A detectable cellular or molecular indicator of exposure, health effects, or susceptibility, which can be used to measure the absorbed, metabolized, or biologically effective dose of a substance, the response to the substance including susceptibility and resistance, idiosyncratic reactions, and other factors or conditions.

Blood-brain barier

A selective mechanism opposing the passage of most ions and high molecular weight compounds from the blood to brain tissue located in a continuous layer of endothelial cells connected by tight junctions; similar capillaries are Found in the retina, iris, and inner ear, and within the endoneurium of peripheral nerves.


Originally, the entire unpaired subdivision of the brain, composed of (in anterior sequence) the rhombencephalon, mesencephalon, and diencephalon as distinguished from the brain's only paired subdivision, the telencephalon. More recently, the term's connotation has undergone several arbitrary modifications: some use it to denote no more than rhombencephalon plus mesencephalon, distinguishing that complex from the prosencephalon (diencephalon plus telencephalon); others restrict it even further to refer exclusively to the rhombencephalon. From both developmental and architectural viewpoints, the original interpretation seems preferable.

celiac disease

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Central nervous system (CNS)

The brain and the spinal cord

Cerebrospinal fluid

A fluid largely secreted by the choroid plexuses of the ventricles of the brain, filling the ventricles and the subarachnoid cavities of the brain and spinal cord

Clinical trials

A controlled experiment involving a defined set of human subjects, having a clinical event as an outcome measure, and intended to yield scientifically valid information about the efficacy or safety of a drug, vaccine, diagnostic test, surgical procedure, or other form of medical intervention.


Embracing the mental activities associated with thinking, learning, and memory

Combination therapy

the use of more than one method and especially more than one drug to treat a disease


existing simultaneously with and usually independently of another medical condition


The recording of electrical activity generated in muscle for diagnostic purposes; both surface and needle recording electrodes can be used, although characteristically the latter is employed, so that the procedure is also called needle electrode examination.

Executive function

A set of cognitive processes that are necessary for the control of oneself

Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS)

A method of quantifying disability in multiple sclerosis. The EDSS quantifies disability in eight Functional Systems (FS) and allows neurologists to assign a Functional System Score (FSS) in each of these

Glossary 1

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Glossary 2

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