BACKWARD FORCE (HYPEREXTENSION)
and stiffness in the neck are much worse
24 hours after the injury.
Treatment may include immobiliza-
tion in an orthopaedic collar,
drugs, muscle-relaxant drugs,
It may take a few weeks before
full pain-free movement is possible.
Whipple's disease A rare disorder, also
called intestinal lipodystrophy, that can
affect many organs. Symptoms include
as a result of
abdominal pain, joint pains, progressive
weight loss, swollen lymph nodes, anae-
mia, and fever. The heart, lungs, and
brain can also be affected. The condition
is most common in middle-aged men.
The cause is thought to be bacterial;
affected tissues are found to contain
macrophages (a type of scavenging cell)
containing rod-shaped bacteria. Treat-
ment is with
for at least
1 year. Dietary supplements are used to
correct nutritional deficiencies occur-
ring as a result of malabsorption.
Whipple's operation A type of
in which the head of the
pancreas and the loop of the duodenum
are surgically removed.
whipworm infestation Small, cylindrical
whip-like worms, 2.5-5 cm long, that live
in the human large intestine. Infestation
occurs worldwide but is most common
in the tropics. Light infestation causes no
symptoms; heavy infestation can cause
abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and, some-
, since a small amount of
the host's blood is consumed every day.
Diagnosis is through the identification
of whipworm eggs in the faeces. Treat-
ment is with
, such as
. A heavy infestation may re-
quire more than
course of treatment.
whitehead A very common type of skin
blemish (see milia).
white matter Tissue in the nervous sys-
tem composed of nerve fibres (
White matter makes up the bulk of the
large hemispheres of
) and continues down into the
; its main role is to transmit
nerve impulses. (See also
SECTION THROUGH BRAIN
whitlow An abscess on the fingertip or
toe, causing the finger to swell and be-
come extremely painful and sensitive to
pressure and touch. It most commonly
develops from acute
low may be due to the virus that causes