FRASER’ S SYNDROME
F
Fraser’s syndrome
An inherited condition in w hich there
is
cryptophthalmos
(absence
of the
opening between the upper and lower
eyelids
)
together with malformations of
the ear; cleft palate
(see
cleft lip and
palate
) ;
narrowing of the
larynx
(the
voice-box);
syndactyly
(fusion of two or
more fingers or toes); imperforate anus
(see
anus, imperforate
) ;
cardiac defects,
kidney malformation; and genital
masc-
ulinization
in females. Fraser’s syndrome
is inherited as an autosomal recessive
genetic trait (see
genetic disorders
) .
Many babies born w ith Fraser’s syn-
drome die w ithin the first year of life.
For those who survive, surgery to the
eyelids and corneas may provide some
degree of vision and eyelid movement.
fraternal twins
An alternative term for dizygotic
twins
.
freckle
A tiny patch of
pigmentation
that occurs
on sun-exposed skin. Freckles tend to
become more numerous with contin-
ued exposure to sunlight. A tendency
to freckling is inherited and occurs
most often in fair and red-haired peo-
ple. Freckles are harmless.
free-floating anxiety
An all-pervasive feeling of apprehen-
sion or tension w ith no apparent cause.
Free-floating anxiety is often associated
w ith
generalized anxiety disorder
.
Freeman-Sheldon syndrome
A rare
congenital
disorder with the fol-
lowing
characteristics:
sunken
eyes;
under-development of the cartilage of
the nose; pursed lips; various skeletal
malformations; and muscle weakness.
Intelligence
and life
expectancy
are
normal. Freeman-Sheldon syndrome is
usually
inherited
as
an
autosomal
dominant genetic trait (see
genetic dis-
orders
) .
Affected
children
may need
corrective surgery to improve deform i-
ties of the face, hands, or feet.
free radicals
Highly active molecules that bind to
and destroy body cells. Free radicals can
be formed as a result of the effects of
external sources such as smoke, sun-
light, and food. They are produced in
the body principally as a result of the
chemical reactions involved in metabo-
lism. They are thought to contribute to
the cumulative damage to body cells
that occurs with aging and to the dev-
elopment of cancers and possibly heart
disease. Free radicals and their effects
may be
neutralized by antioxidants,
such as
vitamin C
and
vitamin E
.
frenulum
Any fold of tissue or
mucous membrane
that limits the movement of an organ or
part of the body. One example of a
frenulum is the fold of mucous mem-
brane on the inside of the upper lip that
connects the lip to the gum; another
example is the attachment of the
fore-
skin
to the glans (head) of the penis.
frequency
See
urination, frequent
.
Freudian slip
A slip of the tongue or a m inor error
of action that could betray what the
person really wanted to say or do.
Freudian theory
A discipline that was developed by Sig-
mund Freud (185 6-193 9), a Viennese
neurologist. The theory developed out
of Freud’s treatment of neurotic patients
using
hypnosis
and, later, the interpreta-
tion
of their
dreams. The
Freudian
theory formed the basis of the tech-
nique of
psychoanalysis
.
Freud believed that an individual’s
feelings, thoughts, and behaviour were
controlled by unconscious wishes and
conflicts originating in childhood. Prob-
lems are said to occur when the desires
are not fulfilled or if conflicts remain
unresolved into adulthood.
The essence of Freud’s theory con-
cerns early psychological development,
particularly sexual development. Freud
defined
three
developmental
stages:
oral, anal, and genital (representing the
areas of the body on w hich the infant’s
attention becomes
fixed at different
ages). He also identified three compo-
nents of personality: the
id
,
the
ego
,
and the
superego
(based respectively on
pleasure, reality, and moral and social
constraints).
(See
also
psychoanalytic
theory
;
psychotherapy
. )
friar’s balsam
A brand name for the aromatic liquid
tincture of benzoin. Friar’s balsam is
used with hot water as a
steam inhala-
tion
to help relieve nasal congestion,
acute rhinitis, and sinusitis, as well as
to loosen
coughs.
Friar’s balsam
is
available over the counter.
Friedreich’s ataxia
A
rare
inherited
disease
in
w hich
degeneration of nerve fibres in the
spinal cord causes loss of coordinated
movement and balance.
SYMPTOMS
Symptoms tend to appear between the
ages of five and 1 5 years. Early signs of
the
condition
include
difficulty
in
walking and deformities of the lower
legs and feet, such as claw-foot.The dif-
ficulty in movement then extends to
the arms and trunk. Once symptoms
have developed, the disease becomes
progressively more severe; the muscles
then weaken and waste away. A gradual
loss of sensation occurs in the extremi-
ties, w hich may eventually spread to
other
parts
of
the
body;
speech
becomes slow and slurred; and
nystag-
mus
(involuntary,
jerky
eye
move-
ments) is common.
Other symptoms include chest pain,
shortness of breath, and palpitations.
Many people w ith Friedreich’s ataxia
develop heart problems, such as
cardio-
myopathy
(disease of the heart muscle)
and abnormalities of the heart rhythm
(see
arrhythmia, cardiac
) .
TREATMENT AND OUTLOOK
Treatment can help with the symptoms
but
cannot
alter the
course
of the
disease. Braces or surgery may be used
to
correct deformities, physiotherapy
may help to maintain movement for as
long as possible, and drugs can be given
for heart
conditions.
However,
most
affected people die in early adulthood.
frigidity
A lack of desire for sexual contact
or an inability to become aroused dur-
ing
stimulation
(see
sexual
desire,
inhibited
) .
(See also
orgasm, lackof
. )
frontal
A term referring to the front part of an
organ (for example, the frontal lobe of
the
brain
).
frostbite
Damage
to body
tissues
caused
by
extremely cold temperatures. Frostbite
can develop at any temperature below
freezing; the lower the temperature,
the more rapidly the frostbite w ill dev-
elop. The risk of frostbite is increased
by w indy conditions.
Frostbite can affect any part of the
body, but the extremities (the nose,
ears, fingers, and toes) are most sus-
ceptible and tend to be affected first.
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