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abracadabra a nonsense word thought to produce a magical effect such as the warding off of disaster or disease. [1/2 definitions]
acromegaly a chronic disease causing abnormal enlargement of the hands, feet, and parts of the face, usu. caused by a tumor of the pituitary gland.
actinomycosis an infectious disease of animals and humans that is caused by parasites and produces abscesses, esp. in the jaws.
active immunity an organism's immunity to a disease because of its production of antibodies.
acupressure a process or technique intended to relieve pain or cure disease by the application of pressure with the hands to specific parts of the body. [1/2 definitions]
acupuncture a traditional Chinese practice of pricking certain parts of the body with fine needles to relieve pain or cure disease. [1/2 definitions]
acute of a disease, occurring suddenly, then rapidly progressing to a peak and coming shortly to an end. (Cf. chronic.) [1/7 definitions]
Addison's disease a disease caused by disturbance or failure of the adrenal glands, resulting in anemia, low blood pressure, weakness, and an abnormal brownish tinge to the skin.
aeroembolism nitrogen or air bubbles in the bloodstream, caused by severe decompression, surgery, or injury, and resulting in severe pain and sometimes convulsions; bends; decompression sickness; caisson disease.
AIDS acronym of "acquired immune deficiency syndrome," a usu. fatal viral disease of the body's immune system, transferred through blood, sexual contact, contaminated hypodermic needles, or the like.
alchemy an ancient exploration and practice of chemistry which flourished particularly during medieval times. Practitioners used chemical processes in the hope of, for example, producing gold from base metals, finding the key to eternal life, and uncovering a single cure for all disease. [1/2 definitions]
allopathy treatment of disease with agents intended to produce effects that are different from those of the disease. (Cf. homeopathy.)
Alzheimer's disease a severe, progressive disease that causes the brain cells to degenerate, often leading to dementia.
amoebic caused by or involving amoebas, as a disease. [1/2 definitions]
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis a disease that causes loss of control in muscle movement because of the degeneration of nerve cells; Lou Gehrig's disease.
analeptic of medication, restoring strength to the body after a disease or after the effects of sedatives. [2 definitions]
angina a condition or disease marked by inflammation of the throat, spasmodic pain, and a sensation of suffocation. [1/2 definitions]
anthrax an infectious, often fatal disease, esp. of sheep and cattle, but communicable to humans. [2 definitions]
antibiotic any of various substances derived from fungi or other organisms and used to destroy or prevent the growth of bacteria or other disease-causing organisms. [1/2 definitions]
antidote a substance that counteracts poison or disease. [1/2 definitions]
antiperiodic preventing the periodic recurrence of disease such as malaria. [2 definitions]