AIDS DEFINITION The initials, AIDS, stand for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. DESCRIPTION This is a viral infection which up to this time has no known cure. The human body has many different types of white blood cells that circulate around the body. These all have a specific job to do in… Read Article


Allergies DEFINITION A person who is overly-reactive to a substance that is well tolerated by most other people, is said to be allergic, or atopic.. DESCRIPTION The substance which causes an allergic reaction is called an ‘allergen’. An allergic reaction causes the immune system to over-react to the substance. Antibodies… Read Article

Altitude sickness

Altitude sickness DEFINITION Altitude sickness refers to a group of syndromes that result from the combination of reduced air pressure and a lower concentration of oxygen at high altitude. DESCRIPTION Altitude sickness can be classified into acute mountain sickness (AMS), high altitude pulmonary oedema (HAPE) or high altitude cerebral oedema… Read Article

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease DEFINITION Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It is a degenerative disease leading to the loss of important brain cells. This causes symptoms that may include confusion, memory loss, impairment of reasoning and rationality, restlessness, speech disturbances, exaggerated emotional reactions and other problems that generally… Read Article

Anaphylactic shock

Anaphylactic shock DEFINITION Anaphylactic Shock (also known as anaphylaxis),  is a severe allergic reaction which has a rapid onset following contact with the allergen. This is a medical emergency and requires immediate medical attention. DESCRIPTION Anaphylactic Shock occurs rapidly (sometimes even explosively) when a sensitive individual comes in contact with… Read Article

Angular cheilitis

Angular cheilitis DEFINITION Angular cheilitis (also known as Angular stomatitis) is a condition that causes inflammation at the corners of the mouth. CAUSE Candida albicans (fungal) and/or staphylococcus aureus (bacterial) infections, which affect about 15 per cent of people who wear dentures. Ill-fitting dentures are a risk factor for developing… Read Article


Anorexia DEFINITION Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder. It is a psychological condition that involves a person’s refusal to eat sufficient food to maintain a minimum normal weight for age and height. Anorexia Nervosa is an illness that can have serious effects on many body systems and requires treatment by… Read Article


Anxiety DEFINITION Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness, apprehension, fear, or worry. There are many types of anxiety disorders and people will often have symptoms of more than one. DESCRIPTION Most people feel anxious from time-to-time. Anxiety is a normal response to stressful situations. In some cases it can improve… Read Article

Asperger’s Syndrome

Asperger’s Syndrome Asperger’s Syndrome Asperger’s syndrome, which is also known as pervasive development disorder, is an autism-spectrum disorder (i.e. similar in some ways to autism) and is often referred to as ‘high-functioning autism’.  Asperger’s syndrome becomes obvious during early childhood, usually around the age of three years Despite this, the… Read Article