Jargon buster

A comprehensive list of the terms and words you will come across in relation to brain tumours.

N

Named patient programme

"A means of granting controlled access to drugs in response to requests by health professionals on behalf of specific, or “named”, patients before those medicines are licensed.

The patients must have exhausted all alternative treatment options and not match clinical trial entry criteria.

Often called compassionate use, expanded access, or named patient supply."

National Institute of Health and Care Excellence

The organisation in the UK that provides guidance on the use of medicines for specific diseases and conditions. Abbreviated to NICE. Its guidance is officially England-only, but agreements are in place with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Nausea

Feeling sick and likely to vomit.

Necrosis

Death of cells through injury or disease, especially in a localised area of tissue or organ. It can be caused by a lack of blood flow to the cells.

Neoplasm

A new and abnormal growth of tissue in the body - another name for a tumour.

Neuro-obs

Neurological observations. These include checking how alert you are; testing your reflexes; checking that the pupils in your eye react to light; checking your pulse, blood pressure, the amount of oxygen in your blood and how many breaths you take each minute.

Neuro-oncology

The study of brain and spinal cord tumours.

Neurobiology

The branch of science that deals with structure of the brain and nervous system, the way it works and its diseases.

Neurology

The branch of medicine that deals with the structure (anatomy), functions and disorders of the nerves and the nervous system.

Neuron

Nerve cell that receives and sends electrical signals over long distances within the body

Neuroscience

Any science which deals with the brain and nervous system. Examples of a neuroscience include neurobiology, neurochemistry and experimental psychology.

It is sometimes used interchangeably with neurobiology, but usually looks more at understanding how the human brain works to produce behaviour and other brain functions, such as learning.

Neurotransmitter

A chemical substance which transmits (carries) signals across the junction (synapse) from one nerve to another. Examples include: serotonin, which helps carry messages between different areas of the brain, and plays a part in mood, appetite, sleep, memory and learning, temperature regulation and some social behaviour.

Neutropenia

An abnormally low number of neutrophils in the blood. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell and are part of the immune system. They attack bacteria and other foreign substances when they invade your body. A low level means you are more prone to infections.

Neutrophils

A type of white blood cell - they are part of the immune system. They attack bacteria and other foreign substances when they invade your body

NICE

National Institute of Health and Care Excellence. The organisation that provides guidance on the use of medicines for specific diseases and conditions. Its guidance is officially England-only, but agreements are in place with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Noradrenaline

A type of neurotransmitter that raises the blood pressure and heart rate.

Nystagmus

Rapid, involuntary, jerky movements of the eyes.

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