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Acetylcholine: A neurotransmitter that conveys impulses from one nerve cell to another it's released at the gap (called the synapse) between two cells. (4)

Active Transport: The movement of substances across cell membranes against a concentration gradient, requiring the expenditure of cellular energy (ATP). (1)

Adaptive Immune Response: Enables the immune system to recognize and remember specific pathogen and to mount stronger attacks in future encounters with the pathogen. (4)

Adenosine Monophosphate (AMP): A nucleotide composed of adenosine and one phospate group that is reversibly convertible to ADP and ATP in metabolic reactions. (4)

Adenosine Triphosphate: The main energy currency in living cells; used to transfer the chemical energy needed for metabolic reactions. ATP consists of the purine base adenine and the five-carbon sugar ribose, to which are added, in linear array, three phosphate groups. (1)

Adipose Tissue: Tissue composed of adipocytes specialized for triglyceride storage and present in the form of soft pads between various organs for support, protection and insulation. Otherwise, know as fatty tissue. (1)

Aerobic Cellular Respiration: The production of ATP (36 molecules) from the complete oxidation of pyruvic acid in mitochondria. Carbon dioxide, water, and heat are also produced. (1)

Amino Acids: The building blocks of proteins, synthesized by living cells or derived from food. (4)

Anaerobe: An organism that lives without oxygen present. (4)

Anaerobic: Living, active, occurring, or existing in the absence of free oxygen. (4)

Anaphylaxis: A hypersensitivity (allergic) reaction in which IgE antibodies attach to mast cells and basophils, causing them to produce mediators of anaphylaxis (histamine, leukotrienes, kinins, and prostaglandins) that bring about increased blood permeability, increased smooth muscle contraction, and increased mucus production. Examples are hay fever, hives and anaphylactic shock. (1)

Antibody: A protein produced within the body by specialized B cells, after stimulation by an antigen. They act against the specific antigen in an immune response. (compare to “cell-mediated” immune response.) (4)

Antigen: Anything foreign to the body that causes an immune response. (4)

Antigen Presenting Cells (APCs): Cells that take up an antigen and turn it into a form recognized by and serving to active a specific helper T cell. (4)

Antioxidant: A substance that inhibits oxidation, or reactions promoted by oxygen, peroxides, or free radicals. Beta-carotene and vitamin C are examples. (4)

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA): A program for modifying behavior through the positive and negative reinforcement of targeted behaviors. (4)

Arachidonic Acid (AA): A liquid unsaturated fatty acid that occurs in most animal fats; it is a precursor of prostaglandins, and is considered essential in nutrition. (4)

Autoimmune Disease: The failure of the body to recognize its own parts as “self”, resulting in a destructive immune response against its own cells and tissues. (4)

Autonomic Nervous System (ANS): “Visceral Sensory (afferent) and visceral motor (efferent) neurons.  Autonomic motor neurons, both sympathetic and parasympathetic, conduct nerve impulses from the central nervous system to smooth muscle, cardiac muscle,  and glands.  So named because this part of the nervous system was thought to be self-governing or spontaneous.” (1)  In a nutshell, the ANS is made up of two divisions Parasympathetic and Sympathetic.

Autistic Enterocolitis: Lymphoid nodular hyperplasia (cell overgrowth in the lymph node; and mild-to-moderate inflammation of the intestine, in association with autism, and lacking the specific diagnostic features of either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. (4)

Ataxia: A lack of muscular coordination, lack of precision. (1)

Axon: A long slender projection of a nerve cell, or neuron, that conducts electrical impulses away from the neuron’s cell body or soma.(2)

B Cells: Lymphocytes that have surfaces that can bind (disable)  antigens. They're essential to the adaptive immune system. (4)

Babinski Sign: Extension of the great toe, with or without fanning of the other toes, in response to stimulation of the outer margin of the sole; normal up to 18 months of age and indicative of damage to descending motor pathways such as the corticospinal tracts after that. (1)

Betaine (Trimethylglycine or TMG): A metabolite of choline that participates in the S-adenosylmethionine synthesis pathways. (4)

Bilateral: Pertaining to two  sides of the body. (1)

Bile: A secretion of the liver consisting of water, bile salts, bile pigments, cholesterol, lecithin, and several ions; it emulsifies lipids prior to their digestion. (1)

Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB): A barrier consisting of specialized brain capillaries and astrocytes that prevents the passage of materials from the blood to the cerebrospinal fluid and brain. (1) This cellular envelope or “wall” of tight junctions that block entry to harmful substances from the bloodstream, protecting the central nervous system. (4)

Body Ecology Diet (BED): Promotes the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the digestive tract by adding cultured foods, changing the quality of fats and oils, and drastically reducing the intake of carbohydrates and sugars. (4)

Brain Stem: The portion of the brain immediately superior to the spinal cord, made up of the medulla oblongata, pons, and midbrain. (1)

Brain Waves: Electrical signals that can be recorded from the skin on the head due to electrical activity of brain neurons. (1)

Broca's Speech Area: Motor area of the brain in the frontal lobe that translates thoughts into speech. Also called the motor speech area. (1)

Candida Albicans: One of the many organisms that live in the mouth and GI tract, ordinarily with no harmful effects. Overgrowth results in candidiasis, which is common in immuno-compromised individuals. (4)

Capryllic Acid: A fatty acid occurring in fats and oils, known to have anti-fungal effects. (4)
Carnitine: A compound derived from the amino acid lysine, responsible for the transport of fatty acids from the fluid inside the cells into the mitochondria (cellular “power plants”). (4)Carnosine: Highly concentrated in muscle and brain tissues, it's proven to scavenge ROS (radical oxygen species) as well as alpha-beta unsaturated aldehydes formed from peroxidation of cell membrane fatty acids during oxidative stress. (4)
Casein: A protein in dairy (milk-based) products. (4)

Casomorphine: A peptide chain from a protein found in milk called casein; it can cause a opiate effect and be addictive to humans. (4)

Catecholamines: Any of various amines (epinephrine, noerepinephrine, and dopamine) that function as hormones or neurotransmitters, or both. (4)Cell-Mediated: The term used to describe immune response mediated primarily by T cells. (4)
Cell Bodies: The cell body sustains life of the cell and contains its DNA (3)

Cellular Metabolism: How living cells process nutrient molecules. Metabolism has two parts: anabolism, in which a cell uses energy and reducing power to construct complex molecules and perform other life functions such as creating cellular structure; and catabolism, in which a cell breaks down complex molecules to yield energy and produce power. (4)

Cerebellum: The part of the brain lying posterior to the medulla oblongata and pons; governs balance and coordinates skilled movements. (1)

Cerebral Cortex: The surface of the cerebral hemispheres, 2-4 mm thick, consisting of gray matter; arranged in six layers of neuronal cell bodies in most areas. (1)

Cerebrum: The two hemispheres of the forebrain (derived from the telencephalon), making up the largest part of the brain. (1)

Ceruloplasmin: A copper-binding transport protein synthesized in the liver. (4)

Choline: Choline maintains structural integrity and signaling roles for cell membranes, helps make acetylcholine, and is a major source for methyl groups needed in the S-adenosylmethionine synthesis pathways. (4)

Chyme: The semifluid mixture of partly digested food and digestive secretions found in the stomach and small intestine during digestion of a meal. (1)

Circadian Rhythm: The pattern of biological activity on a 24-hour cycle, such as the sleep-wake cycle. (1)

Clostridium Difficile: A bacterium that causes colitis due to a severe colon infection that can occur after normal gut flora is eradicated by the  use of antibiotics. (4)

Coenzyme: A molecule that carries chemical groups between enzymes. (4)

Colitis: Inflammation of the colon. (4)

Colon: The portion of the large intestine consisting of ascending transverse, descending and sigmoid portions. (1)
Creatine: A substance from amino acids that helps to supply energy to muscle cells. (4)
Crohn's Disease: A chronic inflammatory disease of the GI tract characterized by cramping an diarrhea. (4)
Cysteine: Amino acid found in small amounts in most proteins. When it is exposed to air, cysteine oxidizes to form cystine. Both forms are key in the formation of the critically important anti-oxidant glutahione. (4)

Cytokine: Any of a class of proteins (like interleukin or interferon) that regulate immune function. (4)

Dendrites: A neuronal process that carries electrical signals, usually graded potentials, toward the cell body. (2)

Descending Colon: The part of the large intestine descending from the left colic (splenic) flexure to the level of the left iliac crest. (1)

Diagnosis: Distinguishing one disease from another or determining the nature of a disease from signs and symptoms by inspection, palpation, laboratory tests, and other means. (1)

Digestion: The mechanical and chemical breakdown of food to simple molecules that can be absorbed and used by body cells. (1)

Digestive System: A system that consists of the gastrointestinal tract (mouth, pharynx, esophangus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine) and accessory digestive organs (teeth, tongue, salivary glands, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas). Its function is to beak down foods into small molecules that can be used by body cells. (1)

Dimethylglycine (DMG): An amino acid produced in cells as in intermediate in the metabolism of choline to glycine. (4)

Dipeptidyl Peptidase IV (DPP-IV): An enzyme that influences glucose metabolism and various biochemical messengers in the body. (4)

Direct Motor Pathways: Collections of upper motor neurons with cell bodies in the motor cortex that project axons into the spinal cord where the synapse with lower motor neurons or interneurons in the anterior horns. Also called pyramidal pathways. (1)

Distal: Farther from the attachment of a limb to the trunk; farther from the point of origin or attachment. (1)

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA): An omega-3 fatty acid. (4)

Dopamine: Functions in the brain as neurotransmitter, activating dopamine receptors. It is also a neurohormone released by the hypothalamus. It acts on the sympathetic nervous system, producing effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure. (4)

Dysbiosis: Overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria, parasites, or fungus in the gut, causing dysfunction, discomfort, or disease. (4)

Encephalitis: Inflammation of the brain. (4)

Endocrine Disruptor: Chemicals that interfere with the normal function of the endocrine system.  Typically they are toxicants that mimic the molecular structure of a naturally occurring hormone, dulling hormone receptor sites and interfering with feedback loops confusing and damaging the endocrine system’s normal function.

Endotoxin: A natural compound toxic to human found in pathogens such as bacteria. (4)

Enteric Nervous System: A portion of the autonomic nervous system within the wall of the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, and gallbladder. Its sensory neurons monitor tension in the intestinal wall and assess the composition of intestinal contents; its motor neurons exert control over the motility and secretions of the gastrointestinal tract. (1)

Enterocytes: Absorptive cells in the small intestine. (4)

Enteroendocrine Cell: A cell of the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract that secrets a hormone that governs function of the GI tract; hormones secreted include gastrin, cholecystokinin, glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP), and secretin. (1)

Enzyme: A substance that accelerates chemical reactions; an organic catalyst usually a protein. (1)

Epinephrine: A hormone that is principal blood pressure-raising hormone secreted by the adrenal medulla, a.k.a. adrenaline. (4)

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA): A chelating agent. (4)

Exotoxin (Intracellular Toxin): Heat stable toxins that are most often associated with gram-negative bacteria.

Feedback System (loop): A cycle of events in which the status of a body condition is monitored, evaluated, changed, remonitored, reevaluated, and so on. (1)

Fight-or-Flight Response: The effects produced  on stimulation of the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system. (1)

Free Radical: An especially reactive atom produced in the body by natural biological processes or introduced from an outside source (like tobacco smoke, toxins, or pollutants); it can damage cells, proteins, and DNA by altering their chemical structure. (4)

Gallbladder: A small pouch, located inferior to the liver, that stores bile and empties by means of the cystic duct. (1)

Gamma-Aminbutyric Acid (GABA): An amino acid that is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. (4)

Gastric Glands: Glands in the mucosa of the stomach composed of cells that empty their secretions into narrow channels called gastric pits. Types of cells are chief cells (secrete hydrochloride acid and intrinstic factor), surface mucous and mucous neck cells (secrete mucus), and G cells (secrete gastrin). (1)

Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract: A continuous tube running through the ventral body cavity extending from the mouth to the anus. Also called the alimentary canal. (1)

Gastroenteritis: Inflammation of the lining of the stomach and the intestines, characterized especially by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. (4)

Gliadomorphine: A peptide chain derived from a protein found in wheat, rye, oats, and barley called gluten, which can cause an opiate effect, and an be addictive to humans. A healthy GI Tract prevents its entry into the bloodstream. (4)

Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase: An enzyme in a metabolic pathway that maintains the level of the co-enzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH). The NADPH in turn maintains the level of the all-important glutathione in these cells that helps protect the red blood cell against oxidative damage. (4)

Glucuronidation: A major inactivating pathway for a huge variety of exogenous and endogenous molecules, including drugs, pollutants, bilirubin, androgens, estrogens, mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids, fatty acid derivatives, retinoids, and bile acids. (4)

Glutamate: A substance that functions as an excitatory neurotransmitter. (4)

Glutamic Acid: An amino acid widely distributed in plant and animal proteins. (4)

Glutamine: One of the twenty amino acids encoded by the standard human genetic code. (4)

Glutathione (GSH): Critical regulator of cell health. Necessary for maintaining the electrochemical balance of the cell. Functions as a detoxifying agent for environmental toxicants and is required for the repair and synthesis of DNA.  Is the master antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals that can damage the cells.

Glutathione Peroxidase (GPx): An enzyme that helps prevent lipid peroxidation of the cell membrane. (4)

Gluten: The protein in wheat, rye, oats, spelt, triticale, and barley. It's what makes bread and pasta chewy, and is developed by kneading the dough. (4)

Glycogen: The storage form of glucose in humans cells. (4)

Gray Matter: A major component of the central nervous system, consisting of nerve cell bodies, glial cells (astroglia and oligodendrocytes), capillaries, and short nerve cell extensions/processes (axons and dendrites). (Contrasted with white matter, so called because it's covered with whitish protective layer called myelin.) (4)

Hepatic Encephalopathy: A complication of cirrhosis of the liver; toxic substances accumulate in the blood and impair the function of the brain cells. Signs can include impaired cognition, a flapping tremor (asterixis), and a decreased level of consciousness. (4)

Histamine: Substance found in many cells, especially mast cells, basophils, and platelets, that is released when the cells are injured; results in vasodilation, increased permeability of blood vessels, and constriction of bronchioles. (1) Histamine also causes contraction of smooth muscle, and stimulation of gastric acid secretion, and is released during allergic reactions. (4)

Homeostasis: The condition in which the body's internal environment remains relatively constant within physiological limits. (1)

Homocysteine: Formed from S-adenosyl methionine by a two-step reaction pathway, it can be converted back to methionine, or converted to cysteine or taurine via the transulfuration pathway. (4)

Hormone: A cell product that circulates in the body fluids and produces a specific, often stimulatory effect on the activity of cells that are usually remote from its point of origin. (4)

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP): A precursor to serotonin, and an intermediate in tryptophan metabolism. (4)

Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment (HBOT): The medical use of oxygen at a higher than atmospheric pressure. The patient spends time in a special chamber that's pressurized in order to make more oxygen available to all body tissues. (4)

Hypersensitivity: Overreaction to an allergen that results in pathological changes in tissues. Also called allergy. (1)

Hypertonia: Increased muscle tone that is expressed as spasticity or rigidity (1)

Hypotonia: Decreased or lost muscle tone in which muscles appear flaccid. (1)

Ileocecal Sphincter: A fold of muscous membrane that guards the opening from the ileum into the large intestine. Also called the ileocecal valve. (1)

Ileum: The terminal part of the small intestine. (1)

Indirect Motor Pathways: Motor tracts that convey information from the brain down the spinal cord for automatic movements, coordination of body movements with visual stimuli, skeletal muscle tone and posture, and balance. Also known as extrapyramidal pathways. (1)

Inflammation: A response to cellular injury, marked by capillary dilatation, leukocytic infiltration, redness, heat, and pain; it starts the removal of noxious agents and damage tissue. (4)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Inflammatory condition of the large intestine and, in some cases, the small intestine. Classically defined by two diseases: Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis; autistic entercolitis has been described more recently. (4)

Intrinsic Factor (IF): A glycoprotien, synthesized and secreted by the parietal cells of the gastric mucosa that facilitates vitamin B12 absorption in the small intestine. (1)

Ipsilateral: On the same side, affecting the same side of the body. (1)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Disease of the entire gastrointestinal tract in which a person reacts to stress by developing symptoms (such as cramping and abdominal pain) associated with alternating patterns of diarrhea and constipation. Excessive amounts of mucus may appear in feces, and other symptoms include flatulence, nausea, and loss of appetite. Also known as irritable colon or spastic colitis. (1)

Jejunum: The middle part of the small intestine. (1)

Large Intestine: The portion of the gastrointestinal tract extending from the ileum of the small intestine to the anus, divided structurally into the cecum, colon, rectum, and anal canal. (1)

Leaky Gut Syndrome: Damage to the bowel lining caused by antibiotics, toxins, poor diet, parasites, or infection can lead to increased permeability of the gut wall to toxins, microbes, undigested food, waste, or larger than normal macromolecules, all which can then enter the bloodstream, where they decidedly do not belong. (4)

Limbic System: A part of the forebrain, sometimes termed the visceral brain, concerned with various aspects of emotion and behavior; includes the limbic lobe, dentate gyrus, amygdala, septal nuclei, mammillary bodies, anterior thalamic nucleus olfactory bulbs, and bundles of myelinated axons. (1)

Lipase: An enzyme that splits fatty acids from triglycerides and phospholipids. (1)

Lipid Bilayer: Arrangement of phospholipid glycolipid, and cholesterol molecules in two parallel sheets in which the hydrophilic “heads” face outward and the hydrophobic “tails” face inward; found in cellular membranes. (1)

Liver: Large organ under the diaphragm that occupies most of the right hypochondriac region and part of the epigastric region. Functionally, it produces bile and synthesizes most plasma proteins: interconverts nutrients; detoxifies substances; stores glycogen, iron and vitamins; carries on phagocytosis of worn-out blood cells and bacteria; and helps synthesize the active form of vitamin D. (1)

Lymph: Fluid confined in lymphatic vessels and flowing through the lymphatic system until it is returned to the blood. (1)

Lymph Node: An oval or bean-shaped structure located along lymphatic vessels. (1)

Lymphatic System: A system consisting of a fluid called lymph vessels called lymphatics that transport lymph, a number of organs containing lymphatic tissue (lymphocytes within a filtering tissue), and red bone marrow. (1)

Lymphatic Tissue: A specialized form of reticular tissue that contains large numbers of lymphocytes. (1)

Lymphatic Vessel: A large vessel that collects lymph from lymphatic capillaries and converges with other lymphatic vessels to form the thoracic and right lymphatic ducts. (1)

Lymphocyte: A type of white blood cell that helps carry out cell-mediated and antibody-mediated immune responses; found in blood and in lymphatic tissues. (1)

Lysine: An essential amino acid. (4)

Macrophage: Phagocytic cell derived from a monocyte; may be fixed or wandering. (1)

Mast Cell: A cell found in areolar connective tissue that releases histamine, a dilator of small blood vessels, during inflammation. (1)

Maldigestion: What happens when food is poorly digested. (4)

Metabolism: see cellular metabolism

Metallothioneins (MTs): Proteins that metabolize and regulate metals, synthesized primarily in the liver and kidneys. Their production is dependent of zinc and selenium and the amino acids histidine and cysteine. They offer protection from the effects of heavy metals in the body. (4)
Methionine Synthase (MS): An enzyme responsible for the production of methionine from homocysteine, it forms part of the methylation cycle. (4)
Methylcobalamin (methyl B12): A coenzyme form of vitamin B12, sometimes prescribed for support of the methylation cycle. (4)
Methylmercury: An organic form of mercury that humans are most commonly exposed to by ingesting contaminated fish. (4)

Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR): An enzyme in cells that acts in the folic acid cycle. (4)

Microvilli: Microscopic, finger-like projections of the plasma membranes of cells that increase surface area for absorption, especially in the small intestine and proximal convoluted tubules of the kidneys. (1)

Midbrain: The part of the brain between the pons and the diencephalon. Also called the mesencephalon. (1)

Mitochondrial Function/Dysfunction: Mitochondria are described as “the powerhouse of the cell” as they generate the most of the cell’s supply of chemical energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Mitochondria are also involved in cellular signaling, cellular differentiating, and the cell life cycle.  Mitochondrial dysfunction or disease is highly correlated/ co-morbid with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.

Mitochondrion: A double-membraned organelle that plays a central role in the production of ATP; known as the “power house” of the cell. Plural is mitochondria. (1)

Monocyte: The largest type of white blood cell, characterized by agranular cytoplasm. (1)

Monounsaturated Fat: A fatty acid that contains one double covalent bond between its carbon atoms; it is not completely saturated with hydrogen atoms. Plentiful in triglycerides of olive and peanut oils. (1)

Motor Area: The region of the cerebral cortex that governs muscular movement, particularly the precentral gyrus of the frontal lobe. (1)

Mucosa Associated Lymphatic Tissue (MALT): Lymphatic nodules scattered throughout the lamina propria (connective tissue) of mucous membranes lining the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory airways, urinary tract, and reproductive tract. (1)

Myelin: An electrically insulating phospholipid layer that surrounds the axons of many neurons. Along unmyelinated fibers, impulse move continuously as waves, but in myelinated fibers they take larger jumps along the nerve fiber and are thus able to get to the end quicker. Myelin helps prevent the electrical current from leaving the axon. (4)

Myelin Basic Protein MBP): A protein believed to be important in producing myelin around the nerves in the central nervous system. (4)

Myelin Sheath: Multilayered lipid and protein covering, formed by Schwann cells and oligodendrocytes, around axons of many peripheral and central nervous system neurons. (1)

Natural Killer (NK) Cells: A major component of the innate immune system, NK cells attack cells that have been infected by microbes. (4)

Negative Feedback System: A feedback cycle that reverses a change in a controlled condition. (1)

Nervous System: A network of billions of neurons and even more neuroglia that is organized into two main divisions, central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral nervous system (nerves, ganglia, enteric plexuses, and sensory receptors outside the central nervous system. (1)

Neutrophil: A type of white blood cell characterized by granules that stain pale lilac with a combination of acidic and basic dyes. (1)

Neurons: An electrically excitable nerve cell that processes and transmits information by electrical and chemical signaling to other neurons across a synapse.  Neurons interact with each other to form networks and are the core components of the brain and peripheral nervous system. (2)

Neuroplasticity: Also called brain plasticity, is the process in which your brain's neural synapses and pathways are altered as an effect of environmental, behavioral, and neural changes.

Neurotransmitters: A chemical that is released from a nerve cell (neuron) and transmits an impulse to another nerve cell.  A neurotransmitter is a messenger of neurological information from one cell to another.  More than 100 neurotransmitters have been identified, including monoamines, amino acids, peptides and other chemicals such as acetylcholine, zinc and nitric oxide. (2)

Neurotypical (NT): Developmentally normal. (4)

Nutraceutical: A dietary supplement that provides health benefits. (4)

Nutrient: A chemical substance in food that provides energy, forms new body components, or assists in various body functions. (1)

Nystatin: An anti-fungal medication used especially to treat candidiasis, a common yeast infection. (4)

Olfaction: The sense of smell. (1)

Olfactory Bulb: A mass of gray matter containing cell bodies of neurons that form synapses with neurons of the olfactory (I) nerve, lying inferior to the frontal lobe of the cerebrum on either side of the crista galli of the ethmoid bone. (1)

Olfactory Receptor: A bipolar neuron with its cell body lying between supporting cells located in the mucous membrane lining the superior portion of each nasal cavity; transduces odors into neural signals. (1)

Omega-3: Sources included fish, flaxseed, and grass-fed animal proteins, Polyunsaturated fatty acids classifieds as essential because they cannot be synthesized int eh body; they must be obtained from food. Important omega-3 fatty acids in human nutrition are: oclinolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) They have anti-inflammatory properties and are large constituent  of cell membranes. (4)

Omega-6: Sources include grains, vegetable oils, and grain-fed animal proteins. The biological effects of the omega-6 fatty acids are largely mediated by their interactions with the omega-3 fatty acids—excessive levels of omega-6 acids, relative to omega-3 fatty acids, may increase the probability of a number of diseases. The omega-6s are generally considered to be pro-inflammatory. (4)

Opioids: Any agent that binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system and GI Tract and the mimics some of the pharmacological properties of opiates, including effects on mood and behavior. (4)

Organelle: A permanent structure within a cell with characteristic morphology that is specialized to serve a specific function in cellular activities. (1)

Osmosis: The net movement of water molecules through a selectively permeable membrane from an area of higher water concentration to an area of lower water concentration until equilibrium is reached. (1)

Oxidation: A biochemical process defined as the loss of hydrogen atom, which makes a molecule more reactive to tissues and can lead to oxidative stress. (4)

Oxidative Stress: Damage to cells (and thereby the organs and tissues composed of those cells) caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) (includes free radicals, peroxides, and oxygen ions). Occurs when there's an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants with former prevailing. (4)

Paneth Cells: Provide defense against microbes in the small intestine. They are functionally similar to neutrophils. When exposed to bacteria or bacterial antigens, they secrete a number of antimicrobial molecules into the lumen, thereby contributing to maintenance of the GI barrier. (4)

Parasympathetic Division of the ANS: “One of the two subdivisions of the ANS, having cell bodies of pre-ganglionic neutrons in nuclei in the brain stem and in the lateral grey horn of the sacral portion of the spinal cord; primarily concerned with activities that conserve and restore body energy.” (1)  In a nutshell, you are in a parasympathetic state, when you are in a relaxed state of mind and body or in a “rest and digest” mode.

Parietal Cell: A type of secretory cell in gastric glands that produces hydrochloric acid and intrinsic factor. Also called an oxyntic cell. (1)

Pathogen: A disease-producing microbe. (1)

Pepsin: Protein-digesting enzyme secreted by chief cells of the stomach in the inactive form pepsinogen, which is converted to active pepsin by hydrochloric acid. (1)

Peptides: The family of short molecules linking various x-amino acids. When certain food proteins such as gluten, casein, and egg protein are broken down, opioid peptides are formed, mimicking the effects of morphine. (4)

Peripheral Nervous System (PNS): The part of the nervous system that lies outside the central nervous system, consisting of nerves and ganglia. (1)

Peristalsis: Successive muscular contractions along the wall of a hollow muscular structure. (1)

Phenotype: The observable  expression of genotype; physical characteristics of an organism determined by genetic makeup and influenced by an interaction between genes and internal and external environmental factors. (1)

Phenotype: The observable physical or biochemical characteristics of an organism, as determined by both genetic makeup and environmental influences (sometimes refers to an individual or group of organisms exhibiting a particular phenotype). (4)

Phenylalanine: An essential amino acid converted in the body to tyrosine, which is a precursor of dopamine and norepinephrine. Phenylalanine uses the same active transport channel as tryptophan to cross the blood-brain barrier, and in large quantities interferes with the production of serotonin. (4)

Polymorphism: A normal variation in a specific DNA sequence. (4)

Polyunsaturated Fat: A fatty acid that contains more than one double covalent bond between its carbon atoms; abundant in triglycerides of corn oil, safflower oil, and cottonseed oil. (1)

Positive Feedback System: A feedback cycle that strengthens or reinforces a change in controlled condition. (1)

Postsynaptic Neuron: The nerve cell that is activated by the release of a neurotransmitter from another neuron and carries nerve impulses away from the synapse. (1)

Presynaptic Neuron: A neuron that propagates nerve impulses toward a synapse. (1)

Primary Motor Area: A region of the cerebral cortex in the precentral gyrus of the frontal lobe of the cerebrum that controls specific muscles or groups of muscles. (1)

Probiotic: A dietary supplement containing live bacteria that restores beneficial bacteria to the GI system. (4)

Proprioception: The perception of the position of body parts, especially the limbs, independent of visions; this sense is possible due to nerve impulses generated by proprioceptors. (1)

Pyloric Sphincter: A thickened ring of smooth muscle through which the pylorus of the stomach communicates with the duodenum. Also called the pyloric valve. (1)

Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS): Free radicals, peroxides, and oxygen ions that are byproducts of normal oxygen metabolism, with important roles in cell signaling. However, during times of environmental stress ROS levels can increase dramatically, resulting in significant damage to cell structures, i.e. oxidative stress. (4)

Redox: A process counter to oxidation by which free radicals are converted back to a harmless form. (4)

Reflex: Fast response to a change (stimulus) in the internal or external environment that attempts to restore homeostasis. (1)

Reflex Arc: The most basic conduction pathway through the nervous system, connecting a receptor and an effector and consisting of a receptor, a sensory neuron, an integrating center in the central nervous system, a motor neuron and an effector. Also called reflex circuit. (1)

Reflux: Backward flow of the contents of the stomach into the esophagus, due to malfunctioning of a sphincter at the lower end of the esophagus. (4)

S-Adenosylhomocysteine (SAH): A by-product of all methylation reactions, rapidly metabolized to homocysteine. (4)

S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe): A biological compound involved in methyl group transfers, present in all living cells. (4)

Saliva: A clear, alkaline, somewhat viscous secretion produced mostly by the three pairs of salivary glands; contains various salts, mucin, lysozyme, salivary amylase, and lingual lipase (produced by glands in the tongue). (1)

Salivary Amylase: An enzyme in saliva that initiates the chemical breakdown of starch. (1)

Saturated Fat: A fatty acid that contains only single bonds (no double bonds) between its carbon atoms; all carbon atoms are bonded to the maximum number of hydrogen atoms; prevalent in triglycerides of animal products such as meat, milk, milk products, and eggs. (1)

Secretin: A hormone produced in the S cells of the duodenum. It regulates the acid balance (pH) of the duodenal contents. (4)

Seizure: The physical manifestations (convulsions, sensory disturbances, loss of consciousness) of abnormal electrical discharges in the brain (as in epilepsy). (4)

Sensation: A state of awareness of external or internal conditions of the body. (1)

Sensory Area: A region of the cerebral cortex concerned with the interpretation of sensory impulses. (1)

Sensory Neurons: Neurons that carry sensory information from cranial and spinal nerves into the brain and spinal cord or from a lower to a higher level in the spinal cord and brain. Also called afferent neurons. (1)

Serotonin: A neurotransmitter believed to play an important role in the CNS in the regulation of mood, sleep, emesis (vomiting), sexuality, appetite. Low levels have been associated with depression, migraine, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. (4)

Small Intestine: A long tube of the gastrointestinal tract that begins at the pyloric sphincter of the stomach, coils through the central and inferior part of the abdominal cavity, and ends at the large intestine; divided into three segments: duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. (1)

Somatic Motor Pathway: Pathway that carries information from the cerebral cortex, basal nuclei, and cerebellum that stimulates contraction of skeletal muscles. (1)

Somatic Nervous System (SNS): The portion of the peripheral nervous system consisting of somatic sensory (afferent) neurons and somatic motor (efferent) neurons. (1)

Somatic Sensory Pathway: Pathway that carries information from somatic sensory receptor to the primary somatosensory area in the cerebral cortex and cerebellum. (1)

Spasticity: Hypertonia characterized by increased muscle tone, increased tendon reflexes and pathological reflexes (Babinski Sign). (1)

Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD): A diet detailed in the Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall. The allowed carbohydrates have a molecular structure that is small enough to be transported across the surface of the small intestine into the blood stream. These carbohydrates do not need to be broken down by various processes of the digestive organs such as the pancreas or the intestinal cells surface enzymes. (4)

Stimulus: Any stress that changes a controlled condition; any change in the internal or external environment that excites a sensory receptor, a neuron, or a muscle fiber. (1)

Stomach: The J-shaped enlargement of the gastrointestinal tract directly inferior to the diaphragm in the epigastric umbilical and left hypochondric regions of the abdomen, between the esophagus and small intestine. (1)

Sulfation: The addition of sulfate groups to molecules. (4)

Sympathetic Division of the ANS: “One of the two subdivisions of the ANS, having cell bodies of preganglionic neurons in the lateral grey columns of the thoracic segment and the first two or three lumbar segments of the spinal cord; primarily concerned with processes involving the expenditure of energy.” (1) In a nutshell, you are in a sympathetic state whenever you are in a state of stress.  It is the body's “flight or fight” mode where the resources go to the essential bodily needs' to survive a crisis.  The challenge is those that are in a chronic stress state (from infection, lack of sleep, pain, inflammation etc) are stuck in a sympathetic state on a prolonged basis.  Most children with neurodevelopmental disorders are in a state of chronic stress.

Symptom: A subjective change in body functions not apparent to an observer, such as pain or nausea, that indicates the presence of a disease or disorder of the body. (1)

Synapses: A small space between adjacent brain cells through which one cell signals another by transport of neurotransmitter to a receptor. (2)

Synaptic Cleft: The narrow gap at a chemical synapse that separates the axon terminal of one neuron from another neuron or muscle fiber (cell) and across with a neurotransmitter diffuses to affect the postsynaptic cell. (1)

Synergistic Effect: A hormonal interaction in which the effects of two or more hormones acting together is greater or more extensive than the sum of each hormone acting alone. (1)

T Cell: A lymphocyte that becomes immunocompetent in the thymus and can differentiate into a helper T cell or a cytotoxic T cell, both of which function in cell-mediated immunity. (1)

Target Cell: A cell whose activity is affected by a particular hormone. (1)

Toxicant: Substances that are often made by humans or are introduced to the environment by human activity that are detrimental to human health when the body is exposed through absorption, ingestion or inhalation.

Toxins: Toxins are what are formed in the body when the body converts an environmental toxicant.

Transsulfuration Pathway: The part of the detoxification system that involves the formation of glutathione as the primary detoxifier. Cysteine and sulfate are also produced through this pathway. The precursors of transsulfuration are provided by the methylation cycle. (4)

Tumor Necrosis-Factor-Alpha (TNF): A cytokine involved in systemic inflammation and the “acute phase response”. (4)

Tyrosine: Amino acid precursor of substances such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, thyroid hormones and melanin. (4)

Ulcerative Colitis: A nonspecific inflammatory disease of the colon characterized by diarrhea with discharge of mucus blood, cramping, abdominal pain, and inflammation and edema of the mucous membrane with patches of ulceration. (4)

Urinary System: A system that consists of the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra. The systems regulates the ionic composition, pH, volume, pressure, and osmolarity of blood. (1)

Vitamin: An organic molecule necessary in trace amounts that act as a catalyst in normal metabolic processes in the body. (1)

Wandering Macrophage: Phagocyctic cell that develops from a monocyte, leaves the blood, and migrates to infected tissues. (1)

White Matter: Aggregations or bundles of myelinated and unmyelinated axons located in the brain and spinal cord. (1)

References for Glossary of Glorious Terms You Wish You Never Had to Learn:

(1) Introduction to the Human Body: The Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology (Ninth Edition), Gerard J. Tortora and Bryan Derrickson, John Wiley & Sons Inc 2012, Glossary (G1-G31).

(2) Nutrient Power: Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain, William Walsh, PhD, Skyhorse Publishing 2014, Glossary (171-190)

(3) The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity, Norman Doidge, MD, Penguin Books 2016, Pg7.

(4) Changing the Course of Autism, Bryan Jepson, M.D. and Jane Johnson, Sentient Publications 2007, Glossary (323-339)

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