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GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Citizens Commission on Human Rights 6616 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA. USA 90028 Telephone: (323) 467-4242 Fax: (323) 467-3720 E-mail: contact@cchr.org GLOSSARY OF TERMS
ADDICTIVE: a drug, especial y an il egal one or a activity: being lively, active; disorder: a condition psychotropic (mind-altering) prescription drug, that that has no physical basis but the diagnosis of which creates a state of physical or mental dependence or relies upon observing symptoms of behavior. These one liable to have a damaging effect.
behaviors include: has too little attention, is too active, fidgets, squirms, fails to complete homework ADRENALINE: a hormone secreted by the inner or chores, climbs or talks excessively, loses pencils or part of the adrenal glands, which speeds up the toys and interrupts others. heartbeat and thereby increases bodily energy and resistance to fatigue. ATYPICAL: new, not typical, not like the usual or normal type. An atypical drug could be a new AKATHISIA: a, meaning "without" and kathisia, antidepressant or antipsychotic as opposed to older meaning "sitting," an inability to keep stil . Patients ones of the same class. The term atypical was used pace about uncontrol ably. The side effect has been to market newer drugs as having fewer side effects linked to assaultive, violent behavior.
than older drugs of the same class.Thorazine is a typical antipsychotic; Zyprexa is an atypical. Elavil AMPHETAMINES: any group of powerful drugs, or Remeron are typical antidepressants, Prozac and cal ed stimulants, that act on the central nervous Zoloft are atypicals. system (the brain and the spinal cord), to increase heart rate and blood pressure and reduce fatigue.
ANXIOLYTICS: another name for minor tranquilizers, antianxiety drugs and benzodiazepines.
ANTIDEPRESSANT: a drug that affects mood. Psychiatry's first antidepressants were introduced BARBITURATE (BARBITURIC ACID): an acid in the 1950s, while newer antidepressants used as the basis for many highly addictive sedatives were introduced in the late 1980s/early 1990s. and hypnotics (used to sedate or chemical y restrain Antidepressants seem to induce euphoria (a "high") someone). Sodium amytal is a barbiturate.
and a sense of energy, but their mood elevating effects are short-lived.
BENZODIAZEPINES: are part of the class of sedative-hypnotic drugs that depress the nervous ANTIDEPRESSANT DISCONTINUATION system and known also as anxiolytics, minor SYNDROME: a term drug companies and tranquilizers, antianxiety drugs, sleeping pil s and psychiatrists invented to evade using the negative "benzos." Examples are Valium, Ativan and Xanax. term "withdrawal" when referring to the effects of Not al antianxiety drugs are benzodiazepines.
an antidepressant causing addiction or dependence. BIOCHEMICAL IMBALANCE: in general ANTIPSYCHOTIC: a class of drugs also known as medicine, biochemical imbalances can exist. For major tranquilizers, antischizophrenic drugs and example, diabetes has symptoms of weakness, hunger neuroleptic drugs. They are among psychiatry's and weight loss, excessive urinating and constant most damaging medicines. Thorazine/Largactil is an thirst because of fluid loss. The physiology is that the antipsychotic. Antipsychotics newly on the market body does not metabolize ingested sugars, so there are cal ed "atypicals" (new), such as Zyprexa. is an imbalance of sugar—the regulation of sugar metabolism by the hormone insulin is defective. Tests ANXIETY: uneasy thoughts or fears about what may can substantiate a high blood sugar level in the body. happen; troubled, worried, or uneasy feeling. Insulin restores the sugar balance to normal. There is ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY no test to prove that a chemical imbalance exists for DISORDER (ADHD): attention: ability to take any mental disorder. No X-ray, brain scan, blood or notice; deficit: a lack of; hyper: more than normal; urine test can confirm mental or behavioral disorder.
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BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY: term used to injury, or poison. Prolonged state of deep describe psychiatrists who view mental disorders as physical—caused by the brain or chemical imbalance—which justifies the use of brain-altering COMATOSE: relating to or affected with coma or drugs to treat them. From biology: the science of unconsciousness. living things; the study of plant and animal life. CONTROLLED RELEASE MEDICATION: BIPOLAR DISORDER: a condition categorized medications that are made to gradual y release under "Mood Disorders" and characterized by a drug into the body over a 12-hour to 24-hour alternating episodes of depression and mania or period to provide a consistent supply of the drug to by episodes of depression and "mild nonpsychotic excitement"—thus, "two poles," "bipolar." Also known as "bipolar affective disorder," "manic- DELUSIONS: false beliefs about yourself or the depression," and "manic-depressive psychosis"— situation you are in. Certain drugs can cause basical y "ups and downs." As with al mental disorders, there is no known cause for this and there are no tests to physical y confirm it. DEPENDENCE: having a physical or mental "need" to use a drug or substance regularly, despite the fact BODY CHEMISTRY: al of the elements that make that it is likely to have a damaging effect.
up the body as wel as its various reactions.
DEPRESSION: a mental condition of gloom, or a physical organ inside the head that sends and receives messages through the nervous system; for example, it tel s the body when something DIABETES: a disease in which a person's system is hot and warns against touching it. The brain cannot properly absorb normal amounts of sugar translates thought into action and coordinates energy. and starch because the pancreas fails secrete Scientists say that the brain is complex and poorly enough insulin. It is characterized by excessive urine production. The pancreas is a gland near the stomach that helps digestion.
CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIA: an irregularity in the normal rhythm of the heartbeat. Cardiac relates to or DIAGNOSIS: act or process of finding out what affects the heart.
disease a person has by examination and careful study of the symptoms and usual y involves physical CARDIOVASCULAR: related to both the heart and tests in the study of the facts. In psychiatry, the blood vessels.
diagnosis is based on observation of behaviors and symptoms only, not as a result of physical tests.
CELL: an extremely smal , basic unit of living matter of which al plants, animals and human bodies are made.
DISORDER: abnormal condition. In medicine, specific things exist for cal ing a condition a CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM (CNS): al the disease. In addition to a group of symptoms, the nerves in the body together with the brain and spinal cause of the symptoms or some understanding of cord. Some psychotropic drugs are cal ed CNS their physiology (functions and activities)) should be established. A "fever" is not a disease but a symptom of an il ness. In the absence of a known CEREBRAL: having to do with the brain.
cause or physiology, a group of symptoms seen repeatedly in many different patients is a syndrome, COMA: stupor, unconsciousness caused by disease, or sometimes referred to as disorder In psychiatry GLOSSARY OF TERMS
their diagnoses are cal ed disorders because none of GATEWAY DRUG: a drug or medicine that when them are established diseases. taken can lead to the use of other drugs that are DOPAMINE: a hormone (chemical substance) produced by the adrenal glands that are essential to GENE: a basic unit in the body that influences the normal nerve activity of the brain. Hormones, the inheritance and development of some physical especial y dopamine, play a keyrole in the tremors character such as hair and eye color. Each person experienced by patients with Parkinson's disease has thousands of genes, which determine individual (chronic nervous disease, characterized by tremors physical characteristics. Psychiatrists say that mental and weakness, fixed expression and an inability disorders are genetic (inherited) but no scientific to walk properly). Antipsychotic drugs lower evidence to date has proved this. dopamine, thus causing parkinsonian type reactions. Newer antidepressants can also lower dopamine. HYPERACTIVE: in psychiatry, refers to child behavior, especial y whose movements and actions DRUG: a substance (other than food) that, when are performed at a higher than normal rate of speed taken into the body, produces a change in it. If the or the child who is constantly restless and in motion.
change helps the body, the drug is a medicine; if the change harms the body, the drug is a poison. HYPERKINESIS: excessive muscular movement; Psychotropic drugs are referred to as "drugs" rather than medicine because they are not prescribed to treat a physical condition, but to control behavior HYPERKINETIC: the condition itself, which is and the symptoms associated with it, potential y characterized by hyperactivity, or refers to the poisoning the body in the process person who is experiencing it. DSM: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental IRREVERSIBLE: impossible to reverse or undo. Disorders. The American Psychiatric Association Some psychotropic drugs cause irreversible damage publishes the DSM to provide descriptions of to the nervous system.
mental disorders based on symptoms or behaviors. Psychiatrists vote whether to include new disorders MANIC-DEPRESSION: a "mental disorder" with or keep existing disorders in the DSM, a manual alternating bouts of excitement and depression— primarily used to obtain insurance reimbursement "ups and downs." More often cal ed "bipolar for patient treatment. There is also an international manual, The International Classification of Diseases, MAOIs: an older type of antidepressant cal ed which has a mental disorders section.
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors. EXTENDED RELEASE: relates to the reduction in Monoamine oxidase is an enzyme (protein substance the frequency with which a drug is administered. It produced in living cel s) that has the function of isusual y administered once daily.
getting rid of used neurotransmitters found between FALSE POSITIVE: A result that is erroneously nerve cel s. It was believed but never proved that positive when the condition it is testing for does low levels of neurotransmitters may cause depression not actual y exist. An example of a false positive: a and that if the antidepressant blocked the activity particular test designed to detect cancer of the toenail of this enzyme, there would be higher levels of is positive but the person does not have toenail neurotransmitters would al eviate the depression. cancer. The positive result was caused by other factors Chemicals like dopamine and serotonin are also that are not related to the disease.
cal ed "monamines" and thus the antidepressants were marketed as being able to alter these chemicals. CITIZENS COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
METABOLISM: the process by which al living things turn food into energy and living tissue. In this process food is broken down to produce energy NEUROTRANSMITTERS: (or Transmitters) that the body uses to build new cel s and tissue.
smal chemicals that brain cel s use as messengers. They are stored in the nerve ending ready to be METHAMPHETAMINE: an il egal, man-made released. Of the more than 100 neurotransmitters synthetic drug in the same class as cocaine and now known, three are serotonin, adrenaline and other street drugs.
dopamine (defined in this glossary). METHYLPHENIDATE: chemical name for Ritalin, NOREPINEPHRINE AND DOPAMINE Concerta, Metadate, and Methylin.
REUPTAKE INHIBITOR (NDRI): norepinephrine and dopamine are brain chemicals MOOD SWINGS: sudden and extreme changes in cal ed neurotransmitters. Psychiatrists have a theory a person's emotional state. Symptoms can include that they low levels of them may cause depression sadness, hopelessness and worthlessness and or affect mood and emotions but this has not been changes in appetite, sleep patterns and energy level.
proved. . Norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors are a type of antidepressant that increases MOTOR RETARDATION: refers to developmental the levels of both norepinephrine and dopamine delays, such as where a child does not reach stages by inhibiting their reabsorption (reuptake) into of expected growth, such as muscle development, cel s. As with other antidepressants, the precise ability to focus or speak etc.) A motor skil is mechanism of action isn't clear. a learned series of movements that combine to produce a smooth action, such as lifting one's head, OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER: a rol ing over or sitting up.
psychiatric term that fal s under the classification of "Anxiety Disorders" to describe a person beset NARCOTIC: a drug that affects the central with obsessions or compulsions or both and suffers nervous system causing dizziness, euphoria, lack anxiety or stress because of it. of coordination and unconsciousness. Narcotic also refers to drugs that are abused as street drugs PANACEA: a "cure-al "—the one remedy for all and can cause either physical or psychological diseases; a solution for al problems and difficulties.
dependence. Opium and amphetamines are PANCREATITIS: inflammation of the pancreas, a gland near the stomach that helps digestion.
NEUROLEPTIC: neuroleptic means "nerve-seizing." French psychiatrists Pierre Deniker and Jean Delay PARANOID: a chronic form of behavior invented the term in 1955 to describe the effects characterized by elaborate delusions. of antipsychotic drugs. Most antipsychotic drugs are cal ed neuroleptics.Neuroleptic drugs are also PET BRAIN SCAN: a type of brain-imaging classed as phenothiazines (meaning tranquilizing effect) or major tranquilizers. Thorazine and Seroquel are both neuroleptics. PLACEBO: a fake treatment, using a substance like sugar or distil ed water. The NEUROLEPTIC MALIGNANT SYNDROME: a potential y fatal toxic reaction from neuroleptic PLACEBO EFFECT describes a phenomena drugs where patients break into fevers and become (reaction) in which the placebo can improve a confused, agitated, and extremely rigid. Malignant patient's condition simply because the person has GLOSSARY OF TERMS
the expectation that it wil be helpful. The more neurosis is that in psychosis, the person is general y the person believes they are going to benefit from a effect of everything and in neurosis, he's more or treatment, the more likely they wil .
less singly the effect of or has deranged thoughts on some subject.
PHENOTHIAZINES: a class of tranquilizing drugs also cal ed neuroleptics, antipsychotics or major PSYCHOSTIMULANT: drugs that affect the central tranquilizers and considered the first "chemical nervous system and increase mental or physical straightjackets." It is a yel owish crystal ine activity. The term psychostimulant is used when a substance used in making dyes, as an insecticide and class of stimulants (see this glossary) is used in the for deworming cattle and sheep.
treatment of a mental disorder.
POLYPHARMACY: the act or practice of PSYCHOTROPIC: mind-altering. Drugs with an prescribing multiple medicines, often in dangerous effect on mental function, behavior, or experience. combinations or dosage levels. A prescription made LSD, peyote and mescaline are among this category up of many medicines or ingredients.
of drugs, as are Thorazine, Prozac and Xanax. POST NATAL: existing or happening after birth.
REUPTAKE: to use up, reabsorb. A psychiatric drug is said to affect chemicals that nerves use to PRENATAL: existing or happening during pregnancy send messages to one another. These chemical but before childbirth.
messengers, cal ed neurotransmitters, are released by one nerve and taken up by other nerves. The PSYCHIATRY: means "doctoring of the soul," but neurotransmitters that are not taken up by the other psychiatrists long ago dispensed with the soul and nerves are taken up (reabsorbed) by the same nerve began theorizing that human behavior derived that released them. The process is cal ed reuptake. from the brain—a theory they have not yet proved Some antidepressants and antipsychotics are said in more than 200 years. The study and treatment to work by inhibiting the reabsorption of the of "mental diseases" through physical procedures chemicals, so that more is available to be picked up such as drugs, psychosurgery and shock treatments by other nerves. This supposedly increases the level of various kinds. As medical doctors, psychiatrists of the chemical to influence a mood or emotion. To can prescribe drugs, whereas psychologists cannot, date, there is no scientific evidence to support this although there are moves for psychologists to be and scientists and medical experts say a chemical able to prescribe drugs. imbalance in the brain influencing behavior does PSYCHOACTIVE: the term usual y means psychic energizer (antidepressant), although it is often used RESPIRATORY FAILURE: respiratory means less specifical y to refer to any drug with an effect on relating to or used in breathing or the system in the mental processes.
body that takes in and distributes oxygen. Failure PSYCHOLOGY: literal y means "study of the soul," means a breakdown or lessening in the performance yet psychology general y does not believe the soul of something. Therefore a respiratory failure is a exists. Rather it tries to explain why people act, lessening or breakdown of the ability to breathe think, and feel as they do, without a scientific basis.
oxygen into the body.
PSYCHOSIS: seriously mental y disordered (as in SCHIZOPHRENIA: a psychiatric term to describe schizophrenia) characterized by defective or lost (1) a form of psychosis in which the individual contact with reality often with hal ucinations or disassociates himself from his environment and delusions. The difference between psychosis and deteriorates in character and personality; (2) split CITIZENS COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
personality. In the late 1800s, German psychiatrist, of breathing; raises the level of blood sugar and Emil Kraepelin cal ed it dementia praecox (meaning decreases the activity of the intestines. Similar to premature dementia—deterioration of the mind), SSRIs, it changes how the brain handles it chemical then in 1908 Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler messengers norepinephrine and serotonin. coined the term schizophrenia. In fact, people suffered from a virus, encephalitis lethargica (brain SSRI: see Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors.
inflammation causing lethargy, also known as "sleeping sickness") that was unknown to doctors in SOMNOLENCE: Sleepiness, drowsiness (a side the 1800s. Psychiatrists simply dropped the physical effect of some drugs) symptoms from the diagnosis, keeping the mental ones: hal ucinations, delusions, and bizarre thoughts. STIMULANT: food, drug, medicine, etc., that In psychiatry's diagnostic manual, it says they "could temporarily increases the activity of the body or not establish agreement about what this disorder is; some part of the body or central nervous system. it could only agree on what to cal it." Examples: Benzedrine, Ritalin and cocaine.
SEDATIVE HYPNOTICS: A class of drugs that STROKE: a sudden blockage or rupture (the breakage depress the activity of the central nervous system, of something) of a blood vessel in the brain resulting often prescribed to treat anxiety and induce sleep. A in loss of consciousness, partial loss of movement or barbiturate or minor tranquilizer (antianxiety drug) are examples of sedative hypnotics.
SYNAPSE: the place where nerve impulses pass SEIZURE: a sudden condition during which a person from one nerve cel to another. They are the routes cannot control the movements of the body and by which brain cel s talk to each other. When which continues for a short time.
chemicals (e.g., drugs) get into the gap between them in the brain, it affects the way in which brain SELECTIVE SEROTONIN REUPTAKE cel s talk to each other; e.g., slows or speeds up the INHIBITORS: (SSRIs) the newer antidepressants. (See definition of reuptake). The antidepressants were marketed as correcting a chemical imbalance SYNDROME: A group of signs and symptoms that in the brain that causes depression. However, when they occur together represent an abnormality studies have yet to confirm this.
or type of behavior. Harvard University psychiatrist Joseph Glenmul en says that in psychiatry, "All SEROTONIN: chemical substance that is mostly of its diagnoses are merely syndromes, clusters of found in the gastrointestinal (digestive) tract, where symptoms presumed to be related, not diseases." it modulates the rhythmic movements kneading food through the stomach. In the cardiovascular TARDIVE DYSKINESIA: tardive, meaning "late" (heart) system, serotonin helps regulate blood and dyskinesia meaning "abnormal movement of vessels to control the flow of blood. It also plays an muscles." Tardive Dyskinesia is a common result important role in blood clotting and is used in the of the use of antipsychotics. The muscles of the face reproductive system. Only about 5 percent of it can and body contort and spasm involuntarily, drawing be found in the brain. the face into a hideous scowl and grimaces and twisting the body into bizarre contortions. Created SEROTONIN-NOREPINEPHRINE REUPTAKE by the drug damaging the nervous system, it is often INHIBITOR (SNRI): norepinephrine is a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland and which increases blood pressure, rate, and depth TARDIVE DYSTONIA: dys, meaning "bad" and tonos, meaning "tension" or abnormal tension of GLOSSARY OF TERMS
the muscles; a permanent condition caused by psychiatric drugs such as neuroleptics that damages the tone of the body. TETRACYCLICS: early form of antidepressant. The name derives from the drug's four-ring-like structures in a T-shape.
THYROID: a gland that wraps around the windpipe and produces hormones that influence every organ, tissue and cel in the body. It controls heart rate, body weight, body temperature, energy level and muscle strength.
TOLERANCE: the capacity of the body to endure or become less responsive to a drug or substance (often requiring higher doses of the drug for its effect).
TOXIC: relating to or containing a poison or toxin TOXIC PSYCHOSIS: a psychosis generated by toxins, such as drugs, which act as a poison in the TRANQUILIZER: a drug that is used to depress the activity of the central nervous system. There are major tranquilizers (also cal ed antipsychotics) and minor tranquilizers (also cal ed antianxiety drugs, anxiolytics or benzodiazepines.) TRICYCLICS: older form of antidepressant introduced in 1958, the name refers to the three rings in the chemical structure of the drugs. Tofranil was the first tricyclic antidepressant. WITHDRAWAL: the unpleasant physical and emotional reactions felt when coming off a drug. These can range from mild discomfort to intense pain and seizures, depending on the drug. Avoiding this pain is one reason why addicts or people having taken psychotropic drugs for long periods don't come off the drugs, even when they want to quit.

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