ADLERIAN THEORY
A
therapy is to destroy any microscopic
deposits of malignant cells that may
exist, which reduces the risk of recur-
rence
of the
cancer
and
increases
survival times.
Adlerian theory
The psychoanalytical ideas set forth by
the Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler
(1870-1937). Also known as individual
psychology, Adler’s theories were based
on the idea that everyone is born with
natural feelings of inferiority Life is
seen as a constant struggle to overcome
these feelings; and failure to do so leads to
neurosis. (See also
psychoanalytic theory.)
adnexa
An anatomical term meaning the struc-
tures that are adjacent to an organ. Most
commonly, the word adnexa is used to
refer to the various appendages of the
uterus
: the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and
ligaments.
adolescence
The period between
childhood and
adulthood, which broadly corresponds
to the teenage years. Adolescence is a
complex stage of psychological develop-
ment. It commences at and overlaps
with, but is not the same as,
puberty.
Common patterns of adolescent be-
haviour include moodiness, a general
lack of interest, and fluctuating acad-
emic performance. Adolescents often
worry about their changing body shape
and physical appearance. They may lack
self-confidence, feel nervous and shy
and be unsure of their personal identity.
Adolescents experiment with their
appearance, with views and opinions,
with allegiances to peer groups, and
with political movements or other role
models. Gender identity and sexuality
may be questioned. Adolescents may
also experiment with drugs and alcohol;
those who do so to relieve anxiety or
depression are more likely to become
dependent than those who experiment
due to peer-group pressure. Sexual acti-
vity is common during adolescence and
may result in unwanted pregnancies
and
sexually transmitted infections.
Some adolescents are assertive and
strive
for
independence.
Rebellion
against parents is common but conflicts
with the emotional and financial sup-
port
that
adolescents
still
require.
Aggression
and
delinquency
usually
constitute a transient phase. However, a
teenager who remains too dependent
may not develop sufficiently to make
his or her own decisions or to form
new relationships outside the family
Most behavioural problems resolve
themselves over time. Maintaining open
lines of communication between par-
ents and children is important in easing
this process. The most valuable support
parents can offer is to encourage self-
confidence and responsibility and thus
prepare their children for adult life. Par-
ents
should
also
ensure
that
their
children are informed about issues such
as
contraception
and safer sex.
ADP
The abbreviation for adenosine diphos-
phate, the chemical that takes up energy
released during biochemical reactions
to form
ATP
(adenosine triphosphate),
the body’s main energy-carrying chem-
ical. When ATP releases its energy ADP is
reformed. (See also
metabolism.)
adrenal failure
Insufficient production of hormones by
the adrenal cortex (the outer part of the
adrenal glands,
situated on the top of the
kidneys). Adrenal failure can be acute
(of sudden onset) or chronic (of grad-
ual onset). The condition may be caused
by a disorder of the adrenal glands, in
which case it is called
Addison’s disease,
or by reduced stimulation of the adren-
al cortex by
ACTH,
a hormone produced
by the
pituitary gland.
(See also
adrenal
glands
disorders box, overleaf.)
adrenal glands
A pair of small, triangular
endocrine
glands
(glands that secrete hormones
directly into the bloodstream) that are
located on the top of the kidneys. Each
adrenal gland has two distinct parts: the
outer adrenal cortex and the smaller,
inner adrenal medulla.
ADRENAL CORTEX
The adrenal cortex secretes
aldosterone,
which, by inhibiting the amount of
sodium excreted in the urine, helps
to maintain blood volume and blood
pressure. The cortex also secretes
hydro-
cortisone
and corticosterone, as well as
small amounts of
androgen hormones.
Hydrocortisone controls the body’s use
of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates and
is also important in helping the body to
cope with stress. Hydrocortisone and
corticosterone also suppress inflamma-
tory reactions and some activities of the
immune system.
Hormone production by the adrenal
cortex is governed by other hormones,
such as
ACTH,
that are produced in the
hypothalamus,
in the centre of the brain,
and the
pituitary gland
beneath it (see
feedback mechanism
box).
ADRENAL MEDULLA
The adrenal medulla is part of the
sympathetic division of the
autonomic
nervous system,
which is the body’s first
line of defence against physical and
emotional stress. The medulla secretes
the hormones
adrenaline
(epinephrine)
and
noradrenaline
(norepinephrine) in
ANATOMY OF THE ADRENAL GLANDS
Also sometimes called the suprarenal glands, the adrenal glands
are situated on top of the kidneys. Each gland is divided into two
regions: the adrenal cortex (which secretes hormones that affect
the metabolism) and the adrenal medulla (which is part of the
sympathetic nervous system).
Inferior vena cava
Adrenal gland
Renal veins
Kidney
Renal arteries
Cross section o fa d re n a lg la n d
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