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Dr. Kennedy's Vocabulary Course: -J-
(View Course for 11/18/2013)
(A B C D E F G H I J K L M)
 
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Ron Kennedy, M.D.
 
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(A B C D E F G H I J K L M)
Jackknife seizure ( Infantile spasms):  A seizure disorder of infancy and early childhood with the onset predominantly in the first year of life of myoclonic seizures, hypsarrhythmia (abnormal, chaotic electroencephalogram), and mental retardation. The spasms are sudden, brief contractions of one or more muscle groups, and may be followed by a longer (less than 10 seconds) tonic phase. Most often the spasms occur in clusters during which the intensity or the frequency of the spasms may increase progressively to a peak, decline, or cease. The clusters tend to occur soon after arousal from sleep. They are not a feature of falling asleep. The spasms usually involve the muscles of the neck, trunk, and extremities.
Jackson-Pratt (JP) drain:  The original suction drain. The drain itself is inside the body. It is made of Teflon and has multiple drainage holes. The drain is connected to clear plastic tubing which is usually sutured to the skin at the point it leaves the skin. The tubing connects to a bulb reservoir. The bulb, when squeezed empty, applies constant suction to the drain and pulls the fluid out of the body. The drain is removed when the excess fluid has stopped draining from the body. A JP drain may be used, for example, for abdominal or thoracic drainage.
Jacksonian epilepsy:  A brief alteration in movement, sensation or nerve function caused by abnormal electrical activity in a localized area of the brain. Seizures of this type typically cause no change in awareness or alertness. They are transient, fleeting, ephemeral. Jacksonian seizures are extremely varied and may involve, for example, apparently purposeful movements such as turning the head, eye movements, smacking the lips, mouth movements, drooling, rhythmic muscle contractions in a part of the body, abnormal numbness, tingling, and a crawling sensation over the skin. Jacksonian seizures are a form of epilepsy.
Jadassohn-Lewandowski Syndrome:  This syndrome is a form of what is called elephant nails from birth (pachyonychia congenita). The characteristic features include: •Abnormally thick curved nails (onychogryposis) •Thickening of the skin (hyperkeratosis) of the palms, soles, knees and elbows •White plaques (leukoplakia) in the mouth •Excess sweating (hyperhidrosis) of the hands and feet •Teeth are already erupted at birth (natal teeth) Generation after generation in a family may show the syndrome. It is an autosomal dominant trait.
Jail fever:  Epidemic typhus.
JAK3:  Or Jak3. An enzyme found only in cells in the immune system that is critical for the cell signaling process resulting in the development of white blood cells. Mutation of the gene encoding JAK3 is responsible for a form of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). JAK stands for Janus kinase or Just Another Kinase.
JAK3 inhibitor:  A drug that inhibits the enzyme JAK3 (which is found only in immune cells) and acts as an immunosuppressant.
Jakob-Creutzfeldt disease (aka Jakob's disease):  A transmissible degenerative brain disorder technically termed spongiform encephalopathy or "mad cow disease.. Eating "mad cow" meat or squirrel brain can lead to Jaqcob-Creuzfeldt-like disease. Jakob-Creutzfeldt disease, better known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), a dementing disease of the brain. It is believed due to an unconventional, transmissible agent (a prion). Symptoms of CJD include forgetfulness, nervousness, jerky trembling hand movements, unsteady gait, muscle spasms, chronic dementia, balance disorder, and loss of facial expression. CJD is classified as a spongiform encephalopathy. Most cases occur randomly (sporadically), but inherited forms do exist. There is neither treatment nor cure for CJD. Another name for CJD is spastic pseudoparalysis.
Jamais vu:  From the French, meaning "never seen". The illusion that the familiar does not seem familiar. The opposite of the feeling of "deja vu."
Jammed finger:  Lay terminology that refers to an injury of the finger joints. The most common joint affected is the proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP), the joint formed by the first and second finger bones. A jammed finger occurs because of an on-end injury to the tip of a finger. The injury most commonly occurs during athletic activity, particularly with ball-handling sports.
Janiceps:  Conjoined twins whose heads are fused together, with the faces looking in opposite directions, like the two-faced Roman god Janus. The suffix -ceps comes from the Latin caput, meaning head. See also: Craniopagus; Syncephaly.
Japanese encephalitis:  A mosquito-borne viral infection, the leading cause of viral encephalitis in Asia. Japanese encephalitis virus cannot be transmitted from person-to-person. Number of cases: About 50,000 cases of Japanese encephalitis are reported annually from the People's Republic of China, Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and parts of Oceania. The Japanese encephalitis virus is related to the viruses of St. Louis encephalitis and Murray Valley encephalitis and to the West Nile virus. Infection leads to overt encephalitis in only 1 of 20 to 1,000 cases.
Jaundice:  Yellow staining of the skin and sclerae (the whites of the eyes) by abnormally high blood levels of the bile pigment bilirubin. The yellowing extends to other tissues and body fluids. Jaundice was once called the "morbus regius" (the regal disease) in the belief that only the touch of a king could cure it. When red blood cells are removed from the bloodstream, hemoglobin, the molecule in red cells that carries oxygen, is broken down into bilirubin. The bilirubin is carried to the liver and excreted into the intestine as a component of bile. Jaundice can indicate liver or gallbladder disease. When the excretion of bilirubin is hindered, excess bilirubin passes into the blood, resulting in jaundice. Inflammation or other abnormalities of liver cells hinder the excretion of bilirubin into bile. Or the bile ducts outside the liver may be blocked by a gallstone or a tumor. Jaundice can also result from the excessive breakdown of red blood cells (a process called hemolysis) and too much bilirubin is released into the bloodstream. This occurs typically in the red cell destruction or "hemolytic" anemias (as opposed to the "aplastic" anemias in which not enough red cells are produced). Jaundice is common in newborns because there is some hemolysis (breakdown of red cells) during labor and delivery and the newborn's liver is immature and may not be fully up to the task of handling the bilirubin for a few days.
JC virus:  (JCV) A virus that commonly causes infections of no consequence in children with a normal immune system but which is responsible for an infection of the brain and spinal cord called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) in people with AIDS and other forms of immune system impairment. JC virus is also the primary cause of nephropathy (kidney disease) in people who have received a kidney transplant and are on immunosuppressive therapy. (The JC virus is a human polyomavirus. It is a small virus with a closed circular genome consisting of double-stranded DNA. The letters JC are the initials of a patient with PML from whose brain the virus was first isolated.)
Jejunostomy:  A surgical operation to create an opening of the jejunum (a part of the small intestine) to a hole (stoma) in the abdomen.
Jejunum:  Part of the small intestine. It is half-way down the small intestine between its duodenum and ileum sections. The term "jejunum" derives from the Latin "jejunus," which means "empty of food," "meager," or "hungry." The ancient Greeks noticed at death that this part of the intestine was always empty of food. Hence, the name the jejunum. (Consider the definition of "jejune" meaning approximately mentally empty).
Jellyfish itch:  An intensely itchy rash due to contact with the tiny thimble jellyfish (Linuche unguiculata). These jellyfish are common between March and August in the waters off of Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. There may be no adult jellyfish around as a warning. The jellyfish larvae look like mere specks of "finely ground pepper" and can evoke the same response. The reaction tends to start 4-24 hours after exposure to the jellyfish.
Jellyfish sting:  The injection into the skin of venom from the stinging unit (the nematocyst) of the jellyfish. The jellyfish tentacles can extend for several feet and are lined with venom-filled cells (the nematocysts). One tentacle may fire thousands of nematocysts into the skin on contact. On contact, each cell fires a barbed thread that penetrates the victim's skin.
Jenner's method:  The production of immunity to a disease by inoculation of an attenuated form of the virus causing the disease. Also called jennerization, or the Jennerian method.
Jet lag:  A temporary disorder that causes fatigue, insomnia, and other symptoms as a result of rapid air travel across time zones. Other symptoms of jet lag include anxiety, constipation, diarrhea, confusion, dehydration, headache, irritability, nausea, sweating, coordination problems, and even memory loss. Some individuals may report additional symptoms, such as heartbeat irregularities and an increased susceptibility to illness.
Jewett staging system:  A system for determining the stage of a prostate cancer. The system uses ABCD. The letters "A" and "B" designate cancers that are confined to the prostate. The letter "C" applies to cancers that have grown out of the prostate but have not yet metastasized (spread) to lymph nodes or other sites. And the letter "D" refers to prostate cancer that has spread to lymph nodes or to other sites. The Jewett staging system is also sometimes called the ABCD rating or the Whitmore-Jewett staging system.
Jock itch:  A superficial fungus infection of the crotch and perineum known medically as tinea cruris. Good general hygiene helps prevent it, as does keeping the area clean and dry . Laundering underwear and athletic supporters frequently also helps, as do an antifungal or drying powder after bathing.
Jogger's nails:  Very small semi-circular white spots on the nails. These spots may be found on the fingernails and, particularly, the toenails. The white spots on the nails reflect injury to the base (matrix) of the nail. The matrix is the part under the skin of the dorsum of the finger or toe and proximal to the visible nail. It is where the nail cells and the nail itself are produced and from where the nail grows out. The injury to the nail matrix responsible for the white spots is often gotten during exercising in poorly fitting shoes. Jogging in badly fitting shoes is notorious. Jogger's nails are no cause for concern. They eventually grow out. However, they are a useful sign, that shoes that fit right are in order.
Joint:  A joint is the area where two bones are attached for the purpose of motion of body parts. A joint is usually formed of fibrous connective tissue and cartilage. An articulation or an arthrosis is the same as a joint. Joints are grouped according to their motion: a ball and socket joint; a hinge joint; a condyloid joint (a joint that permits all forms of angular movement except axial rotation); a pivot joint; gliding joint; and a saddle joint. Joints can move in four and only four ways: •Gliding -- one bony surface glides on another without angular or rotatory movement; •Angular -- occurs only between long bones, increasing or decreasing the angle between the bones; •Circumduction -- occurs in joints composed of the head of a bone and an articular cavity, the long bone describing a series of circles, the whole forming a cone; and •Rotation -- a bone moves about a central axis without moving from this axis. The word "joint" comes from the Latin "junctio" meaning a joining (as in a junction).
Joint aspiration:  A procedure whereby a sterile needle and syringe are used to drain joint fluid from the joint. This is usually done as an office procedure or at the bedside in the hospital. The procedure is also known medically as arthrocentesis.
Joint hypermobility syndrome:  A common benign childhood condition involving hypermobile joints (that can move beyond the normal range of motion). Symptoms include pains in knees, fingers, hips, and elbows. The affected joints may sprain or dislocate. Scoliosis (curvature of the spine) is more frequent. Usually improves with adulthood. Also called the hypermobility syndrome.
JP drain:  The original suction drain. The drain itself is inside the body. It is made of Teflon and has multiple drainage holes. The drain is connected to clear plastic tubing which is usually sutured to the skin at the point it leaves the skin. The tubing connects to a bulb reservoir. The bulb, when squeezed empty, applies constant suction to the drain and pulls the fluid out of the body. The drain is removed when the excess fluid has stopped draining from the body. A JP drain may be used, for example, for abdominal or thoracic drainage. JP stands for Jackson-Pratt.
Jugular vein:  The jugular veins are in the neck and drain blood from the head, brain, face and neck and convey it toward the heart. The external jugular vein collects most of the blood from the outside of the skull and the deep parts of the face. It lies outside the sternocleidomastoid muscle, passes down the neck and joins the subclavian vein. The internal jugular vein collects blood from the brain, the outside of the face and the neck. It runs down the inside of the neck outside the internal and common carotid arteries and unites with the subclavian vein to form the innominate vein. The jugular veins are particularly prominent during congestive heart failure. The word comes from the Latin jugulum meaning throat. The jugular is "the vein of the throat" or in ancient times "the sacrificial vein."
Jumper's knee (patellar tendonitis):  A common injury to the patellar tendon. It often occurs in basketball and volleyball and other high impact sports. There may be sudden aching and pain with subsequent swelling just below the kneecap and the knee may feel weak. Treatment includes rest, ice, and medications to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Junctional epidermolysis bullosa:   A blistering skin condition inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, due to mutation of a gene that normally promotes the formation of anchoring filaments (thread-like fibers) or hemidesmosomes (complex structures composed of many proteins). These structures anchor the epidermis to the underlying basement membrane. The defect leads to tissue separation and blistering in the upper part of the basement membrane. Junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB) is usually severe. In the most serious forms, large, ulcerated blisters on the face, trunk, and legs can be life-threatening due to complicated infections and loss of body fluid that leads to severe dehydration. Survival is also threatened by blisters that affect the esophagus, upper airway, stomach, intestines, and the urogenital system. Other signs found in both severe and mild forms of JEB include rough and thickened or absent fingernails and toenails; a thin appearance to the skin (called atrophic scarring); blisters on the scalp or loss of hair with scarring (scarring alopecia); malnutrition and anemia; growth retardation; involvement of soft tissue inside the mouth and nose; and poorly formed tooth enamel.
Junk DNA:  Noncoding regions of DNA that have no apparent function. The term "junk DNA" is a disparaging one, expressing some of the disappointment felt by geneticists when they first gazed upon sizable segments of the genetic code and, instead of seeing one wonderful gene after another, they saw a few exons surrounded by vast stretches of "junk DNA." Exons are the regions of DNA that contain the code for producing the polypeptide molecules that make up protein. Each exon codes for a specific portion of the complete protein. In humans and some other species, the exons are separated by long regions of junk DNA. However, junk DNA has been found to be even more conserved than protein-coding regions of the DNA in humans and other mammalian species. The extent of conservation indicates that there is some function for junk DNA that remains to be determined. Junk DNA may prove not to be junk.
Junvenile onset diabetes (Diabetes, type 1):  An autoimmune disease that occurs when T cells attack and decimate the beta cells in the pancreas that are needed to produce insulin, so that the pancreas makes too little insulin (or no insulin). Without the capacity to make adequate amounts of insulin, the body is not able to metabolize blood glucose (sugar), to use it efficiently for energy, and toxic acids (called ketoacids) build up in the body. There is a genetic predisposition to type 1 diabetes. The disease tends to occur in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood (before age 30) but it may have its clinical onset at any age. The symptoms and signs of type 1 diabetes characteristically appear abruptly, although the damage to the beta cells may begin much earlier and progress slowly and silently.
Juvenile diabetes (diabetes, type 1):  An autoimmune disease that occurs when T cells attack and decimate the beta cells in the pancreas that are needed to produce insulin, so that the pancreas makes too little insulin (or no insulin). Without the capacity to make adequate amounts of insulin, the body is not able to metabolize blood glucose (sugar), to use it efficiently for energy, and toxic acids (called ketoacids) build up in the body. There is a genetic predisposition to type 1 diabetes. The disease tends to occur in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood (before age 30) but it may have its clinical onset at any age. The symptoms and signs of type 1 diabetes characteristically appear abruptly, although the damage to the beta cells may begin much earlier and progress slowly and silently.
Juvenile hyaline fibromatosis:  A genetic disorder characterized by multiple subcutaneous nodules and gingival hypertrophy (overgrowth of the gums) beginning in the first few years of life and, later, joint contractures. There are deposits of hyaline (glassy) material in the skin. The disease is inherited as an autosomal recessive condition.
Juvenile laryngeal papillomatosis:  Juvenile laryngeal papillomatosis involves the growth of numerous warty growths on the vocal cords in children and young adults. A baby can contract juvenile laryngeal papillomatosis by being contaminated with the human papilloma virus (HPV) during birth through the vaginal canal of a mother with genital warts (which are also due to HPV). Each year, about 300 infants are thus born with the virus on their vocal cords. The treatment of juvenile laryngeal papillomatosis is usually by surgical excision. Recurrences of laryngeal papillomatosis are, unfortunately, frequent. Remission may occur after several years.
Juvenile melanoma:  A benign raised pink or red scaly area typically seen on a preadolescent child's skin, usually on the cheek. Also called a benign compound nevus or a spindle and epithelioid cell nevus.
Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia:  Abbreviated JMML. A rare cancer of the myeloid cells in the bone marrow, accounting for less than 1% of all childhood leukemia. JMML is most common in children under four years of age, especially those with genetic disorders called neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1) and Noonan syndrome. Up to 14% of cases of JMML occur in children with NF1. Few approaches other than hematopoietic stem cell transplantation have resulted in long-term survival for this disease.
Juvenile polyposis:  An autosomal dominant disorder in which polyps develop throughout the gastrointestinal tract in the first decade or two of life. People with the disease are at increased risk for developing gastrointestinal cancers. There can also be diarrhea, GI bleeding, and protein-losing from the intestinal wall.
Juvenile retinoschisis:  A genetic disease of the eye characterized by retinoschisis (splitting of the retina) symmetrically involving the macula, the area of the retina responsible for central vision, with onset in the first decade of life, in some cases as early as three months of age. Eye examination shows areas of schisis (splitting of the nerve fiber layer of the retina) in the macula, sometimes giving the impression of a spoke wheel pattern. Schisis of the peripheral retina occurs in half of patients. Visual deterioration often progresses during the first decade or two of life, but visual acuity remains relatively stable after puberty.
Juxtaarticular:  Litnerally next to a joint.
Juxtaglomerular apparatus:  A collective term referring to the cells near a structure called the glomerulus in the kidney. The juxtaglomerular cells are specialized cells that stimulate the secretion of the adrenal hormone aldosterone and play a major role in renal autoregulation, the kidney's self-governance.
Juxtaposition:  next to whatever is under consideration.



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