Stress and Disease Dr. Donald B. Giddon, Harvard University Fall 2013 Questions 3 and 4: selected not but inclusive disease definitions/descriptions and other terms for consideration for paper topics1 Accident proneness 1
SELECTED NOT BUT INCLUSIVE DISEASE DEFINITIONS/DESCRIPTIONS AND OTHER TERMS FOR CONSIDERATION FOR PAPER TOPICS1 Accident proneness1. Having a greater number of accidents than would be expected of the average person in similar circumstances. 2. Having personality characteristics predisposing one to accidents.
Acne vulgaris An eruption, predominantly of the face, upper back, and chest, composed of comedones, cysts, papules, and pustules on an inflammatory base; the condition occurs in a majority of people during puberty and adolescence, because to androgenic stimulation of sebum secretion, with plugging of follicles by keratinization, associated with proliferation of Propionibacterium acnes. Follicular suppuration may lead to scarring.
Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) An acute or recurrent gingivitis of young and middle-aged adults and people with HIV AIDS, characterized clinically by gingival erythema and pain, fetid odor, and necrosis and sloughing of interdental papillae and marginal gingiva which gives rise to a gray pseudomembrane; fever, regional lymphadenopathy, and other systemic manifestations also may be present. A fusiform bacillus and Treponema vincentii can be isolated from the gingival tissues in large numbers and are felt to play a significant but poorly defined role in the pathogenesis.
AIDS A deficiency of cellular immunity induced by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) and characterized by opportunistic diseases. (See HIV.)
Allergy A state of hypersensitivity induced by exposure to a particular antigen (allergen) resulting in harmful immunologic reactions on subsequent exposures, the term is usually used to refer to hypersensitivity to an environmental antigen (atopic allergy or contact dermatitis) or to drug allergy
ALSAlso called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. A serious neurologic disease that results from the progressive degeneration of the motor neurones
Alzheimer’s diseaseA progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterised by loss of function and death of nerve cells in several areas of the brain leading to loss of cognitive function such as memory and language.
Anemia Too few, dysfunctional, or dysmorphic (e.g. sickle cell anemia) red blood cells in the bloodstream, resulting in insufficient oxygen to tissues and organs. Anemia is frequently manifested by pallor of the skin and mucous membranes, shortness of breath, palpitations of the heart, soft systolic murmurs, lethargy, and fatigability.
Anorexia Diminished appetite; aversion to food. A mental disorder manifested by extreme fear of becoming obese and an aversion to food, usually occurring in young women and often resulting in life-threatening weight loss, accompanied by a disturbance in body image, hyperactivity, and amenorrhea.
Aphthous ulcer A type of benign mouth ulcer often caused by injury to the mucosal lining of the oral cavity, viral infection or vitamin deficiency.
Asthma An inflammatory disease of the lungs characterized by reversible (in most cases) airway obstruction. Originally, a term used to mean "difficult breathing"; now used to denote bronchial asthma.
Atopic dermatitis A type of immune-mediated (allergic) inflammatory skin disorder that results in an itchy rash.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Typically children with ADHD have developmentally inappropriate behavior, including poor attention skills, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. These characteristics arise in early childhood, typically before age 7, are chronic, and last at least 6 months. Children with ADHD may also experience problems in the areas of social skills and self esteem
Autism spectrum disorders. Mental introversion in which the attention or interest is fastened upon the patient’s own ego. A self-centred state from which reality tends to be excluded.
Autoimmune disease, e.g lupus, rheumatoid arthritis A disease process that involves the production of host antibodies to host tissue.
Benign tumor A tumor that does not form metastases and does not invade but may destroy adjacent normal tissue as a space-occupying lesion, i.e. deforming the brain in the cranial vault
Bipolar disorder Alternation between manic symptoms and depressive symptoms.
Body dysmorphic disorder Preoccupation with an imagined defect in appearance which causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
Brain tumors Can be malignant or benign and can occur at any age. Primary brain tumors initially form in the brain tissue. Secondary brain tumors are cancers that have spread to the brain tissue (metastasized) from tissue elsewhere in the body.
Bruxism Compulsive grinding or clenching of the teeth especially atnight.
Bulimia A chronic morbid disorder involving repeated and secretive episodic bouts of eating characterized by uncontrolled rapid ingestion of large quantities of food over a short period of time (binge eating), followed by self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, or vigorous exercise in order to prevent weight gain; often accompanied by feelings of guilt, depression, or self-disgust.
Cancer A general term for more than 100 diseases that are characterised by uncontrolled, abnormal growth of cells. (see Neoplasia)
Cardiovascular disease Diseases of, relating to, or involving the heart and blood vessels
Chronic fatigue syndrome An unusual illness, of uncertain cause, that is characterized by unexplained fatigue, weakness, muscle pain, lymph node swelling and malaise.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) A progressive disease process that most commonly results from smoking. COPD is characterised by difficulty breathing, wheezing, and a chronic cough.
Cleft lip or palate Fissure in the lip or palate
Cluster headache A headache that is typified by constant, unilateral pain around the eye, with onset usually within 2-3 hours of falling asleep.
Colitis Inflammation of the colon.
Common cold, rhinorrhea A viral, upper respiratory tract, contagious infection. An illness caused by a number of different types of viruses, making build-up of immunity difficult
Coronary artery disease Damage to the heart and blood vessels because of reduced blood supply caused by calcified fatty deposits.
Crohn’s disease Chronic inflammation of the lower intestinal tract.
Depression Can be an acute or chronic mental disorder characterized by feelings of sadness, loneliness, despair, low self-esteem, and self-reproach; accompanying signs include psychomotor retardation or less frequently agitation, withdrawal from social contact, and vegetative states such as loss of appetite and insomnia.
Diabetes mellitusI and II A disorder of carbohydrate metabolism characterized by excessive sugar in the blood and urine and associated with a disturbance of the normal insulin mechanism.
Eczema Generic term for inflammatory conditions of the skin, particularly with vesiculation in the acute stage, typically erythematous, edematous, papular, crusting, and, infrequently, hyperpigmentation; often accompanied by sensations of itching and burning
Endometriosis/ pelvic pain Ectopic occurrence of endometrial tissue, frequently forming cysts containing altered blood, which may result in pain referred to the pelvic area in females.
Epigenetics A rapidly growing research field that investigates heritable alterations in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in DNA sequence.
Epilepsy The paroxysmal transient disturbances of brain function that may be manifested as episodic impairment or loss of consciousness, abnormal motor phenomena, psychic or sensory disturbances or perturbation of the autonomic nervous system.
Fibromyalgia A syndrome of chronic pain of musculoskeletal origin but uncertain cause, with established diagnostic criteria of joint tenderness in at least 11 of 18 specified sites.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD) An inflammation of the esophageal mucosa caused by reflux of acid gastric or alkaline intestinal juice.
Genital herpes A herpes simplex infection on the genitals, most commonly herpes simplex-2 virus.
Glaucoma A group of eye diseases characterised by an increase in intraocular pressure which causes pathological changes in the optic disk.
Headache Pain in various parts of the head, not confined to the area of distribution of any nerve
Herpes labialis a.k.a. herpes simplex. A variety of infections caused by herpes virus types 1 and 2; type 1 infections are marked most commonly by the eruption of one or more groups of vesicles on the vermilion border of the lips or at the external nostrils, type 2 by such lesions on the genitalia.
HIV and AIDS HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV is transmitted from person to person in cell-rich body fluids (notably blood and semen) through sexual contact, sharing of contaminated needles (as by IV drug abusers), or other contact with contaminated blood (as in accidental needle sticks among health care workers).
Hypertension High blood pressure; transitory or sustained elevation of systemic arterial blood pressure to a level likely to induce cardiovascular damage or other adverse consequences. Hypertension has been arbitrarily defined as a systolic blood pressure above 140 mm Hg or a diastolic blood pressure above 90 mm Hg. Consequences of uncontrolled hypertension include retinal vascular damage, cerebrovascular disease and stroke, left ventricular hypertrophy and failure, myocardial infarction, dissecting aneurysm, and renovascular disease.
Hyperthyroidism An abnormality in which thyroid hormone is increased and is no longer under regulatory control of hypothalamic-pituitary centers; characterized by a hypermetabolic state, usually with weight loss, tremulousness; may progress to severe weakness, wasting, hyperpyrexia; often associated with exophthalmos (Graves disease).
Hypoglycemia An abnormally diminished concentration of glucose in the blood resulting in nausea, sweating, weakness, faintness, confusion, hallucinations, headache, cold sweat, piloerection, hypothermia, irritability, bizarre behavior.
Hysterical blindness or deafness Loss of vision or hearing for nonorganic reasons; often follows severe psychic shock
Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) A rare autoimmune disorder characterized by an acute shortage of platelets with resultant bruising and spontaneous bleeding.
Infection Invasion of the body with organisms that have the potential to cause disease.
Irritable bowel syndrome A functional bowel disorder characterized by recurrent crampy abdominal pain and diarrhea
Leukemia An acute or chronic neoplastic disease in man and other-warm blooded animals that involves the blood forming organs, is characterized by an abnormal increase in the number of leucocytes and is classified according of the type leucocyte most prominently involved
Malignancy A cancer
Migraine A symptom complex occurring periodically and characterized by pain in the head (usually unilateral), vertigo, nausea and vomiting, photophobia, and scintillating appearances of light. May also be localized to other body areas, e.g. gastro-intestinal.
Mononucleosis Presence of abnormally large numbers of mononuclear leukocytes in the circulating blood, especially with reference to forms that are not normal; associated with fever and malaise
Morbidity Any departure, subjective or objective, from a state of physiological or psychological well-being.
Multiple chemical sensitivities An acquired disorder characterized by recurrent symptoms, referable to multiple organ systems, occurring in response to demonstrable exposure to many chemically unrelated compounds at doses far below those established for the general population to cause harmful effects. No single widely accepted test of physiologic function can be shown to correlate with symptoms
Multiple sclerosis A chronic, progressive, degenerative disease of the central nervous system. Multiple sclerosis is not contagious nor is it a mental disease. It is “sclerotic” because it leaves scars where the myelin has degenerated, or there is a degeneration of the myelin sheath. Without this myelin, body signals go wrong. Hence, the characteristics of multiple sclerosis may include shaking or tremor, extreme weakness, and progressive paralysis.
Myocardial infarction A term used to describe irreversible injury to heart muscle. Synonym: heart attack.
Myofascial pain syndrome Muscular pain in numerous body regions that can be reproduced by pressure on trigger points, localised hardenings in skeletal muscle tissue.
Neoplasia An abnormal tissue that grows by cellular proliferation more rapidly than normal and continues to grow after the stimuli that initiated the new growth cease. Neoplasms show partial or complete lack of structural organization and functional coordination with the normal tissue, and usually form a distinct mass of tissue that may be either benign or malignant.
Obesity An excess of subcutaneous fat in proportion to lean body mass. Excess fat accumulation is associated with increase in the size (hypertrophy) as well as the number (hyperplasia) of adipose tissue cells. Obesity is variously defined in terms of absolute weight, weight-height ratio, distribution of subcutaneous fat, and societal and esthetic norms.
Osteoarthritis Noninflammatory degenerative joint disease occurring chiefly in older persons, characterized by degeneration of the articular cartilage, hypertrophy of bone at the margins and changes in the synovial membrane. It is accompanied by pain and stiffness, particularly after prolonged activity.
Overutilization of health care resources
Hypochondriasis - A mental disorder characterized by a preoccupation with bodily functions and the interpretation of normal sensations (such as heart beats, sweating, peristaltic action and bowel movements) or minor abnormalities (such as a runny nose, minor aches and pains or slightly swollen lymph nodes) as indications of highly disturbing problems needing medical attention
Malingering – Simulation of symptoms of illness or injury with intent to deceive in order to obtain a goal.
Munchausen’s syndrome by self or proxy- A phenomenon in which symptoms of a disease are fabricated by an individual other than the patient causing unnecessary, and often painful, physical examinations and treatments. This syndrome is considered a form of child abuse, since another individual, usually a parent, is the source of the fabrication of symptoms and presents the child for medical care
Overdiagnosis (see book on suggested reading list)
Worried well (see book by Barsky on suggested reading list)
Pain An unpleasant sensation associated with actual or potential tissue damage and mediated by specific nerve fibers to the brain where its conscious appreciation may be modified by various factors. May be acute or chronic.
Panic disorder Recurrent panic attacks: these usually begin abruptly and include rapid heartbeat, chest sensations, shortness of breath, dizziness, tingling, and anxiousness.
Peptic ulcers An ulcer of the alimentary mucosa, usually in the stomach or duodenum, exposed to acid gastric secretion. May have bacterial origins with probability for cure by antibiotics
Periodontal disease A disorder affecting soft and hard tissues surrounding the teeth. In its early stages, the most common type takes the form of gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, which may develop into periodontitis (sometimes called pyorrhea), the chronic, destructive stage of the disease.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Development of characteristic symptoms following a psychologically traumatic event that is generally outside the range of usual human experience; symptoms include numbed responsiveness to environmental stimuli, a variety of autonomic and cognitive dysfunctions, and dysphoria.
Pregnancy The state of a female after conception and until the termination of the gestation.
Premenstrual syndrome A combination of emotional, physical, psychological, and mood disturbances that occur after ovulation and normally end with the onset of the menstrual flow.
Pseudocyesis False or simulated pregnancy.
Psoriasis A common chronic, squamous dermatosis, marked by exacerbations and remissions and having a polygenic inheritance pattern, characterized clinically by the presence of rounded, circumscribed, erythematous, dry scaling patches of various sizes, covered by greyish white or silvery white, umbilicated and lamellar scales.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) A chronic, systemic, auto-immune disease, manifested primarily by inflammatory arthritis of the peripheral joints, usually in a symmetrical distribution.
Schizophrenia A mental disorder or heterogeneous group of disorders (the schizophrenias or schizophrenic disorders) comprising most major psychotic disorders and characterised by disturbances in form and content of thought (loosening of associations, delusions and hallucinations), mood (blunted, flattened or inappropriate affect), sense of self and relationship to the external world (loss of ego boundaries and autistic withdrawal), and behavior (bizarre, apparently purposeless and stereotyped activity or inactivity).
Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) A disease, such as genital herpes, gonorrhea, HIV or chlamydia, whose usual means of transmission is by sexual contact.
Skin cancer Carcinoma of the skin. Chronic exposure to ultraviolet light of the sunburn wavelengths (290 to 320 nm) in individuals not protected by intense melanin pigmentation.
Sleep disorders Disturbances of usual sleep patterns or behaviors.
Stroke Any acute clinical event, related to impairment of cerebral circulation, that lasts more than 24 hours. a stroke involves irreversible brain damage, the type and severity of symptoms depending on the location and extent of brain tissue whose circulation has been compromised. The outcome of a stroke varies from minimal impairment to rapid onset of coma followed quickly by death. Acute neurologic deficits resulting from circulatory impairment that resolve within 24 hours are called transient ischemic attacks (TIAs); most TIAs last only 15-20 minutes.
Hemorrhagic stroke: stroke caused by the rupture of a blood vessel with bleeding into the tissue of the brain
Ischemic stroke: stroke caused by thrombosis or embolism
Temporomandibular joint disorders A variety of conditions affecting the anatomic and functional characteristics of the temporomandibular joint. Factors contributing to the complexity of temporomandibular diseases are its relation to dentition and mastication and the symptomatic effects in other areas which account for referred pain to the joint.
Tinnitus Noises (ringing, whistling, hissing, roaring, booming, etc.) in the ears.
TuberculosisA disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the tubercle bacillus, which can affect almost any tissue or organ of the body, the most common seat of the disease being the lungs. The tuberculin skin test becomes positive within a few weeks, and remains positive throughout life.
Urticaria An eruption of itching wheals, usually of systemic origin; possibly due to a state of hypersensitivity to foods or drugs, foci of infection, physical agents (heat, cold, light, friction), or psychic stimuli.
Vertigo A sensation of spinning or whirling motion. Vertigo implies a definite sensation of rotation of the subject (subjective vertigo) or of objects about the subject (objective vertigo) in any plane.
1 Many of these definitions come from the “On-Line Medical Dictionary” at http://www.mondofacto.com/facts/dictionary.
For further information or additional diseases, you may also wish to consult