Glossary: N

narcissistic personality disorder

persons with this disorder present severely overly-inflated feelings of self-worth, grandiosity, and superiority over others. Persons with narcissistic personality disorder often exploit others who fail to admire them, and are overly sensitive to criticism, judgment, and defeat.

nasal

relating to the nose.

National Cancer Institute

The US government agency for cancer research and information.

nausea

a feeling or sensation leading to the urge to vomit.

near point of accommodation

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

near point of convergence

the maximum extent the two eyes can be turned inward.

necrosis

death of tissue.

needle aspiration (of the breast)

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

needle biopsy

use of a needle to extract tissue, cells, or fluid for microscopic examination.

needle biopsy (of the breast)

a procedure to remove a small piece of breast tissue using a needle with a special cutting edge, after using a local anesthetic.

neoadjuvant therapy

treatment such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or hormone therapy which is given before the primary treatment.

neoplasm

any abnormal growth of new tissue; a proliferation of cells no longer under normal physiologic control. These may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

nephrectomy

surgery to remove the kidney; the most common treatment for kidney cancer.

nephritis

inflammation of the kidneys.

nephrology

the medical specialty concerned with diseases of the kidneys.

nephropathy

diabetic kidney disease.

nephrotic syndrome

a condition characterized by high levels of protein in the urine, low levels of protein in the blood, tissue swelling, and high cholesterol.

nerve conduction tests

procedure to determine nerve impulse generation.

nerve sparing technique

a surgical technique during a radial prostatectomy where one or both of the neurovascular bundles controlling erections are spared.

neural plasticity

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

neural prostheses

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

neural stimulation

to activate or energize a nerve through an external source.

neural tube defect

type of birth defect, such as spina bifida, that results from failure of the spinal cord or brain to develop normally in a fetus.

neuralgia

pain in distribution of nerve or nerves.

neuritis

inflammation of a nerve or nerves.

neurofibromatosis

a group of inherited disorders in which noncancerous tumors grow on several nerves that may include the hearing nerve.

neurogenic

of nerve origin.

neurogenic bladder (Also called neuropathic bladder.)

a bladder disorder that can be caused by a tumor or other condition of the nervous system.

neurogenic communication disorder

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

neurological

pertaining to the nervous system.

neuron

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

neuropathology

the pathology of the nervous system.

neuropathy

diabetic nerve damage.

neurosonography

a procedure that uses ultra high-frequency sound waves that enable the physician to analyze blood flow in cases of possible stroke.

neurotransmitters

chemical substances that carry impulses from one nerve cell to another; found in the space (synapse) that separates the transmitting neuron's terminal (axon) from the receiving neuron's terminal (dendrite).

nigral

of or referring to the substantia nigra.

nitroglycerin

a medication used to relax or dilate arteries.

nodule (Also called papule.)

a solid, raised bump.

noise-induced hearing loss

hearing loss that is caused either by a one-time or repeated exposure to very loud sound(s) or sounds at various loudness levels over an extended period of time.

non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

a type of lymphoma, a cancer in the lymphatic system; causes the cells in the lymphatic system to abnormally reproduce, eventually causing tumors to grow. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cells can also spread to other organs.

non-insulin-dependent diabetes

a condition in which the body either makes too little insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it makes to convert blood glucose to energy. Type 2 diabetes may be controlled with diet, exercise, and weight loss, or may require oral medications and/or insulin injections.

noninvasive procedures

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

nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

medication that produces fever reducing, analgesic (pain relieving), and anti-inflammatory effects.

nonsyndromic hereditary hearing impairment

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

nonulcer dyspepsia

constant pain or discomfort in the upper GI tract.

norepinephrine

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

NSAID

abbreviation for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, which do not contain corticosteroids and are used to reduce pain and inflammation; aspirin and ibuprofen are two types of NSAIDs.

nuclear medicine

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

Nutcracker syndrome

abnormal muscle tightening in the esophagus.

nutrients

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

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