A group of rare
inherited metabolic disorders (see
abolism, inborn errors
is the best known. All
in which there is an abnormality
of a specific
. This leads to the
accumulation within body cells of sub-
stances called mucopolysaccharides.
Features may include abnormalities of
the skeleton and/or the central nervous
in some cases, a characteristic facial
appearance. There may also be clouding
, liver enlargement, and
joint stiffness. No specific treatment is
may successfully be used to
treat Hurler's syndrome.
Mild forms of mucopolysaccharidoses
allow a child to have a relatively normal
life. More severe types usually cause
death during childhood or adolescence.
A term for
skin-like layer that lines many of the
cavities and tubes in the body, including
. Mucous membranes contain mil-
lions of cells called goblet cells, which
secrete a fluid containing
The thick, slimy fluid secreted by
. Mucus moistens,
lubricates, and protects parts of the body
lined by mucous membranes, such as
the digestive and respiratory tracts.
contraception, natura methods of.
Also called myelo-
matosis, multiple myeloma is a rare,
cancerous condition in which plasma
cells in the
uncontrollably and function incorrectly.
It occurs in middle- to old age.
Plasma cells are a type of B-
help protect against infection. In multi-
ple myeloma, the proliferating plasma
cells produce excessive amounts of one
type of immunoglobulin, while produc-
tion of other types is impaired. This
makes infection more likely.
Proliferation of the abnormal cells
causes pain and destroys bone tissue.
may collapse and
compress nerves, causing numbness or
. Blood calcium levels increase
as bone is destroyed, as may the level
These changes in the blood may dam-
age the kidneys, leading to
There may also be
a tendency for abnormal bleeding.
The disease is diagnosed by a
the use of
, and supportive measures, including
A rare disorder
in which a person has
or more distinct
personalities, each of which dominates
at different times. The personalities are
usually very different from each other.
A progressive dis-
ease of the central
which patches of
in the brain
and spinal cord are destroyed. Multiple
sclerosis (or MS) is an
, in which the immune system
attacks the myelin sheath that covers
some nerves in the brain and spinal
cord. Affected nerves cannot conduct
nerve impulses, so functions such as
movement and sensation may be lost.
Any area of the body can be affected.
Symptoms range from numbness and
Attacks of symptoms are followed by a
variable period of remission, in which
dramatic improvements may be made.
Women are more likely to develop MS
than men, and there may be a genetic
factor, as the disease sometimes runs in
families. There may also be an environ-
mental factor, as MS is more common
in temperate zones than in the tropics.
Symptoms usually develop early in
adulthood. Spinal cord damage may
cause tingling, numbness, weakness in
, paralysis, and
incontinence. Damage to white matter
(myelinated nerves) in the brain may
, clumsiness, muscle
weakness, slurred speech, blurred vision,
numbness, weakness, or facial pain.