and reached Britain in 1831, spreading thence to America. Western Europe was again visited by it in 1847, 1853, 1865, 1873, 1875, and in 1885. In 1892 Russia and Western Europe suffered severely.
By 1905 it was ascertained that the primary and essential element in the production of cholera was a constituent of the excreta of cholera patients. At the time it wasn't known what the agent was, but that it is an organism capable of propagating itself when it is taken into the alimentary canal in food, impure water, or the like, was beyond a doubt. Dr. Koch asserted that the essential cause was a bacillus, having the form of a curved rod, hence then called the comma bacillus, and that the disease was caused by the multiplication of this organism in the small intestines.
A method of protective inoculation against cholera was tried in India, with some success around 1900. At the same time it was established that the contagion of cholera is not so likely to be conveyed by personal intercourse as by residence in an infected district. Sanitary measures proved to be the only efficacious means of arresting an epidemic; insanitary conditions decidedly favour it - quite obvious as the disease is spread through contact with infected faeces.
What is called British cholera is a bilious disease, long known in most countries, and is characterized by copious vomiting and purging, with violent griping, cramps of the muscles of the abdomen and lower extremities, and great depression of strength. It is most prevalent at the end of summer or the beginning of autumn. Cholera infantum (infants' cholera) is the name sometimes given to a severe and dangerous diarrhoea to which infants are liable in hot climates or in the hot season.
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Cholera Morbus or Asiatic cholera is a strain of cholera first described in 1560 and first appeared in India in 1774 and became endemic in Lower Bengal in 1817 whence it gradually spread until in reached Russia in 1830 and Germany in 1831 killing more than 900,000 persons between 1829 and 1830.
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Cholerophobia is the fear of anger.
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Cholesterol is a steroid alcohol present in animal cells and body fluids.
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Choline magnesium trisalicylate is a drug used to treat arthritis; mild-to-moderate pain and fever. It has the possible side effects of: ringing in the ears and hearing loss, nausea, vomiting, gastric distress, hidden bleeding, rash, hypersensitivity manifested by shock and/or asthma.
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The chorion is the outermost layer of the fertilized ovum (zygote) that furnishes a protective and nutritive covering and produces the amniotic fluid. The amniotic fluid protects the embryo and fetus during pregnancy and the rupture of the amniotic sac is one of the first signs that labor has begun. During childbirth the amniotic fluid lubricates the cervical canal, facilitating the passage of the head of the fetus through the cervical canal.
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The choroid plexus is a vascular layer of the inner eye that lies between the retina and sclera. It is composed of a thin network of branching blood vessels that bring a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to the retina. The choroid, along with the iris and ciliary body, constitute the uveal tract which is the pigmentary, or middle, portion of the eye.
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Chorophobia is the fear of dancing.
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Chrematophobia is the fear of money.
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Christmas disease (named after the first patient with the disease to be studied in detail) is a relatively mild type of haemophilia, caused by lack of a protein (Christmas factor) implicated in the process of blood clotting.
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Chrometophobia is the fear of money.
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Chromophobia is the fear of colour.
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A chromosome is a rod-shaped structure containing genes that is found in the cell nucleus. It is composed of long strands of DNA with many proteins attached.
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Chronomentrophobia is the fear of clocks.
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Chronophobia is the fear of time.
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Chrysophobia (aurophobia) is the fear of gold.
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Chyle is a milk-like fluid composed of digested fat found in the mesenteric lacteals. The word is also sometimes erroneously used for the partly digested food in the small intestine.
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Chyme is the mass of partly digested food before its passing from the stomach into the small intestine.
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Cibophobia (sitophobia) is the fear of food.
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In medicine, to cicatrise is to heal a wound by inducing the formation of a scar.
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In pathology, a cicatrix is a scar which remains after a wound has healed.
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Cicatrization is a technical term for scarring due to cutting. Cicatrization has been used for body decoration, as a rite of passage and for heightening sexual pleasure for thousands of years, particularly in Africa.
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Cilamox is a brand name for Amoxicillin.
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Cilia are the technical name for the eyelashes, the fringe of tiny hairs along the edges of the eyelids.
Cilia are tiny hairs which cover the inside of many mucous linings. They are found throughout the body and, by their wave-like motion, they serve to filter and transport particulate material along the surface of the mucosal lining. Respiratory cilia are responsible for helping to filter dust and debris out of inhaled air and transmitting it with mucous to the pharynx to be swallowed. The nasal cavity, pharynx, trachea, and bronchi mucous linings each have these structures.
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The ciliary ganglion is an enlarged cluster of nerve fibres where the oculomotor nerve branches into the many short ciliary nerves which supply the iris and cornea of the eye. These short ciliary nerves run more or less parallel to the long ciliary nerves, which also innervate the iris and cornea, but which originate in the nasociliary nerve before the ciliary ganglion.
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The ciliary muscles are small muscles responsible for changing the shape of the lens of the eye in the process of accomodation. Accomodation is the automatic process by which the lens focuses on images in the distance. The ciliary muscle consists of two sets of fibres: radiating and circular. Contraction of the ciliary muscle relaxes the suspensory ligaments, allowing the lens to become more convex.
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Cinchonism is a condition accompanied by headache, deafness, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) caused by taking cinchona or quinine.
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Circumcise means to cut off all or part of the foreskin. In the bible, the term circumcise is used figuratively to mean to cleanse from sin.
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Circumcision is the act of cutting off all or part of the prepuce (foreskin).
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Cirrhosis is any of various chronic progressive diseases of the liver, characterised by the death of liver cells and irreversible fibrosis. Cirrhosis is caused by inadequate diet, excessive alcohol, chronic infection and others.
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CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) is a fatal slow-developing virus disease that affects the central nervous system. It is characterised by mental deterioration and loss of coordination of the limbs. CJD is thought to be the result of BSE transmitted to humans.
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Clamox is a brand name for Amoxicillin.
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Clamoxyl is a brand name for Amoxicillin.
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Claustrophobia is the fear of being closed in or of being in a confined space.
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In human anatomy, the clavicle is a long bone which lies almost horizontally at the root of the neck. It serves two main functions; to act as a prop which braces back the shoulder and enables the limb to swing clear of the trunk. And to transmit part of the weight of the limb to the axial skeleton.
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The clavicular head is that upper part of the pectoralis major muscle that originates from the clavicle.
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Clavoxilin is a brand name for Amoxicillin.
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Cleisiophobia is the fear of being locked in.
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Cleptophobia is the fear of stealing.
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Climacophobia is the fear of stairs.
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A clinic is a private or specialized hospital. A place for giving medical treatment or advice. The term clinic is especially applied to such a place within a hospital devoted to one topic. For example, one may attend a baby care clinic, that is a place where medical advice on baby care, and only on baby care, is provided.
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Clinophobia is the fear of bed and beds.
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Clithrophobia is the fear of being enclosed.
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Clitoridectomy is the surgical removal of the clitoris. Clitoridectomies were carried out in the USA until the start of the 20th century to prevent habituakl masturbation by the woman.
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The clitoris is a small, sensitive erectile organ located within the folds of the vulva in the female of most mammals.
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In vertebrates a cloaca is the common chamber into which the ducts of the reproductive organs and of the kidneys open, together with the alimentary canal. A cloaca is present in birds and reptiles and in the lowest mammals, but is replaced in higher mammals by the anus and urinogenital aperture.
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Clonidine hydrochloride is a drug used to treat control high blood pressure; to suppress abstinence symptoms during narcotics withdrawal. It has the possible side effects of: drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, sedation, nervousness, headache, dizziness on changing position quickly, mouth dryness, constipation and itching.
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Clonus is a rapidly alternating contraction and relaxation of muscles, resulting in violent tremors of part of a limb.
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Clostridium difficile is a potentially lethal bacteria naturally present in the human intestine but usually kept under control by other bacteria. However, taking antibiotics kills the other bacteria in the human intestine allowing Clostridium difficile to flourish leading to Antibiotics can kill some of these, allowing Clostridium difficile to take hold leading to fever, diarrhoea and, in a signifcant number of cases, death. Infections of Clostridium difficile are particularly common in hospitals.
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Cloxacillin sodium is a drug used to treat systemic infections. It has the possible side effects of: Nausea, vomiting, stomach distress, diarrhoea and hypersensitivity (rash, itching, chills, fever, sneezing and/or wheezing)
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In medicine, a clyster is an injection into the intestines or an enema.
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Cnidophobia is the fear of insect stings.
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Coamoxin is a brand name for Amoxicillin.
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Cocaine (benzoylmethyl ecgonine) is an alkaloid derived from the leaves of the coca plant. It is a white crystalline powder used as a local anaesthetic and also, illegally, as a euphoric drug. Cocaine taken recreationally is cut into a fine powder, arranged in what is termed a line, and inhaled through the nose - typically through a rolled-up banknote. A form of cocaine, known as crack, is smoked.
Cocaine provides the user with about thirty minutes of good-feeling, users report an increase in awareness, self confidence and sexual pleasure - the cocaine prevents the re-absorption of dopamine in the brain. Taking alcohol with cocaine enhances the effect of the cocaine. However, after about thirty minutes the effects wear off and the users may be left feeling depressed and paranoid. Inhaling cocaine often causes irritation to the sinuses, a condition known as a Columbian cold, and prolonged use can destroy the lining of the nose. Some sources claim that cocaine can cause cardiac arrest or strokes through increased blood pressure.
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In pathology, cocanism is an abnormal condition resulting from the excessive and continued use of cocaine as a stimulant. The term cocanism is also applied to the habit of using cocaine.
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Coccidioidomycosis is a disease of the skin or viscera, particularly the lungs, caused by infection with the fungus Coccidioides immitis.
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Coccidiosis is a disease of rabbits caused by the Coccidium coccidia and detected by small yellow spots on the liver. It was commonly mistaken for tuberculosis at one time until the discovery of the coccidia organisms.
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The coccygeus (ischiococcygeus) is a triangular muscle located on each side of the pelvis. It originates from the ischium and inserts in the coccyx and sacrum. It closes the back part of the outlet of the pelvis. The coccygeus muscle is innervated by the third and fourth sacral nerves. This muscle raises and supports the coccyx.
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The coccyx (or 'tailbone') is composed of three to five rudimentary vertebrae. Often, the first of these coccygeal vertebrae is separate, while the remainder are fused together. The articulation between the coccygeal vertebrae and the sacrum allow some flexibility in the coccyx, which is particularly beneficial in taking the stresses of sitting and falling. The coccyx is extremely susceptible to shock fracture, as might be induced from a fall. Furthermore, since a number of nerve pathways pass near this area, damage to the coccyx threatens damage to the nerves of the lower body. The juncture of the first coccygeal vertebra with the sacrum occurs at the lower facet of the sacrum.
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The cochlea is a minute, bony, spiral-shaped tube in the ear, comprised of two canals and a duct subdivided by a thin partition called the cochlear partition, which runs the entire length of the spiral. The basilar membrane lies on one side of the partition and the vestibular membrane lies on the other side. Sound vibrations reaching the inner ear are transmitted through the fluid of the cochlear canals (the tympanic canal and the vestibular canal) and around the cochlear duct which divides them. As the pressure of the waves flows over the basilar membrane, which is the vibrating wall of the cochlear duct, the fluid inside the duct is agitated. This movement of the fluid stimulates the organ of corti, which sits on the membrane inside the cochlear partition. The organ of corti is a hearing sense organ and performs the actual transformation of mechanical vibrations into nerve impulses. It has a gelatinous membrane and two sets of hair cells (receptor hair cells). The two sets of receptor hair cells, the inner and outer receptor cells, are located between the basilar and gelatinous membrane of the organ of cporti. When the basilar membrane vibrates it pushes the hair cells against the gelatinous membrane, causing the hair cells to produce a chemical that converts the movement into electrical impulses which are transmitted to the adjacent nerve fibres. There are approximately 30,000 nerve fibres in each ear transmitting signals to both the brain stem and the brain's auditory cortex.
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Cod Liver Oil is the oil extracted from the fresh liver of the cod. It consists chiefly of olein and palmatin with a little stearin and iodine. It is the most easily digested of all fats and has since 1848 been used medicinally.
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Codeine is one of the alkaloids of opium, it is associated with morphine but is milder in its action than morphine. It is a slight analgesic and modifies tissue change and alleviates tickling cough and colic, and induces sleep. Codeine is usually combined with Paracetamol, and then called co-codamol and is used to treat moderate to severe pain.
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Coeliac disease is a chronic intestinal disorder occuring in young children caused by sensitivity to the protein gliadin contained in the gluten of cereals.
Coeliac disease is characterised by distention of the abdomen and frothy, pale, foul-smelling stools.
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Coimetrophobia is the fear of cemeteries.
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Coitophobia is the fear of sexual intercourse.
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Colchicin is an alkaloid obtained from colchicum, used for the alleviation or cure of gout and rheumatism. It acts as an emetic, diuretic, and cathartic, in large doses as a narcotico-acrid poison.
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Coley's fluid was a fluid obtained by the culture of the bacili of erysipelas, streptococci, and staphtlococci used in the treatment of cancer.
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Colic (named from colon, a portion of the large intestine), is a painful disorder of the bowels, usually of a spasmodic character, unaccompanied by diarrhoea, and presenting itself in various forms. When the pain is accompanied with a vomiting of bile or with obstinate costiveness it is called a bilious colic; if with windy distension, it takes the name of flatulent or windy colic; if with heat and inflammation, it takes the name of inflammatory colic, or enteritis. 'There are many other varieties of this complaint, some of which are peculiar to certain occupations or districts, as the painters colic and the Devonshire colic.
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Colitis is inflammation of the colon (large intestine).
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Collagen is one of the albuminoids. It forms the white fibres of connective tissue.
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The movement of the fingers is achieved by flexors and adductors. The flexors, such as the flexor digitorum superficialis and the flexor digitorum profundus, contract to draw the fingers into a curl. Adductors are on the backs of the fingers and contract to draw the fingers out straight. Collateral ligaments pass along the sides of the digits and work in fine-tuning side-to-side flexions.
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Colle's fracture is a common fracture of the radius, above the wrist; it is usually the result of a fall on to the palm of the hand. It is diagnosed by the history, by finding a tender point a little above the wrist on the thumb side, with an alternation in the relative position of the two prominent styloid processes of the wrist. The process on the radial side is normally lower than that on the ulnar side. Colle's fracture bring the two bones much to the same level; their relative position can be compared with those on the other wrist.
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The collecting tubules of the kidney are responsible for collecting the urine from the distal convoluted tubule of the nephron and passing it to the calyces, and from there into the renal pelvis reservoir. The collecting tubules are relatively straight, distinguishing them from the proximal and distal convoluted tubules.
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A collyrium is a medicated lotion for the eyes.
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The colon is the central part of the large intestine. Extending from the cecum to the rectum, it is descriptively subdivided into four parts: the ascending, the transverse, the descending, and the sigmoid colon. The ascending colon extends upward from the cecum to lead into the transverse portion. The transverse extends across the abdominal cavity from the end of the ascending part to lead into the descending section of the colon. The descending colon extends from the end of the transverse colon to the sigmoid colon. The sigmoid colon connects the end of the descending colon to the rectum. The rectal and sigmoid sections are often referred to as the rectosigmoid.
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Colostomy is the operation of opening into the colon, or lower portion of the intestine. This procedure is one of the most important in abdominal surgery. It is sometimes necessary as a life- saving measure. It may be temporary or permanent as an artificial anus in the radical treatment of rectal cancer. Because of its appearance, its inconvenience and the very thought of an artificial opening in the abdominal wall a great deal of care is necessary to allay the anxieties of patients and their relatives when colostomy is necessary.
In some cases of acute intestinal obstruction the surgeon explores the abdomen and finds perhaps a large mass in the region of the pelvic colon or rectum that cannot be removed. An emergency colostomy is then performed in the transverse colon with the immediate purpose of saving life and with the further objective of providing temporary drainage should the growth be removable at a later date. In some such cases, when at first sight the primary cause of the obstruction seems beyond any possibility of surgical removal, after several weeks of colostomy drainage the infection subsides and the affected portion of bowel may then be removed. Colostomy may be necessary as a preliminary to other operations involving removal of the large bowel. Such an occasion arises if diverticulitis has produced vesico-colic fistula (between the colon and bladder). In some cases of severe incontinence due to abnormality or injury to the anus, a left iliac colostomy enables the patient to be free of the terrible inconvenience of perpetual soiling in the perineum. Injuries or abnormalities of the spinal cord produce paralysis of the anal sphincter mechanism and sometimes colostomy is essential. Congenital absence of the rectum or anus requires an emergency colostomy within a day or so of birth.
There are two main forms of colostomy. First is the loop colostomy which has two limbs. The opening is at the apex of the loop and the bowel has not been divided completely across. A variation of the loop colostomy is the double- barrel form in which the two limbs of the loop are separated by a piece of skinrafter complete division. This is also described as a defunctioning colostomy as it prevents the spill of faeces from the proximal to the distal loop. A second variety is the spur colostomy where a spur is formed by suturing the two ends together for several centimeters inside the abdomen. This is of particular value if the colostomy is temporary as the spur can be destroyed by a crushing clamp without risk of peritonitis or perforation since the limbs have become sealed together. When the spur breaks down, the artificial opening on the surface shrinks and sinks back below the skin level. The aim is that this should close spontaneously without further operation. The third type is the terminal colostomy in which the distal portion of bowel is removed completely or in the case of excision of rectum the lower end is closed to form a blind end. In grave emergencies the simplest form of colostomy is performed in which a loop of colon is brought out through the abdominal wall, where it is held by the insertion of a glass rod passed through a small hole in the mesentery. The ends of the glass rod are connected by a loop of rubber tubing which forms a 'bucket handle' . The abdominal wall is closed around the protrusion of the colostomy. Exteriorisation is another way of performing a colostomy. If a growth is present in a part of the bowel which can be brought readily through the abdominal wall (e.g. transverse or pelvic colon) the affected loop containing the growth is left outside and the peritoneum, muscles and skin are closed around the base of the loop where the two limbs converge. The loop of colon containing the growth is then removed, leaving two open ends of
el which can later be joined by crushing the spur between them. This operation avoids the handling of growth or unprepared bowel while the peritoneal cavity is open and so diminishes the risk of peritonitis. A formal operation for closure is required if a spur has not been made.
At the end of the operation a small incision is usually made in the apex of the loop to allow the immediate discharge of gas and faecal material which is collected as cleanly as possible before the patient leaves the theatre. A dressing of petroleum jelly gauze or tulle gras is applied on the exposed bowel. The skin incision may be sealed with Whitehead's varnish and a pad of cellulose tissue and wool is bandaged lightly over the opening. For fear of contaminating the abdominal wound before the peritoneal cavity has become sealed, the former practice was to leave the colostomy unopened for 48 hours. The initial opening may be enlarged by the surgeon two or three days after the colostomy has been raised. The bowel is usually divided (without anaesthetic) by an electric cautery which seals the blood vessels and prevents bleeding from the very vascular mucous membrane and muscle wall of the bowel. A method of draining the colostomy is by the use of Paul's tube. This is an angled wide glass tube which is inserted through a hole in the colostomy loop. It is tied in position in the same way as the caecostomy catheter and connected to a bedside jar with wide, thin, latex tubing.
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A coma is a state of deep unconsciousness.
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Comatose (comatous) means in a state of profound insensibility. The term is also popularly used to mean drowsy or lethargic.
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Cometophobia is the fear of comets.
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A comminuted fracture is a fracture where the bone is not simply snapped in one or more places, but is broken up into several small fragments, often as the result of a crushing blow.
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Two common iliac arteries branch from the abdominal portion of the aorta. Each artery is about five centimeters in length and descends downward and outward toward the edge of the pelvis. The common iliac artery divides into the internal and external iliac arteries and supplies the pelvis and lower extremities.
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Comoxyl is a brand name for Amoxicillin.
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The compact bone tissue serves as the outer shell of the bone and serves to protect the inner core of spongy bone (trebiculae, or substantia spongiosa). The compact bone shell is particularly thick in the middle of the shaft in long bones in order to protect the bone against bending. The compact bone is covered by the periosteum.
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In physiology, a complement is a group of proteins present in blood plasma and tissue fluid, which by combining with an antigen-antibody complex can bring about the lysis of foreign cells.
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In medicine a complication is a physical disorder, a symptom, or an incidental circumstance unconnected with a primary disease, but affecting or bearing relation to it.
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In medicine, a compound fracture is the breaking of a bone in such a way as to make an open wound, often through which the broken bone projects.
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In medicine, a compress is a soft pad used in surgery as a dressing or to maintain pressure.
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The compressor narium minor is a small muscle attached at one end to the alar cartilage, and at the other end to the integument at the tip of the nose. All muscles of the nose are supplied by the facial nerve.
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The compressor nasi (compressor naris) is a small, thin muscle with a triangular shape. It runs along the bridge of the nose forming the transverse portion of the nasalis mucle. It dilates the nostrils, the opposite action of the depressor nasi muscle. All muscles of the nose are supplied by the facial artery and innervated by the facial nerve (VII cranial nerve).
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In psychology, conation is a term used by Sir William Hamilton to designate one of the three great divisions of the mind, the other two being cognition and feeling. As used by him it included the mental states of desire and volition alone; but modern writers make the term broad enough to include every state of mental change, so that we find conation wherever consciousness, of itself, drifts from one state to another. Although akin to feeling and attention, it is distinct from both. The word is occasionally applied to those sensations, whether painful or pleasant, which accompany muscular activity. The adjective 'conative' was first used by Cudworth in 1688.
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The concha is the deep, bowl-shaped part of the ear cartilage that attaches directly to the side of the head at the front of the mastoid process of the skull. The opening to the auditory canal is located in the lower front corner of the concha. The concha helps funnel sound into the auditory canal.
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A concussion is a violent jar or shock to the brain that causes an immediate change in the brain function, and can possibly include loss of consciousness. For a mild concussion, the signs and symptoms include temporary loss of consciousness; memory loss; and emotional instability. For a severe concussion, the signs and symptoms include prolonged unconsciousness; dilated pupils; change in breathing; disturbed vision and equilibrium; and memory loss. The extent of injury can only be determined by a physician. If the concussion is mild, the injured person may be sent home after examination, but only if a responsible person is present to stay with the injured person and watch for serious symptoms. Follow the doctor's instructions carefully if you are the responsible person, as there are several symptoms to watch for and report to the doctor if one or more after effects appear. The first 24 hours after the injury are critical, but serious aftereffects can appear later. The total extent of the injury may not be apparent for 48-72 hours. Complete recovery is likely with early diagnosis and treatment. To prevent a concussion from occurring or reoccurring, wear a protective helmet for any activity at risk for a head injury.
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Condy's fluid was a sanitary and antiseptic preparation which was formerly largely used as a deodorizer and disinfectant in fevers, etc. It was also employed as a gargle in diphtheria and other throat affections, and was considered especially valuable for cleansing ulcers and sores.
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In anatomy, a condyle is a protuberance on the end of a bone serving to form an articulation with another bone:
more especially the term condyle is applied to the prominence of the occipital bone for articulation with the spine.
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Condylomata is moist, flat, elevated patches occurring on the skin in secondary syphilis.
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Conessi-bark is the bark of Wrightia anti-dysenterica, an apocynaceous plant of India, used as a tonic, a febrifuge, and an astringent in diarrhoea.
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Congenital hypertropic pyloric stenosis is quite a common condition in new-born babies and its cause is not known. The thickened sphincter at the pylorus is very strong and spastic. The stomach enlarges and becomes powerful from working against obstruction. Persistent vomiting develops and owing to the force of the stomach this is described as 'projectile vomiting'. Waves of peristalsis may be seen in the child's abdomen and the hard lump of muscle at the pylorus can readily be felt. Occasionally x-ray examination is used to prove the diagnosis. In severe and neglected cases, gastritis develops. The child becomes extremely ill from dehydration, and constipation is a constant feature, the stools being hard from dehydration and starvation. Many cases are treated by Eumydrin (methylatropine nitrate) which is an antispasmodic drug given with the feeds. Surgical operation is however very often necessary and in skilled hands is practically without risk; recovery is more rapid and certain after operation, than with medical treatment.
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The conjunctiva is a thin, transparent membrane that surrounds the sclera of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelid. The cells of the conjunctiva produce a fluid similar to tears that lubricates the lids and the cornea making it easier to blink. Conjunctivitis, often called pink-eye, is a common infection of this area. Conjunctivitis can be bacterial or viral in nature. The infection causes the area to become red and irritated, hence the name 'pink-eye'.
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Conjunctivitis is a bacterial or viral infection of the conjunctiva of the eye. It may also be caused by sensitivity to certain cosmetics or drugs. It is a very common complaint characterised by a gritty and burning sensation of the eye and discomfort when moving the eye. The sclera becomes red and irritated and the eyes have a sticky, yellow discharge. In most cases, both eyes become inflamed. The infection is spread easily through towels or wash-cloths.
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Connective tissue is derived from the mesenchyme and includes a number of tissues which have a passive, binding function. In a connective tissue the parent cells are separated more or less widely from one another by a homogeneous matrix or ground substance, in which fibres may or may not be present.
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The conoid ligament is part of the coracoacromial ligament which extends from the base of the coracoid process to the conoid tubercle on the underside of the clavicle. It is responsible for controlling and regulating the gliding motions of the clavicle and the sternum, especially of the back and forth rotation of the scapula.
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Constipation is irregular and insufficient evacuation of the bowels. The Victorians believed constipation to be caused by a sedentary lifestyle, excessive sleep and consuming stimulating drinks. It is now known that constipation is a symptom of many diseases and can be caused by various factors, most noticeably diet.
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Consumption, or Phthisis was a name formerly given for various diseases known by emaciation (serious loss of weight), debility, cough, hectic fever, and purulent expectoration, particularly tuberculosis which was unknown at the time. The predisposing causes were believed to be very variable, and around 1900 were reliably listed as: hereditary taint, scrofulous diathesis, syphilis, small-pox, etc; exposure to fumes and dusty air in certain trades; violent passions and excess of various kinds, sudden lowering of the temperature of the body, etc. The more immediate or occasional causes were thought to be pneumonic inflammation proceeding to suppuration, catarrh, asthma, and tubercles in the lungs, the last of which is was by far the most general.
The incipient symptoms usually varied with the cause of the disease; but when it arose from tubercles it was usually marked by a short dry cough that became habitual, but from which nothing was spat up for some time except a frothy mucus. The breathing was at the same time somewhat impeded, the body became gradually leaner, and great languor, with indolence, dejection, and loss of appetite prevailed. At a later stage the cough became more troublesome, particularly by night, and was attended with an expectoration, the matter of which assumed a greenish colour and purulent appearance, being on many occasions streaked with blood. In some cases a more severe degree of blood-spitting attended, and the patient spat up a considerable quantity of florid, frothy blood. At a more advanced period of the disease a pain was sometimes felt on one side in so high a degree as to prevent the person from lying easily on that side; but it more frequently happened that it was felt only on making a full inspiration, or coughing.
At the first commencement of the disease the pulse was often natural, but it afterwards became full, hard, and frequent. At the same time the face flushed, particularly after eating, the palms of the hands and soles of the feet were affected with burning heat; the respiration was difficult and laborious; evening exacerbations became obvious, and by degrees the fever assumed the hectic form with remittent exacerbations twice every day, at noon and evening. From the first appearance of the hectic symptoms the urine was high coloured, and deposited a copious branny red sediment. At this time the patient was usually costive; but in the more advanced stages a diarrhoea often came on, colliquative sweats likewise broke out, and these alternated with each other, and induced great debility.
Some days before death the extremities became cold. In some cases a delirium preceded that event. The morbid appearance most frequently to be met with on the dissection of those who had died of phthisis was the existence of tubercles in the cellular substance of the lungs, most usually at the upper and back part, or occupying the outer part, and forming adhesions to the pleura.
By about 1905 the tubercles were generally attributed to a special bacillus, and this was correctly being regarded as the originating cause of the disease, which could be conveyed from one person to another, that is, it was infectious. In fact, what had been discovered was Tuberculosis, but as it was not yet identified, various diseases were being blamed and the whole grouped under the popular term 'consumption'.
The treatment for consumption at the end of the Victorian era in Britain was based around healthy diet and fresh air, one source quoting: 'The diet should be nutritious, but not heating, or difficult of digestion. Milk, especially that of the ass; farinaceous vegetables; acescent fruits; animal soups; and, above all, cod-liver oil, etc, are usually given. It is also of the utmost importance to see that the digestive organs are in proper working order. As much open air as possible, combined with abundance of nutritious food, is at present the treatment in vogue. With regard to urgent symptoms requiring palliation, the cough may be allayed by demulcents, but especially mild opiates swallowed slowly; colliquative sweats by acids, particularly the mineral; diarrhoea by chalk and other astringents, or by small doses of opium.'
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Contagion is the transmission of disease from one person to another.
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Contagious refers to a disease which is capable of being passed on by direct contact with a diseased individual or by handling clothing, etc.
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The contagious diseases acts were passed between 1864 and 1867 for the prevention of contagious diseases in certain seaport and garrison towns in England and Ireland by the police and medical supervision of prostitutes. They were repealed in 1886.
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In medicine, contagium refers to the specific virus or other direct cause of any infectious disease.
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Contrayerva is the aromatic bitterish root of Dorstenia Contrajerva, a plant of the nettle family, formerly imported from tropical America, and used as a stimulant and tonic.
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Contreltophobia is the fear of sexual abuse.
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Skeletal muscles contract rapidly in response to messages from the central nervous system. Each group of several fibres receives a nerve supply that allows voluntary contraction of the muscle. Muscles can move some body parts in several directions and others in only two directions. The direction the body part is moved depends largely on the shapes of the bones at the joints. The stimulus for the muscle contraction begins in the cerebral cortex and passes down the spinal cord and the nerve root to the junction between the nerve fiber and the muscle surface. This gap, called the end plate, acts as a kind of amplifier, increasing the effect of the tiny current coming down the nerve fiber to stimulate the much larger muscle fiber. On the arrival of the nerve impulse, a chemical called acetylcholine is released from the motor nerve ending and passes across the gap to stimulate the membrane of the muscle fiber. This stimulation is in the form of an electric current which passes along the surface of the muscle, causing it to contract. It takes one millisecond (1/ 1000th of a second) for the current to pass along the surface of the muscular fiber. Cardiac muscle differs slightly from skeletal muscle because it has a built-in mechanism to maintain the necessary rhythmical contraction independently of any nervous connections. Smooth muscles react much more slowly to stimulation than skeletal muscles. The nerves, when present, alter the activity of the muscle rather than initiating it. This action is somewhat similar to cardiac muscle. The contractions take place rhythmically without direct control from the central nervous system. The impulses for contraction come from within the muscle itself.
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The convoluted tubules of the kidney are responsible for collecting waste liquid after it passes through the opening in the Bowman's capsule, and passing it through the loop of Heinle and into the distal convoluted tubule.
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Convulsions are involuntary contractions of muscles which are usually under conscious control.
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Copaiba is a mixture of resin and volatile oil which pours from the cut stems of species of Copaifera trees indigenous to tropical America. In small doses copaiba is a diuretic.
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Coprastasophobia is the fear of constipation.
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Coprophobia is the fear of faeces.
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Coprostasophobia is the fear of constipation.
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Cor pulmonale is a serious heart condition in which there is enlargement and failure of the right ventricle resulting from lung disease.
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The coracoacromial ligament connects the scapula with the clavicle. It has two parts, each of which regulates specific modes of movement: the trapezoid ligament and the conoid ligament.
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The coracobrachialis or 'Casser's perforated muscle' is the smallest muscle in the upper arm region. It originates from the coracoid process of the scapula and inserts in the medial border of the humerus. The coracobrachialis is innervated by the musculocutaneous nerve and supplied by the brachial artery. This muscle is a somewhat superficial muscle and can be partially seen on the inside of the upper arm near the arm pit when the arm is raised. It runs alongside, but separate from, the short head of the biceps brachii. It flexes and adducts the arm at the shoulder joint.
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The coracoid process of the scapula is a short projection of bone from the neck of the scapula. This process serves as a site of attachment for the coracoacromial and coracoclavicular ligaments, the pectoralis major, the coracobrachialis, and the short head of biceps.
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A corn is a hardened portion of the cuticle of the foot, appearing as a sort of distinct growth, produced by pressure. Corns are generally found on the outside of the toes, but sometimes between them, on the sides of the foot, or even on the ball. They appear at first as small dark points in the hardened skin, and in this state stimulants or escha-rotics, as nitrate of silver (lunar caustic), are recommended. Perhaps the most efficacious remedy for corns is the application of glacial acetic acid night and morning.
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The cornea is the bulge at the front of the eye. It is clear and glassy and lies under the conjunctiva, a thin protective membrane. The cornea lets light rays into the eye and bends, or refracts, them. The iris lies just behind the cornea.
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The corniculate cartilages rest on the tops of each of the arytenoid cartilages. During swallowing, the epiglottis bends down to meet the corniculate cartilages, sealing off the airway to prevent food or saliva from entering the airway.
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The corona radiata is a group of follicular cells surrounding the zona pellucida. It is the gelatinous protective outer coat of the ovum. The thin cap surrounding the head of the sperm, called the acrosome, contains the enzyme hyaluronidase, which is capable of dissolving the corona radiata enabling sperm penetration.
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The coronal suture passes laterally over the top of the skull and joins the frontal bone with the two parietal bones.
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Like all body organs, the heart needs a supply of blood to bring it oxygen. It cannot get oxygen from the blood within its chambers, which passes through too quickly and under too great a pressure, and in the right side is very low in oxygen. Instead, the muscle that makes up the wall of the heart, the myocardium, receives oxygen-rich blood from a system of small arteries that branch from the aorta. These are called the coronary arteries. They cross over the hearts surface, dividing and sending tiny branches into the heart muscle. The two coronary arteries are no wider than a drinking straw.
The right coronary artery lies in a groove between the right atrium and right ventricle and loops around the lower side and to the rear of the heart like a crown. Hence the name, coronary. This artery supplies blood to the thick muscle of the right ventricle.
On the other side, the left coronary artery divides almost immediately into two large branches, one of which (the anterior descending branch) passes over the front of the heart toward the tip. The other branch (the circumflex branch) lies in a groove between the left atrium and left ventricle. This artery supplies blood to the muscle of the left ventricle. The anterior descending branch supplies the front surface and tip of the heart and the front part of the septum. The circumflex branch supplies the portion of the left ventricular wall away from the septum. From the large coronary vessels, smaller branches arise, which divide and insert into the heart muscle, supplying its nutritional needs. If a blood clot occludes some part of the coronary artery, as in coronary thrombosis or coronary embolism, the cells of the heart are deprived of oxygen and soon die. This is called myocardial infarction.
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Coronary heart disease is a name applied to any heart disorder caused by disease of the coronary arteries.
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The coronary sinus is a blood vessel that carries blood from the cardiac veins into the right atrium of the heart.
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The coronary vein is often referred to as the great cardiac vein of the heart. It is a large vein with two branches, the left coronary vein and the right coronary vein. The vein commences at the apex of the heart and ascends along the heart to the base of the ventricles. It then curves left to the back part of the heart and opens into the left coronary sinus, which is about 2.5 centimeters in length and terminates in the right atrium near the inferior vena cava.
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The coronoid fossa is a depression located on the lower end of the front of the humerus. It accepts the coronoid process of the ulna when the elbow joint is in flexion.
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The corpora of the urethra is the body of the urethral tube. The urethra passes from the base of the bladder, through the corpus cavernosa of the penis, and terminating in the urethral meatus at the apex of the glans of the penis. The urethra in the male body carries both urine and semen to the exterior of the body.
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The penis supports the urethra as it passes from the seminal vesicles, through the corpora cavernosa, to the meatus at the glans of the penis. The corpora cavernosa are made of spongy tissue which fill with blood during sexual arousal. As the blood fills these tissues, the penis begins to expand and become firm, and this condition is known as an erection. The erection facilitates the ejaculational transport of the semen to the female's vagina.
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The functions of each lobe of the cerebrum are coordinated by connecting, or commissural, fibres. The largest and densest of these is the corpus callosum, a broad, thick band which connects the two hemispheres and connects through branches to the rest of the surface, or cortex, of the cerebrum. The two smaller commissural fibres are the anterior commissure, which contains olfactory fibres as well as other temporal connections, and the hippocampal commissure which runs transversely below the rear of the corpus callosum and is specifically related to the olfactory centers of the brain. The corpus callosum features three general sections: the front section, which broadens and extends downward in the front, called the genu, the middle section, or trunk, and the rounded posterior portion, called the splenium. The genu extends downward to the structure known as the rostrum, and from there to the thinner lamina terminalis.
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In the female, once a graafian follicle discharges its mature ovum, the cavity once occupied by the egg is replaced by luteal cells made of a yellow lipoid material. Together, the erupted graafian follicle and its clot of luteal cells compose the corpus luteum. If the ovum is fertilized, the corpus luteum will eventually create hormones which regulate the development of the placenta, the suppression of menstruation, the growth of the mammary glands, and the eventual development of more mature ova. If the ovum is not fertilized, the corpus luteum will become interpenetrated by blood capillaries and will eventualy disintegrate to leave a small scar tissue called the corpus albicans.
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The corrugator supercilii (Coiter's muscle) is a small narrow muscle at the inner extremity of the eyebrow, just beneath the occipito-frontalis and occularis palpebrarum muscles. It originates from the nasal prominence and the orbital portion of the orbicularis oculi muscle and inserts in the skin of the eyebrow. This muscle is innervated by the facial nerve (VII cranial nerve) and supplied by the facial artery. The corrugator supercilii draws the eyebrows downward and inward, producing wrinkles on the forehead. It is often called the ' frowning muscle'.
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Corticosteroids are hormones created naturally in the pituitary gland and among other things help the body to produce vitamin D3 and help with calcium absorption. Taking artifical corticosteroids causes suppression of the natural corticosteroid secretion and leads to serious problems.
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Cortisone is a glucocorticoid hormone, the synthetic form of which has been used in treating rheumatoid arthritis, allergic and skin diseases, leukaemia and other diseases.
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In human anatomy, the costal cartilages are bars of hyaline cartilage which extend forwards from the anterior ends of the ribs and contribute to the elasticity of the thorax.
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Coto is the reddish-brown, aromatic and slightly bitter bark of Palicourea densiflora, order Rubiaceae, a tree of South America, formerly imported into Europe and used as a remedy in diarrhoea and profuse sweating.
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Couching was an old operation for a cataract, which consisted in passing a needle into the eye, and with it pushing the lens out of its place to leave the pupil of the eye clear.
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A cough is a sudden and forcible expiration immediately preceded by closure of the glottis or narrowed portion of the box of the windpipe. The force for the action is obtained by a deep breath, then follows the closure of the glottis, succeeded by the expiratory effort forcing open the glottis. The action is performed by the expiratory muscles, that is the abdominal muscles, by whose contraction the diaphragm is forced up, and the muscles of the chest, by which the ribs are pulled down. The cavity of the chest being thus diminished air is driven out of the lungs.
The object of the cough is usually to expel any foreign material in the lungs or air-tubes. The offending material may be there present as the result of inflammation, catarrh, etc. It may also have gained entrance from without. Thus the irritating material may be merely some food or drink which has slipped into the larynx, or it may be dust, etc, in the air inhaled, and the cough is the means of expelling the intruder. But a cough may also be produced when there is no irritating material present. The larnyx or windpipe may be in an inflamed and irritable condition, in which state even the entrance of cold air will excite coughing. Moreover, cough may be produced by irritation of nerves, distant from the lungs and air-passages, by what is called reflex action. Thus irritation of the stomach, irritation connected with the ear, irritation of certain nerves by pressure of growths, etc, may produce a cough, when the respiratory organs are not directly affected at all. Irritation at the back of the throat, as of the tickling of a long uvula, and so on, also produces it.
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Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns.
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A counter-irritant is a remedy applied to the body externally which relieves a discomfort somewhere else by producing a local irritation. They effect relief by reflex action due to the sensation they impart to the nerves of the skin below. The term is more specifically applied to such irritating substances as, when applied to the skin, redden or blister it, or produce pustules, purulent issues, etc. The commonest traditional counter-irritants were such materials as mustard, turpentine, cantharides or Spanish fly, croton-oil, and the cautery.
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Court-plaster (so called because they were originally applied by ladies of the court as patches on the face), were black, flesh-coloured, or transparent silk plasters varnished over with a solution of isinglass, which was often perfumed with benzoin, and used for covering slight wounds.
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Cowpox is a contagious viral disease of cows characterised by vesicles on the skin, particularly on the teats and udder. Edward Jenner popularised the incorrect notion that persons who had contracted cowpox were immune from contracting smallpox (based on a solitary example of a boy whom, having been deliberately infected with cowpox was later injected with smallpox and found not to contract the disease). In reality, however, no such correlation exists, but following persuasive advertising in the press the concept of innoculation became a widely accepted 'truth'.
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Coxalgia is disease of the hip joint causing pain.
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Coxsackie virus is a name given to various viruses that occur in the intestinal tract of man and cause diseases, some of which resemble poliomyelitis.
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Cramp is a severe spasm of certain muscles, usually of a limb, but often of the chest or abdomen.
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The twelve cranial nerves innervate the muscles and skin of the head, neck, and, in the case of the vagus, sacral, and spinal accessory nerves, many other important structures throughout the body. These nerves originate in the pons, the forebrain, medulla oblongata, and the uppermost part of the spinal cord, between the first few cervical vertebrae.
The first four include the olfactory (1st), which innervates the nasal mucous layer and allows the sense of smell, the optic (2nd) which innervates the retina and allows the sense of sight, the oculomotor (3rd) which innervates the pupil and cilia of the eye, and the trochlear (4th) which innervates the superior oblique eye muscles. The next cranial nerve is the trigeminal (5th) which has three divisions: the ophthalmic (eye), maxillary (upper palate and face), and mandibular (jawbone, tongue, and auriculotemporal region). The sixth, seventh, and eighth nerves are the abducens (lateral rectus of eye), the facial (face and ear muscles), and the acoustic (outer and inner ear structures), respectively. The ninth cranial nerve is the glossopharyngeal, which innervates the pharynx, tongue, and tympanus of the ear. The tenth cranial nerve, the vagus, has many branches which innervate a number of important structures, including the heart, lungs, and stomach. The eleventh cranial nerve is the accessory spinal nerve, which innervates structures of the neck and throat, including the pharynx and the cervical lymph glands. The twelfth cranial nerve is the hypoglossal nerve, which innervates the tongue.
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The cranial sinuses are air-filled cavities within the skull bones, joined by openings to the main airway inside the nose. Four pairs of sinuses (the frontal, the maxillary, the sphenoidal, the ethmodial) drain into the nasal cavities. The maxillary are the largest sinuses. They extend from the floor of the orbits to the roots of the upper teeth. The sinuses are lined with mucous membrane which is commonly aggravated by pollution leading to an excessive release of mucous.
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Craniotabes is a thinning of the skull in spots, generally associated with rickets or syphilis.
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Craw-craw is a West African skin disease of a highly contagious nature, exhibiting papular, vesicular, and pustular eruptions of an intensely irritating character.
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Creeping eruption is a skin disorder characterised by a progressing red streak caused by a hookworm larvae burrowing under the skin.
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The cremaster is a thin layer of muscles by which the testicles are suspended. The muscles originate from the lower border of internal oblique and transversalis muscles. It loops around the spermatic cord and insert in the crest of the os pubis and the front of the rectus muscle. The cremaster is innervated by the genital branch of the genitofemoral nerve.
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Cremnophobia is the fear of precipices or steep places.
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Crepitus is a crackling chest sound heard in pneumonia and other lung diseases. The term is also applied to the grating sound of two ends of a broken bone rubbing together.
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Cretinism is a disease developed in early childhood due to the absence or deficiency of the thyroid gland or to goitre. The disease is distributed the world over, but is especially common in certain areas such as Switzerland and Derbyshire.
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The important muscular structures of the larynx include the vocal muscles, the lateral and posterior cricoarytenoid muscles, and the oblique and vertical cricothyroid muscles. The vocal muscles extend along each vocal cord and help adjust their tension, controlling vocal tone. The lateral and posterior cricoarytenoid muscles help pivot the arytenoid cartilages, bringing the vocal cords together for speech and separating the vocal cords to open the glottis for breathing. The lateral cricoarytenoid and posterior cricoarytenoid muscles are innervated by the inferior laryngeal nerve, a branch of the vagus nerve. They are supplied by the inferior and superior laryngeal arteries. The cricothyroid muscles help regulate vocal cord tension in conjunction with the vocal muscles. It is innervated by the external branch of the superior laryngeal nerve, which is a branch of the vagus nerve. The cricothyroid muscle is supplied by the inferior and superior laryngeal arteries.
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The cricoid cartilage is a ring-shaped structure which reinforces the lower larynx where it meets the trachea. It serves as the anchor point for the arytenoid cartilages (which pivot upon the back part of the cricoid cartilage). The arytenoid cartilages are also connected to the cricoid cartilage by cricoarytenoid muscles. The vocal cords are attached to the arytenoid cartilages, from which they span across the larynx to the inside part of the thyroid cartilage on the other side of the airway. By flexing or relaxing the cricoarytenoid muscles, the arytenoid cartilages are forced to pivot, causing the vocal cords to be brought together for speech or separated, for breathing. The vocal and cricothyroid muscles then regulate the degree of tension in the vocal cords, changing the tone of voice during speech.
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Crohn's disease (regional enteritis) is an inflammation, thickening, and ulceration of any of various parts of the intestine, but particularly the ileum.
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Croton Liniment is a mixture of croton oil, cajuput oil and alcohol used as a counter-irritant and skin absorbed laxative.
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Croton Oil is a fatty oil obtained from the seeds of Croton tiglium. It is an extremely powerful cathartic and is used in medicine.
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Croup, or acute laryngotracheo-bronchitis, is an inflammation of upper and lower respiratory system, including the larynx, due to a viral infection. The inflammation causes a narrowing of the air passages. The most common causative agents are the parainfluenza viruses, especially type 1, the respiratory syncytial viruses (RSV), and influenza A and B viruses.
Croup occurs mainly in children between the ages of three months and three years. In older children and adults, the air passages are too wide and the cartilage in the wall too stiff for swelling or inflammation to cause the walls to collapse. The condition is characterised by fever, cough and breathing difficulty which is accompanied by a harsh croaking noise.
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The anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments connect the inner surfaces of the head of the femur with the head of the tibia. They are so named because they cross each other, with the anterior ligament extending from the inside of the lateral condyle of the femur to the medial side of the tibial head, and the posterior ligament extending from the inside of the medial condyle of the femur to the lateral side of the tibial head.
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Cryoglobulin is an abnormal immunoglobulin, present in the blood in certain diseases, that precipitates below about 10°C, obstructing small blood vessels in the fingers and toes.
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Cryophobia is the fear of ice.
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Cryptogenic is said of diseases of an unknown or obscure origin.
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Crystallophobia is the fear of crystals or glass.
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The cuboid bone forms the outer portion of the tarsus in the foot. It articulates with the outer metatarsals, the lateral cuneiform, and the calcaneus. It is so named because of its roughly cubic shape.
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The cuneiform bones are three bones in the human foot behind the first three metatarsal bones.
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Cushing's disease (Cushing's syndrome) is a rare condition caused by excess corticosteroid hormones in the body - whether due to hyperfunction of the adrenal cortex or the administration of hormones - characterised chiefly by obesity of the trunk and face, high blood pressure, fatigue, and loss of calcium from the bones (osteoporosis). It is named after H W Cushing who first described the condition in the late 1930's.
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The cuticle is the horny outside layer of skin.
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Cyanosis or blue disease is a blueness of the skin and mucous membranes due to insufficient oxygenation. It may be caused by poor circulation, or by poor oxygenation of the blood.
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Cyberphobia is the fear of computers.
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Cyclopropane is an anaesthetic gas. It is very explosive, is extremely powerful and rapid in its action, has no smell and is expensive. Only very small quantities of it need to be used and a special apparatus is necessary to regulate and measure the exact quantity being given to avoid the risk of overdose. The great advantage of cyclopropane is that it will produce muscular relaxation. It is very useful therefore combined with nitrous oxide to give a greater depth of anaesthesia without using an irritant gas, such as ether. Cyclopropane has largely lost its usefulness since the introduction of special relaxing drugs such as tubocurarine.
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Cyclophobia is the fear of bicycles.
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Cyclopia is the medical condition of a person born with only one eye orbit.
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Cymophobia is the fear of waves.
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Cynophobia is the fear of dogs.
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Cypridophobia is the fear of venereal disease.
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Cystic fibrosis is a hereditary disorder of the exocrine glands. The disorder affects the mucus-producing glands in the pancreas, lungs, and intestines and is marked by production of very thick mucus, excess sweating (with accompanied loss of electrolytes), more concentrated saliva, and overactivity of the part of the nervous system that controls automatic actions. It is the most common life-threatening genetic disease among anglos, affecting roughly one in 2000 births.
Cystic fibrosis is caused by a defective recessive gene. A person must inherit the defective gene from each parent before any abnormality is apparent. If a person inherits the gene from only one parent, they are a carrier and have no symptoms.
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Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder. It is characterised by frequent, and painful passing of urine and may be caused by either a bacterial infection - usually bacteria straying from their natural habitat in the large intestine into the urethra and the bladder - or by crystalline deposits in the urine.
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A cystotomy is an incision into the bladder.
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The cytomegalovirus is a virus related to the herpes viruses, that can cause serious disease in patients whose immune systems are weak, and the birth of handicapped children to women who become infected with it while pregnant.
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Cytotoxic describes a substance poisonous to cells.
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A cytotoxin is a substance that is poisonous to cells. Cytotoxins are used in the treatment of cancer to destroy cancerous cells.
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