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Term Definition
Saline A solution of varying concentrations of sodium chloride (NaCl) in water. “Normal Saline,” sufficient in most therapeutic situations, is of 0.9% NaCl, virtually the same salinity found in most mammalian cells and in the blood.
Schizophrenia The most chronic and disabling of the major mental illnesses, its most prominent manifestation is an inability to distinguish real from unreal experiences. It affects approximately 1% of most populations including that of the U.S.
Sclerosis Localized hardening of a tissue, most often due to post-inflammatory scarring.
Secreted Protein A protein secreted by cells that enters the extracellular space. Secreted proteins, such as hormones and growth factors, are often excellent drug targets, especially for recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies.
Seizure Disorder One of several conditions all characterized by symptoms referable to pathologic electrical brain activity. Common symptoms include: uncontrollable motor activity (a.k.a. convulsion, epileptic attack), unusual sensations, and clouding or loss of consciousness.
Selected Lymphocyte Antibody Method (SLAM) The proprietary technique acquired from ImmGenics by Abgenix that allows efficient production of monoclonal antibodies from blood cells, an alternative to hybridoma generation.
Selectin A family of adhesion molecules found on white blood cells and other cells. Selectins include p-selectin, l-selectin, etc.
Selegiline The generic name of Somerset’s Eldepryl formulation, it is a monoamine oxidase B inhibitor which prevents the breakdown of dopamine in the brain, and is indicated, in combination with l-dopa/carbidopa, in the management of signs and symptoms of Parkinson disease.
Sensitivity A characteristic of a diagnostic test that describes the degree to which the test detects a disorder when it is truly present. It is the proportion of all disordered patients for whom a positive test is obtained.
Sepsis Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome due to infection.
Sepsis Spectrum The aggregate of the conditions known as the systemic inflammatory response syndrome, sepsis, severe sepsis, septic shock, multi organ-system failure, the diffuse capillary leak syndrome, and the adult/acute respiratory distress syndrome. This series of conditions can occur as a result of the over stimulation of various immunologic and blood coagulation and fibrinolytic pathways. "
Septic Shock Severe sepsis with hypotension (systolic BP < 90mmHg) despite adequate fluid resuscitation or with the requirement for vasopressors (agents that constrict blood vessels)/inotropes (agents that increase the pumping power of the heart) to maintain blood pressure.
Serious Adverse Event An adverse event that results in death, is life threatening, requires inpatient hospitalization, prolongs existing hospitalization, or results in persistent or significant disability or a congenital anomaly (birth defect).
Serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine, produced by platelets in the blood, it serves to constrict blood vessels, inhibit specific stomach (gastric) secretion, and stimulate smooth muscle. Its highest levels, normally, are in specific central nervous system regions (basal ganglia and hypothalamus). Modulation of serotonin and/or its receptors have been used in the treatment of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, migraine, and panic disorder.
Serum The acellular, clear liquid that can be separated from clotted blood.
Severe Chronic Neutropenia A group of rare conditions, characterized by low, circulating levels of neutrophils, that can be either the result of a single gene defect or acquired for unknown reasons.
Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) A congenital immune deficiency typically characterized by a severe defect in both the T cell and B cell systems that leads to one or more serious infections within the first few months of life. The infections may even be life threatening.
Severe Sepsis Sepsis with evidence of organ hypoperfusion (not enough blood, and therefore oxygen, getting to organs).
Shingles Herpes Zoster infection. Typically, it is an acute, localized infection with the virus Herpes varicellae (a.k.a. Varicella zoster) that causes painful blistering eruptions. The infectious agent is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Shingles, though, occurs because the virus had become inactive after chickenpox and re-emerges many years later in this manner.
Short Stature Height at least two standard deviations below the mean height-for-age-and-gender given one’s ethnic background.
Shy-Drager Syndrome A progressive, degenerative disorder of the central and autonomic nervous systems, it is characterized by an excessive drop in blood pressure causing lightheadedness or momentary blackouts upon standing or sitting up, and may include features of Parkinson disease.
Single Gene Disorder A disorder whose genetic contribution is from a defect in only one gene. These disorders, many rare, but in aggregate quite common, help clinical investigators explore the ‘proof-of-principal’ necessary to move gene therapy forward"
Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) Variations in a single nucleotide base that occur in DNA. In humans, these variations occur at a frequency of one every 1,000 bases. These variations can be used to track inheritance in families. SNP is commonly pronounced ""snip." SNP discovery refers to the identification of a specific location within a DNA sequence where there is variation in a single nucleotide base across a population. SNP scoring refers to the measurement of the presence or absence of a particular SNP in the DNA sequence of a particular individual. Used in pharmacogenomics as a tool for diagnostics, drug discovery, clinical trials, and for anticipating drug responses.
Sinusitis Sinus inflammation, often with an infectious component.
Smad Proteins Any of several transcription factors and related molecules that assist with the intracellular signal transduction of cellular interactions initiated by transforming growth factor (TGF)-b and bone morphogenic protein. Developmental products that target Smad proteins might have applications in wound healing, tissue repair, pulmonary, vascular, and oncologic scenarios.
Small Inhibitory RNA (siRNA) A short double stranded RNA molecule, usually less than 30 nucleotides long, that is an intermediate in RNA interference. siRNAs can inhibit specific mRNA translation in mammalian cells.
Small Molecule Library An institution’s reservoir of prepared small molecule compounds. Such libraries are maintained in order to facilitate compound screening and target validation. Small molecules interacting favorably with a target may become drug compound candidates whilst the target may, thus, become validated.
SODAS (Élan) An acronym for Spheroidal Oral Drug Absorption System, it is the proprietary, controlled release, bead-based, delivery technology on which Élan was founded. "
Sodium Channels Proteins found on the surface of brain and spinal cord nerves, peripheral nerves, heart, kidney, intestine, smooth and skeletal muscle, and other tissues and cells, they are involved in transmitting sodium-mediated electrical signals.
Solid Tumor A tumor classification typically used to describe a tumor that does not have its origin in a blood or lymph (hematopoetic) cell.
Solubility The degree to which a solid can dissolve.
Somatic Cell All cells other than the germ cells or gametes in an organism.
Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) “Cloning” technique which involves the transfer of the nucleus (containing the vast majority of the cell’s DNA) from an adult cell into a de-nucleated pluripotent cell.
Sonic Hedgehog A protein that signals cells, especially those in the nervous system, to progress down specific developmental pathways. Sonic hedgehog was originally isolated as a vertebrate homologue to the fruit fly protein hedgehog, which is also involved in development.
Spasticity A state of increased muscle tone and exaggerated deep tendon reflexes causes by pathology involving “upper motor neurons,” those neurons that originate in the brain and travel down specific paths to the spinal cord where they meet and communicate with a specific (“lower motor”) neuron that then extends to a specific target on a muscle. "
Specificity A characteristic of a diagnostic test that describes the degree to which the test does not detect the presence of a disorder when it is truly not present. Specificity is the proportion of non-disordered patients for whom a negative test is obtained.
Speculoscopy The direct visualization of the cervix via a speculum attached to a chemiluminescent source.
Speculum A device used to widen an opening to look within a passage or a cavity. Vaginal speculums are employed so that the cervix is more easily visible, a nasal speculum aids visualization into the nostrils, and an ear speculum helps one to look within the ear canal at the eardrum.
Sphingosines The principal long chain base found in sphingolipids, those lipids that are important constituents of nerve tissue. Examples of sphingolipids include: ceramides, cerebrosides, gangliosides, and sphingomyelins. "
Spinal Cord The column of nervous tissue extending from the medulla of the brain stem to the 3rd lumbar vertebra in the spinal canal. All nerves to the trunk and limbs emanate from this tissue, and it is the center of reflex action in which are the conducting neural paths to and from the brain. "
Spinal Fusion A surgical procedure in which two or more spinal vertebrae are joined to one another by bone. The most prevalent indication for the procedure is for low back vertebral instability (when there is abnormal motion between the vertebrae) such as occurs in spondylolisthesis ("slipped disk") and after certain surgical procedures of the area. Other indications may be scoliosis or pain syndromes due to disk disease.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy Syndromes A group of neuromuscular disorders all characterized by a disease of the “anterior horn cell,” a cell leading from the spinal cord to all various skeletal muscles of the trunk and extremities. The degeneration of these cells eventually disengages nervous input from muscles such that the muscles wither away, atrophy, and death ensues from respiratory failure from lack of nervous input to the diaphragm and related musculature. "
Spinocerebellar Ataxia A group of degenerative disorders of the cerebellum and spinal cord characterized by progressively worsening wobbly walking, muddled speech, and dysfunction of cranial nerves.
Stable Disease Variably defined circumstances characterized by neither response to therapy nor progression of disease.
Standard of Care Medically usual attention and intervention as defined by a given reference from global, international, national, or regional medical societies, governmental concerns, or other communities. Legally, the degree of attention and intervention a reasonable person would take to prevent an injury, or other harm, to another.
Statin Any of several drugs known to inhibit the activity of the cholesterol synthetic enzyme, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-Coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase. This colloquial designation derives from the fact that branded compounds of this class have their names end in “-statin.” The cholesterol lowering properties of the agents are great enough to confer a decreased risk of cardiovascular events on consistent users. Recent evidence suggests that not only do these drugs target HMG CoA reductase, but also various proteins involved in the maintenance of blood vessel architecture.
Stem Cell A relatively undifferentiated cell that has the ability to develop into many, if not all, cell types in the body.
Stenting The deployment of a prosthetic tube into a vessel or passageway to keep it open. The prosthesis is called a ""stent,"" and they are primarily used in narrowed coronary arteries in order to help keep them open after balloon angioplasty. Once deployed, the stent permits the normal flow of blood and oxygen to the heart. Stenting narrowed carotid arteries (the vessels in the front of the neck that supply blood to the brain) may prove useful in treating patients at elevated risk for stroke. In the esophagus, stents treat certain types of constriction, and they can be deployed in the ureters to maintain the drainage of urine from the kidneys, and in the bile duct to keep it open. "
Stereotactic Implies precise localization of a target in three-dimensional space, typically for purposes related to biopsies, surgeries or radiation therapy.
Steroids (1) A group name for compounds that contain a cyclopenta-a-phenanthrene ring system. Some of the substances included in this group are progesterone, adrenocortical hormones, the gonadal hormones, cardiac aglycones, bile acids, sterols (such as cholesterol), toad poisons, saponins, many other hormones, and some of the carcinogenic hydrocarbons. (2) Colloquialism for natural and synthetic compounds having biological actions similar to those of steroid hormones, especially those of the adrenal cortex — so-called “corticosteroids” — that have potent anti-inflammatory properties and are pharmacologically useful agents for this reason.
Streptokinase A purified thrombolytic (clot buster) also known as anistreplase, derived from a class of bacteria known as group C beta-hemolytic streptococci.
Striatonigral Relating to the striatum and the substantia nigra.
Striatum A group of brain cells involved in motor (movement) and cognitive planning, many of its connections are to the basal ganglia.
Stroke An injury of the brain due to bleeding or to an interruption of the blood supply.
Structural Genomics The generation of three dimensional structural information about proteins and the use of that information, using advanced computational methods, to predict compounds capable of interacting with the proteins and effecting their functions. Structural genomics techniques are potentially useful in identifying new drug compounds for particular protein targets.
Subcutaneous Beneath the skin.
Substantia Nigra Part of the basal ganglia, this region of cells utilizes many neurotransmitters, but is known most of all for its dopamine using neurons, destroyed in the development of Parkinson syndrome. It plays a specific role in the coordination of movement.
Sulfonylurea Any of several hypoglycemic compounds related to the sulfonamides and used in the oral treatment of diabetes mellitus.
Sumatriptan The prototypic triptan (5-HT 1B/1D agonist), it is the generic name of Glaxo Wellcome’s Imitrex, and is indicated in acute migraine (injection, nasal spray, and tablets) and cluster headaches (injection).
Supplemental Biological License Application (sBLA) A BLA submitted to the FDA applying for a drug’s approval for additional indications. Implies a desire to expand the drug label.
Surrogate Marker A measurement of a compound’s biological activity, or effects on sub-clinical levels such as radiographically / imaging or blood test results, that substitutes for a true clinical endpoint such as pain relief, functional and quality of life improvements, disability, or death.
Synapse The connection between two neurons or a neuron and a muscle cell, gland, or other cell. "
Synaptic Cleft Gap between two neurons where neurotransmitters are released, allowing the neurons to communicate.
Synaptic Transmission The transmission of information from one neuron to another or from a neuron to a muscle cell.
Synergy When combination of two stimuli are greater the sum of their individual effects.
Synovial Fluid Fluid that lubricates joints and provides nutrients to cartilage. Also known as the synovia.
Systemic Throughout the body; not localized.
Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) A serious medical condition typically manifest by at least two of the following: high or low core body temperature, rapid heart rate (tachycardia), rapid respiratory rate (tachypnea), and an elevated white blood cell count. Approximately 15% to 30% of all patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) have this condition. Cytokines, dysfunctional immune cells, and the inability of tissues to obtain and utilize oxygen interact in a complex manner that leads to a severe dysregulation of immune and metabolic response of the patient. Persistent SIRS leads to multi organ-system failure, which accounts for approximately 70% of deaths in the ICU. Blood-borne infection, trauma, burns, pancreatitis, inborn errors of metabolism (inherited enzyme defects) and anaphylaxis are the most common causes of this syndrome.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) An autoimmune connective tissue disease with an amazing array of possible signs and symptoms. Antibodies against nucleic acids typically underlies its pathology.
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