that has damaged the
or cerebral cortex (the parts
brain that control appetite).
Other physical causes include intestinal
disorders, such as
tion of the stomach lining, which is
common in problem drinkers),
and liver disorders
Many infectious dis-
eases, such as
can also lead to
loss of appetite.
Between the ages of about two and
four, some children go through a per-
iod of refusing food. If there are no
other symptoms, this phase should be
regarded as a normal part of a child’s
For an otherwise healthy person, a
period of two or three days without food
is not harmful, provided that plenty of
nonalcoholic fluids are drunk. A doctor
should always be consulted, however, if
there are other health problems (par-
) or if regular
medication is being taken.
All cases of appetite loss that last for
more than a few days should be investi-
gated by a doctor. Appetite generally
returns to normal once any underlying
Various tonics and remedies that have
been traditionally prescribed to stim-
ulate the appetite. None are proven to
drugs, such as
may stimulate the appetite when
used to treat unrelated disorders.
A group of drugs that reduce the desire
to eat. Sibutramine is the only appetite
suppressant now commonly prescribed.
Appetite suppressants may be used in
the treatment of severe
with dieting and exercise, when serious
attempts at dieting and exercise have
previously failed to bring about suffi-
cient weight loss.
HOW THEY WORK
Sibutramine works by inhibiting the
Common side effects of sibutramine
include constipation, a dry mouth (see
insomnia, nausea, palpita-
(high blood pressure),
headache, anxiety, sweating, and distur-
bance of the sense of taste.
controlled and is limited to a maximum
of one year.
The inability to carry out purposeful
caused by damage to nerve tracts in the
(the main mass of the brain)
that translate the idea for a movement
into an actual movement. People with
apraxia usually know what they want to
do but are unable to recall from memo-
ry the sequence of actions necessary to
achieve the movement. Damage to the
cerebrum may be caused by a
an infection, a
part of the brain caused by interruption
to its blood supply), or a
Apraxia takes various forms, and each is
related to damage in different parts of
the brain. Ideomotor apraxia is the inab-
ility to carry out a spoken command to
make a certain movement, but to make
the same movement unconsciously at
other times. In sensory apraxia, a person
may not be able to use an object due to
loss of ability to recognize its purpose.
(difficulty in writing) and
(severe difficulty in expressing
language) are special forms of apraxia.
Recovery from apraxia is highly variable
and is dependent on the cause. Lost
skills may need to be relearned.
APUD cell tumour
A growth composed of cells that pro-
duce various hormones. APUD (amine
precursor uptake and decarboxylation)
cells occur in different parts of the body.
Some tumours of the thyroid gland,
(tumours of the intestine or lung, see
(a type of adrenal tumour).
preparation that is com-
monly used to treat dry, scaly, or itchy
skin in conditions such as
A watery fluid that fills the front cham-
ber of the eye, behind the
transparent front part of the eyeball).
One of the fatty acids in the body that
are essential for growth.
Peanut or ground-nut oil. Arachis oil is
to lubricate and soften
impacted faeces and to make bowel
movements easier. It can also be applied
to the scalp, followed by shampooing,
in the treatment of
A term for long, thin, spiderlike fingers
occurs spontaneously but is also charac-
connective tissue disease.
A rare condition that is characterized by
chronic inflammation and thickening of
the arachnoid mater, which is the mid-
dle of the three
that cover the brain and spinal cord.
The cause of arachnoiditis is often
unknown. However, the condition may
develop following an episode of
(inflammation of the meninges) or
(a type of
brain haemorrhage). It may also be a
(a disorder affecting the spine).
injury or certain medical procedures.
epileptic seizures, blindness, or diffi-
culty with movements due to increased
muscle tension. There is no effective
treatment for arachnoiditis.
The middle of the three layers of mem-
that cover the
and spinal cord.
Any of the many viruses transmitted by
a member of the arthropod group of
animals, including insects, mites, and
ticks. (See also
insects and disease; mites
and disease; ticks and disease).
An abbreviation for
A grey-white ring near the edge of the
(the transparent front part of
coloured part of the eye).