MIDWIFERY
MINIMAL BRAIN DYSFUNCTION
midwifery
The profession that is con-
cerned
with
assisting
women
in
pregnancy and childbirth.
mifepristone
A
sex hormone
drug used
to induce medical termination of a
pregnancy (see
abortion, induced
).
Pos-
sible adverse effects include malaise,
faintness, nausea, rash, and, rarely, uter-
ine bleeding. Women over 35 who smoke
should not be given the drug.
migraine
A severe headache, typically
lasting 4-72 hours, accompanied by
visual disturbances and/or nausea and
vomiting. Migraine attacks may be iso-
lated or may recur at varying intervals.
There is no single cause of migraine,
although it tends to run in families.
Stress-related, food-related, or sensory-
related factors may trigger an attack.
Menstruation
and
oral contraceptives
may also trigger migraine.
There are 2 types: migraine with aura
(an impression of flashing lights and/or
numbness and tingling), and migraine
without aura. In migraine without aura,
there is a slowly worsening headache,
often on one side of the head, with nau-
sea and sometimes vomiting.
In migraine with aura, there may be
visual disturbances for up to an hour, fol-
lowed by a severe one-sided headache,
nausea, vomiting and light-sensitivity.
Other temporary neurological symp-
toms, such as weakness in one half of
the body, may occur.
Diagnosis is usually made from the
history and a physical examination.
Treatment for an attack is an
analgesic
drug
such as
aspirin
or
paracetamol
,
plus
an
antiemetic drug
, if needed. If this is
not effective, treatment with
serotonin
agonists
such as
sumatriptan
may be
prescribed.
Ergotamine
may prevent an
attack if taken before the headache
begins, but is now rarely used. Sleeping
in a darkened room may hasten recovery.
For frequent attacks, preventive treat-
ment may be needed. Keeping a diary
can help pinpoint trigger factors, and
prophylactic drugs may be prescribed.
(See also
cluster headaches
.)
milia
Tiny, harmless, hard, white spots
that usually occur in clusters around the
nose and on the upper cheeks in new-
born babies and also in young adults.
milk
A
nutrient
fluid produced by the
mammary glands of mammals.
milk-alkali syndrome
A rare type of
hypercalcaemia
accompanied by
alkalosis
and
kidney failure.
The syndrome is due
to excessive, long-term intake of calcium-
containing
antacid drugs
and milk. It is
most common in people with a
peptic
ulcer
and associated kidney disorders.
Symptoms include weakness, muscle
pains, irritability, and apathy. Treatment
is to reduce milk and antacid intake.
milk of magnesia
A magnesium prep-
aration as an
antacid
and
laxative drug
.
milk teeth
See
primary
teeth.
Minamata disease
The name given to
a severe form of
mercury poisoning
that
occurred in the mid-1950s, in people
who had eaten polluted fish from Mina-
mata Bay, Japan. Many people suffered
severe nerve damage and some died.
mineralization, dental
The deposition
of calcium crystals and other mineral
salts in developing teeth. (See
calcifica-
tion, dental.)
mineralocorticoid
The term used to
describe a
corticosteroid hormone
that
controls the amount of salts that are
excreted in urine.
minerals
In nutrition, chemical elements
that are essential in the diet. At least 20
minerals, including potassium, sodium,
and calcium, are vital for health. Some,
such as iron and zinc, are needed in
only tiny amounts (see
trace elements
).
mineral supplements
Dietary supple-
ments containing one or more minerals
in tablet or liquid form.Some mineral
supplements may be harmful in excess.
Iron
is the most commonly taken mineral
supplement and is used to treat
iron-
deficiency anaemia
. It may also be given
to pregnant or breast-feeding women.
(See also individual mineral entries.)
minilaparotomy
A procedure for female
sterilization (see
sterilization, female).
minimal access surgery
See
minim-
ally invasive surgery
minimal brain dysfunction
A hypo-
thetical condition thought to account
for behavioural and other problems in
children for which no physical cause is
found. It may be a cause of some
learn-
ing difficulties,
difficulty in concentrating,
impulsiveness, and
hyperactivity
.
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