Glossary try the best to avoid the use of medical terms that could make it more difficult to understand the information on this website. Still, there are a number of terms that can't be avoided and that are useful to know because they are so often used by the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals with whom you might speak. The list below includes the terms used on for which we have provided definitions.

Search for glossary terms (regular expression allowed)
Term Definition
Oligoclonal bands

Discrete bands observed on an electrophoretic gel as a result of a patients sample being analyzed by protein electrophoresis


Genetic material that is able to produce a malignant change in a cell; several have been identifited in human tissue as potential causes of cancer. Certain oncogenes may play a role in normal growth and development; if they are damaged or mutated, cancer may result.

Opportunistic Infection

Infection that affects people with suppressed immune systems


Pertaining to the mouth


A specific stucture in the body that performs one or more functions, such as the heart, lungs or liver


Specialized bone cell that produces and deposits the material (mostly collagen) that forms new bone tissue


Specialized bone cell that secretes enzymes that break down bone tissue; the cell then resorbs the dissolved bone material.


A bone disease that occurs in adults when a prolonged period of vitamin D deficiency results in soft, weak bones; when this condition occurs in childhood, it is called rickets.


Also known as: Ovuml



Increased level (amounts) of a gene that results in the production of more than the normal amount of protein


Also known as: Ova (plural)


Oxidative Stress

Damage to cells in the body caused by free radicals; free radicals, groups of atoms containing an oxygen atom and a free electron, can damage and sometimes destroy cells.