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Term Definition
Dalton A measure of molecular weight. One dalton is unofficially equivalent to 1/12 the mass of a carbon-12 atom.
D-Dimer One of a family of fibrin fragments which form and circulate in the bloodstream for several days after a thrombotic event. D-dimer fragments are released from clots by the action of the enzyme plasmin. D-dimer is normally produced as part of the wound healing process and abnormally when clots form at the wrong time and place as a result of an underlying disease. Thus, D-dimer levels become a clinical marker of the presence of undesireable thrombotic events. "
Decompensated Loss of the physiological ability to compensate for injury.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Blood clots of the deep veins of the body, typically of the legs. Leg DVTs above the knee, especially, have a propensity to dislodge and travel (embolize) to the lung.
Dementia Mental deterioration often characterized by disorientation, memory impairment, judgment impairment, and intellectual decline.
Depression A disorder of mood often associated with extreme sadness and discouragement. Symptoms also may include disruption of sleeping and eating patterns and lack of energy.
Dermal Ulcers Eroding of the skin resulting in its concavity and depression below the level of surrounding tissue.
Dermatology The study of the skin.
Diabetes Mellitus Disorder characterized by high levels of glucose in the blood. Diabetes may be caused by a failure of the pancreas to produce sufficient insulin or, more commonly, by resistance of the body to the action of insulin.
Diabetic Neuropathy Pain, weakness, or lack of sensation in a body part that is associated with, typically poorly controlled, diabetes. Most often it affects the feet, legs, hands, or arms. Treatment can include physical therapy, medication, and, by far most importantly, improved aggressive treatment of the underlying diabetes.
Diagnostic Products Tests used by physicians to make a diagnosis by testing for particular diseases, conditions, or predispositions.
Dialysis The process of filtering the blood by passing it through a machine designed to replicate kidney filtering functions. The two most common types of dialysis are hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, each with advantages and disadvantages. Patients can often choose the type of long term dialysis that best matches their needs.
Differentiation 1. In developmental biology, the process by which cells mature to become progressively more specialized. Cellular specialization occurs at the expense of cellular fate potential. For example, stem cells can differentiate into liver cells, but normal liver cells tend not to mature further. 2 In oncology, relating to the degree of maturity (development) of the cancerous cells in a tumor. Differentiated tumor cells are most like normal cells, tending to grow, mature, and spread at a slower pace compared to poorly differentiated or undifferentiated tumor cells. The more undifferentiated a tumor cell, the more structurally and functionally abnormal they are, and the more likely they are to grow, develop, and metastasize uncontrollably.
Diffuse Capillary Leak Syndrome See capillary leak syndrome
Dimeric Consisting of two subunits, often referring to proteins or other biological molecules. The two subunits can be the same (homodimer) or different (heterodimer).
Direct Costs of Disease Management Costs attributable to a drug regimen, treatment of its related adverse effects, time spent by medical, paramedical, and hospital staff, procedural costs, laboratory usage costs, and other costs not considered indirect costs. Direct costs include fixed and variable costs of all resources consumed in the provision of considered interventions or their consequences.
Disease Pathway The set of proteins, and their regulators, whose activation or inactivation lead to a particular disease. By defining a disease pathway, scientists gain insight into what genes and proteins contribute to the disease and are therefore potential drug targets.
Distribution A pharmacokinetic property of a drug relating to the area(s) of the body in which it and its metabolites can be found after administration.
Diuresis An increased excretion rate of urine.
Divalproex Sodium The generic name of Abbott’s Depakote for seizure disorders; a.k.a. valproic acid.
DMARDs Acronym for disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. Drugs that have anti-inflammatory properties and the capacity to slow rheumatoid arthritis disease progression.
DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) A nucleic acid that constitutes the genetic material of all cellular organisms and DNA viruses. It is the main component of chromosomes. A molecule of DNA consists of two strands arranged in spiral ladder formation with side pieces composed of phosphate and deoxyribose units and the "rungs" comprised of nucleotide bases (adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine). The genetic data are encoded in the sequence of the nucleotides.
DNA Microarrays A platform for studying how large numbers of genes interact with each other and how a cell's regulatory network controls vast batteries of genes simultaneously. The method uses a robot to precisely apply tiny droplets containing functional DNA to glass slides. Researchers then attach fluorescent labels to DNA from the cell they are studying. The labeled probes are allowed to bind to complementary DNA strands on the slides. The slides are put into a scanning device that can measure the brightness of each fluorescent dot; brightness reveals how much of a specific DNA fragment is present, an indicator of how active it is.
DNA Sequencing Determining the exact order of the nucleotide base pairs (adenine, cytosine, guanine, or thymine) in a segment of DNA.
Dobutamine A chemical derivative of the naturally occurring amino acid derivative, dopamine, it is used in the treatment of heart failure and helps the heart pump blood more forcefully. It is marketed as Dobutrex by Eli Lilly and as a generic by Baxter.
Dolly the Sheep The first “cloned” organism. She was produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT).
Dopamine A neurotransmitter used by particular cells to facilitate impulse transmission.
Dorsal Raphe Nucleus A group of brain cell that utilize various neurotransmitters, but is most well known for its nerves that utilize serotonin and its contribution to mechanisms mediating sleep and circadian rhythm.
Dose Limiting Toxicity Adverse effects severe enough to prevent administration of more treatment.
Dosing Frequency The rate at which an agent is administered. Optimized compliance and increased prescription writing tends to occur when agents are dosed less frequently/at greater intervals but maintain the same or better therapeutic effect.
Double Blind Implies that neither the investigator nor investigated know what intervention is being transacted in a clinical study (i.e. placebo vs. investigational compound, sham procedure vs. investigational procedure, etc.)"
Drug Delivery Relating to ways and means of delivering drugs including routes of administration (oral, intravenous, intrathecal, etc.) and facilitative modalities (pumps, polymers, pills, etc.). Optimized compliance and increased prescription writing tends to occur when agents are developed in ways to ease adverse and uncomfortable effects associated with delivery and systems thereof.
Drug Targets Molecules, parts of molecules, molecular processes, and constituents of molecular processes that can be affected by a drug. The best targets tend to have the greatest degrees of specificity.
DUREDAS (Élan) An acronym for Dual Release Drug Absorption System, it is Élan’s proprietary “bilayer” tableting technology specifically developed to provide for two different release rates or dual release of a drug from a single dosage form.
Dyskinesia Uncontrolled movements
Dyspnea Difficult or labored breathing; shortness of breath.
Dystonia A state of abnormal tone (firmness or tension) of a tissue. Most frequently used to denote abnormally increased muscle tone.
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