of actinomycosis affects the pelvis in
women, causing lower abdominal pain
and bleeding between periods. This
form was associated with a type of
no longer in use, that did not contain
copper. Rarely, forms of the disorder
affect the appendix or lung. Actinomy-
cosis is treated with
A derivative of
instead of needles.
A branch of
Chinese m ed-
in which needles are inserted into
a patient's skin as therapy for various
disorders or to induce anaesthesia.
Traditional Chinese medicine main-
tains that the chi (life-force) flows
through the body along channels called
meridians. A blockage in one or more of
these meridians is thought to cause ill
health. Acupuncturists aim to restore
health by inserting needles at appropri-
ate sites along the affected meridians.
The needles are stimulated by rotation
or by an electric current. Acupuncture
has been used successfully as an anaes-
thetic for surgical procedures and to
provide pain relief after operations and
for chronic conditions.
A term often used to describe a
disorder or symptom that develops sud-
denly. Acute conditions may or may not
be severe, and they are usually of short
duration. (See also
A projection at the front
of the neck, just beneath the skin, that
is formed by a prominence on the thy-
roid cartilage, which is part of the
(voice box). The Adam's apple enlarges
in males at puberty.
The abbreviation for attention defi-
cit disorder, more commonly known as
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Dependence on, and craving
for, a particular drug, for example alco-
hol, diazepam (a tranquillizer), or heroin.
Reducing or stopping intake of the drug
may lead to characteristic physiological
or psychological symptoms (see
drawal syndrom e
), such as tremor or
anxiety. (See also
A rare chronic dis-
order in which there is a deficiency of
the corticosteroid hormones
, normally produced
by the adrenal cortex (the outer part of
). Excessive amounts
are secreted by the pituitary
gland in an attempt to increase output
of the corticosteroid hormones. Secre-
tion and activity of another hormone,
melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH),
is also increased.
Addison's disease can be caused by
any disease that destroys the adrenal
cortices. The most common cause is an
immune system produces antibodies
that attack the adrenal glands.
Symptoms generally develop gradu-
ally over months or years, and include
tiredness, weakness, abdominal pain,
and weight loss. Excess MSH may cause
darkening of the skin in the creases of
the palms, pressure areas of the body,
and the mouth. Acute episodes, called
Addisonian crises, brought on by infec-
tion, injury, or other stresses, can also
occur. The symptoms of these include
extreme muscle weakness, dehydration,
(low blood pressure), con-
fusion, and coma.
blood glucose) also occurs.
is needed. Treatment of Addisonian
crises involves rapid infusion of saline
and glucose, and supplementary doses
of corticosteroid hormones.
Movement of a limb towards
the central line of the body, or of a digit
towards the axis of a limb. Muscles that
carry out this movement are often called
adductors. (See also
Cervical adenitis (swelling and tender-
ness of the lymph nodes in the neck)
occurs in certain bacterial infections,
, and glandular fever
infectious mononucleosis). M esen-
is inflammation of
the lymph nodes inside the abdomen
and is usually caused by viral infection.
Treatment of adenitis may include
is a bacterial infection.
The technical name
of a gland or glandular tis-
sue, or for a cancer in which the cells