the event that you encounter some unfamiliar terminology on our site
or in any associated reports, we have prepared this glossary of medical
hormone):A hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland
that acts primarily on the adrenal cortex, stimulating its growth and
its secretion of corticosteroids. Its production is increased during
times of stress.
Acoustic neuroma: A tumour of the auditoryc
Age-standardised: A rate which has been adjusted
to minimise the effects of differences in age composition when comparing
rates for different populations.
Alpha band: is the spectral component
in the EEG signal, which falls between 8-13 Hz.
Aneuploidy: A genetically unbalanced
condition in which a number of chromosomes for
a organism that is not an exact multiple of the haploid number.
e trisomy 21 is a form of aneuploidy.
Statistical dependence between two outcomes.
Atopic dermatitis (AD): A pruritic disease of unknown
origin that usually starts in early infancy and is typified by pruritus,
eczematous lesions, xerosis (dry skin), and lichenification on the
skin (thickening of the skin and increase in skin markings).
Autonomic nervous system: The portion
of the nervous system concerned with regulation of the activity of
cardiac muscle, smooth muscle, and glands. There are two main components,
the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems.
Bcl-2 protein: Prototype for a family
of mammalian genes and the proteins they produce. They govern mitochondrial
outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) and can be either pro-apoptotic
Bias: Deviation of results or inferences
from the truth, or processes leading to such deviation.
Binucleated: Having two nuclei.
A range of possible consequences, depending on the type and degree
of cellular damage that may result from exposure to an external agent.
Blood-brain barrier: The barrier that exists
between the blood and the cerebrospinal fluid, which prevents the
passage of various substances from the blood stream to the brain.
It is built up by endothelial cells lining the cerebral capillaries.
Caenorhabditis elegans: A microscopic (~1 mm) nematode
(roundworm) that normally lives in soil.
Carcinogenesis: The production of a malignant
Case control study: A study that starts with
the identification of persons with the disease (or other outcome) of
interest, and a suitable control group of persons without the disease.
Causal relationship: The relating of causes
to the effects they produce. Most of epidemiology concerns causality
and several types of causes can be distinguished. It should be clearly
stated, however, that epidemiologic evidence by itself is insufficient
to establish causality.
Cell cycle: The cycle of cell growth, replication of the genetic material
and nuclear and cytoplasmic division.
Chromatid: One of the usually paired
and parallel strands of a duplicated chromosome, joined by a single
self-replicating genetic structures of cells containing
the cellular dna that bears in
Sequence the linear array
Chromosome aberration: A deviation in the normal
number of chromosomes or in their morphology.
Circadian: Pertaining to a period of
about 24 hours; applied especially to the rhythmic repetition of certain
phenomena in living organisms at about the same time each day (circadian
Clustering: An aggregation of relatively
uncommon events or diseases with well-defined distribution patterns,
in relation to time or place or both.
Cochlea: Snail-shapes structure in the
inner ear that contains the organ of hearing.
Pertaining to cognition - that operation of the mind by which we
become aware of objects of thought or perception. It includes all
aspects of perceiving, thinking, and remembering.
Cohort study: A study in which a population
(i.e., a cohort) is defined according to the presence or absence of
a factor that might influence the probability of occurrence of a given
disease or other outcome. The cohort is then followed to determine if
those exposed to the factor are indeed at greater risk of the outcome.
Comet assay: An uncomplicated and sensitive technique
for the detection of DNA damage at the level of the individual cell.
Confidence interval: A range of values for
a variable of interest e.g., a rate, constructed so that this range
has a specified probability of including the true value of the variable
e.g. the reference to Dolk et al. mentions "an excess risk of 1.83
(95% CI 1.22 2.74)". This means that the estimated risk is 1.83,
and there is a 95% probability that the "true" risk (if that
could be ascertained) is within the range 1.22 2.74.
Confounding: The distortion of an apparent
effect of an exposure on risk, brought about by the association with
other factors that can influence the outcome. For example, a study
might suggest that alcohol intake is associated with a higher risk
of heart disease, but this apparent relationship is seen because those
who drink alcohol are also more inclined to smoke. When their smoking
is taken into consideration, the relationship between alcohol intake
and heart disease disappears.
Congenital: referring to conditions
that are present at birth.
Control group: A sample in which a factor whose effect
is being estimated is absent or is held constant, in order to provide
The major natural glucocorticoid hormone synthesised in the adrenal
cortex. It affects the metabolism of glucose, fats and protein, regulates
the immune function, and has many other actvities.
Cross-sectional study: A study that examines
the relationship between diseases and other factors, as they exist
in a population at one particular time. The temporal sequence of cause
and effect cannot necessarily be determined in this type of study.
Cytochemistry: The study of the locations,
structural relationships, and interactions of cellular constituents.
Cytogenetics: A branch of biology that deals with
the study of heredity and variation by the methods of both cytology
and genetics. The cytological approach to genetics, mainly involving
microscopic studies of chomosomes.
DNA: Deoxyribonucleic acid; it constitutes
the primary genetic material of all cellular material and the DNA
viruses, and occurs predominantly in the nucleus.
Dose-response relation: The relationship between
the amount of exposure [Radiation) and the resulting changes in body
function or health (response).
trial: A procedure of blind assignment to study and control groups
and blind assessment of outcome, designed to ensure that ascertainment
of outcome is not biased by knowledge of the group to which an individual
Ecological study: A study in which the units
of analysis are populations or groups of people, rather than individuals.
Electroencephalogram (EEG): a tracing of electrical
activity arising from brain function
Electromagnetic sensibility: The ability to perceive
the electromagnetic field (EMF) without necessarily developing health
symptoms attributed to EMF exposure.
Endothelial: Pertaining to the layer of cells
that lines the cavities of the heart and of the blood and lymph vessels.
Enzyme: A protein molecule that catalyzes
chemical reactions of other substances without itself being destroyed
or altered upon completing the reactions.
Epidemiology: The study of the distribution
and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations,
and the application of this study to control of health problems.
Ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS): A
mutagenic, teratogenic, and possibly carcinogenic organic compound
with formula C3H8O3S.
Experimental study: A study in which conditions
are under the direct control of the investigator.
Exposure: The amount of a factor to which
a group or individual was exposed.
Exposure assessment: The process of measuring or
estimating the intensity, frequency, and duration of human exposures
to an agent (e.g. mobile phone radiofrequency field) currently present
in the environment.
Fibroblast: Connective tissue cells
which secrete an extracellular matrix rich in collagen and other macromolecules.
Fibrosis: The formation of fibrous
tissue as a reparative or reactive process.
Free radical: A compound that carries
an unpaired electron; such radicals are extremely reactive, with a
very short half-life.
FSH (follicle stimulating hormone): A hormone
secreted by the anterior pituitary gland, which stimulates follicle
production in the ovary and estrogen production, and promotes the changes
in the uterus characteristic of the first portion of the menstrual cycle.
In the male, it stimulates spermatogenesis.
Gene Expression: The full use of the information
in a gene via transcription and translation leading to production of
a protein and hence the appearance of the phenotype determined by that
Genomics: A branch of biotechnology
concerned with applying the techniques of genetics and molecular biology
to the genetic mapping and DNA sequencing of sets of genes or the complete
genomes of selected organisms using high-speed methods.
Genotoxic: Damaging to DNA.
Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP): The degenerative
brain condition called Alexander disease is caused by mutation in GFAP
(glial fibrillary acidic protein). The GFAP gene provides instructions
for making GFAP protein, a member of the intermediate filament family
that provides support and strength to cells. Several molecules of GFAP
protein bind together to form the main intermediate filament found
in specialized brain cells called astrocytes.
GH (growth hormone): A hormone secreted by the
anterior pituitary gland, which stimulates growth of the body. It also
has an effect on the metabolism of fat, carbohydrate, and protein.
Glial (or neuroglial): The supporting structure
of nervous tissue.
Glioma: Usually used as a term to include all
primary intrinsic neoplasms of the brain and spinal cord.
Gliosis: A process leading to scars in the central
nervous system that involves the production of a dense fibrous network
of neuroglia (supporting cells) in areas of damage. Gliosis is a prominent
feature of many diseases of the central nervous system, including multiple
sclerosis and stroke. After a stroke, neurons die and disappear with
Healthy worker effect: Workers usually
exhibit lower overall death rates than the general population, due
to the fact that the severely ill and disabled are ordinarily excluded
from employment. Death rates in the general population may be inappropriate
for comparison if this effect is not taken into account.
Heat shock protein: Any of a group of proteins
first identified as being synthesized in response to hyperthermia,
hypoxia, or other stresses, and believed to enable cells to recover
from these stresses, perhaps by enabling recovery of gene expression. Hsp70s are a family of ubiquitously expressed proteins. Proteins with
similar structure exist in virtually all living organisms. The Hsp70s
are an important part of the cell's machinery for protein folding,
and help to protect cells from stress.
Hematopoietic: Pertaining to or effecting
the formation of blood cells.
Hormone: A chemical substance produced
in the body by an organ, which has a specific regulatory effect on the
activity of other organs or cells.
Hippocampus: Area of gray matter extending
the entire length of the floor of the temporal horn of the lateral ventricle
of the brain.
Histology: That part of anatomy which
deals with the minute structure, composition, and function of the tissues.
Hydrophilic: Readily absorbing moisture.
Immunocytochemistry: The application of immunochemical
techniques (which use antibodies as chemical reagents) to cytochemistry.
Incidence: The number of instances of illness
commencing, or death occurring, during a given period in a specified
In vitro: Observable in a test tube.
In vivo: Within the living body.
Ipsilateral: Located on or affecting the same side
of the body. Opposite to contralateral.
Karyolysis: The destruction of a cells nucleus.
Karyorrhexis: Degeneration of the nucleus of a cell.
There is contraction of the chromatin into small pieces, with obliteration
of the nuclear boundary.
Knockout: informal term for
the generation of
a mutant organism in
which the function of
a particular gene has
been completely eliminated (a null allele).
Latency: The period of subclinical disease following
exposure that ends with the onset of disease.
Leukemia: A progressive, malignant disease
of the blood-forming organs, characterised by distorted proliferation
and development of leukocytes and their precursors in the blood and
leukemia: Leukemia associated with overactivity of the lymphoid
tissue. The acute type (ALL) primarily affects young children.
- Myeloid leukemia:
Leukemia arising from myeloid tissue in which the granular, polymorphonuclear
leukocytes and their precursors dominate.
Leukocyte: A white blood cell, specifically
a colorless cell with a nucleus, found in blood and lymph. They can
produce antibodies and move through the walls of vessels to migrate
to sites of injury, where they isolate and destroy dead tissue, foreign
protein and bacteria.
(luteinising hormone): A hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary
gland, which with FSH promotes ovulation and promotes androgen and progesterone
secretion. In the male it stimulates the development and functional
activity of testicular Leydig cells. These cells produce male hormones,
Lymphocyte: The white blood cell found
in the blood, lymph, and lymphoid tissues, that are the body's immunologically
competent cells and their precursors.
Lymphoma: Any neoplastic disorder of the
disease or lymphoma: A form of lymphoma characterised by painless,
progressive enlargement of the lymph nodes, spleen, and general
lymphoid tissue. The characteristic histological feature is presence
of Reed-Sternberg cells.
lymphoma: A heterogeneous group of malignant lymphomas,the only
common feature being an absence of the giant Reed-Sternberg cells.
Malignant: Malignant tumours have
the ability to invade and destroy surrounding tissues and
to spread to more distant parts of the body (metastasis).
Opposition to benign.
a hormone synthesised by the pineal gland. It is implicated in the regulation
of sleep, mood, puberty, and ovarian cycles.
Meningioma: A benign, slow-growing tumour
of the meninges, usually next to the dura mater.
Meta-analysis: A statistical technique for amalgamating,
summarising, and reviewing previous quantitative research. By
using meta-analysis, a wide variety of questions can be investigated,
as long as a reasonable body of primary research studies exist. Selected
parts of the reported results of primary studies are entered into a
database, and this "meta-data" is "meta-analyzed",
in similar ways to working with other data - descriptively and then
inferentially to test certain hypotheses.
relatively large mononuclear leukocyte that normally constitutes
3 – 7
% of the leukocytes in the circulating blood, and is normally found
in lymph nodes, spleen. Bone marrow, and loose connective tissue.
Metabolism: The sum of the processes
by which a particular substance is handled in the living body.
Micronucleus: The smaller of two types of
nuclei when more than one is present in a cell. Micronuclei are thought
to indicate chromosomal damage.
Misclassification:Inaccuracies in how subjects are
categorized by exposure or disease
Mitotic: Pertaining to mitosis.
Microarray: Sets of miniaturized chemical reaction
areas that may also be used to test DNA fragments, antibodies, or proteins,
by using a chip having immobilized target and hybridising them with
probed sample. the color we get from the chip after hybridisation is
then scanned and the data is analysed by a soft ware to find the expression
Micronuclei: Chromosome fragments that are not incorporated
into the nucleus at cell division.
Mortality ratio: Actual deaths in a specified
time period divided by the expected number, usually multiplied by 100.
Multivariate analysis: A set of techniques
used when the variation in several variables has to be studied simultaneously.
Mutagenic: Inducing genetic mutation.
Neoplasia: The formation of a new and abnormal
Neuroglial (or glial): The supporting
structure of nervous tissue.
A nerve cell. The basic unit of the nervous system, specialized for
the transmission of electrical impulses.
Neurotransmitter: Any of a group
of substances, released by a presynaptic cell that, upon excitation,
crosses the synapse to stimulate or inhibit the postsynaptic cell.
Neutrophil: a granulocyte that is the
chief phagocytic white blood cell.
Neurotrophic factors: These substances are responsible
for the growth and survival of neurons during development, and for
maintaining adult neurons. Neurotrophic factors also are capable of
making damaged neurons regrow their processes in a test tube and in
Observational study: An epidemiologic study
in situations where nature is allowed to take its course; changes or
differences in one characteristic are studied in relation to changes
or differences in other(s), without the intervention of the investigator.
Occipital lobe: The part of the brain
near to the occipital bone, at the back of the head.
Odds ratio: The ratio of two odds. It is used
frequently in case control studies where it is the ratio of the odds
in favour of getting disease, if exposed, to the odds in favour of getting
disease if not exposed.
Oncogene: A gene capable under certain
conditions of causing the initial and continuing conversion of normal
cells into cancer cells.
Oncogenicity: The capacity to cause tumours.
Otoacoustic emissions: Low-intensity
sounds produced by the inner ear that can be quickly measured with a
sensitive microphone placed in the ear canal.
The act of oxidizing or being oxidized. Chemically it consists of the
increase of positive charges on an atom or the loss of negative charges.
radicals: A substituent group of chemical elements rich in oxygen
but incapable of prolonged existence in a free state.
Parietal lobe: The part of brain near
to the parietal bone.
Personal exposimeter: A dosimeter for assessing individual
RF exposure in an urban environment in a free-living individual.
Normal; not pathological; characteristic of the normal functioning or
state of the body.
Pineal gland, or pineal body: A small, somewhat
flattened, cone-shaped organ in the epithalamus of the brain. It is
the site of synthesis of melatonin.
gland: It is located at the base of the brain and is attached
by a stalk to the hypothalamus, from which it receives an important
nerve and blood supply. There are two lobes - the anterior, which secretes
most of the hormones, and the posterior, which stores and releases neurohormones
that it receives from the hypothalamus.
Placebo: An inert medication or procedure.
Precautionary principle: The principle is precautionary
measures to anticipate, prevent or minimize the causes due to radiofrequency
fields and mitigate its adverse effects. Where there are threats of
serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty should
not be used as a reason for postponing such measures.
Prevalence: The number of instances of a given
disease or other condition in a given population at a designated time.
Protein expression: A subcomponent of gene expression.
It consists of the stages after DNA has been translated into amino
acid chains, which are ultimately folded into proteins.
Proteomics: A branch of biotechnology concerned with
applying the techniques of molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics
to analyzing the structure, function, and interactions of the proteins
produced by the genes of a particular cell, tissue, or organism, including
the organization of the information in databases.
Psychomotor: Of or relating to movement or muscular
activity associated with mental processes.
Psychophysiology: The physiology of psychology,
i.e. the basic processes underlying the functioning of the mind and
Rate ratio: The ratio of two rates in epidemiology,
the ratio of the rate in the exposed population to the rate in the unexposed
Random errors: vary in a nonreproducible way around
a limiting mean. These errors can be treated statistically by use of
the laws of probability.
Real-time PCR: A method of simultaneous
DNA quantification and amplification. DNA is specifically amplified
by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). After each round of amplification,
the DNA is quantified.
risk: The ratio of the risk of disease or death among the exposed
to the risk among the unexposed.
REM sleep (Rapid eye movement sleep): The period of sleep during
which the brain waves are fast and of low voltage, and activities such
as heart rate and respiration are irregular. This type of sleep is associated
with dreaming, mild involuntary muscle jerks, and rapid eye movements.
It usually occurs three to four times each night at intervals of 80
to 120 minutes, each occurrence lasting from 5 minutes to more than
an hour. In an adult, about 20 percent of sleep is REM sleep.
Risk: The probability that an event will occur.
Risk perception: The significance assigned to risks
by stakeholders. This perception is derived form the stakeholders=
expressed needs, issues, and concerns.
Regression on Order Statistics (ROS): An implementation
of a Regression on Order Statistics (ROS) designed for multiply censored
analytical chemistry data. The method assumes data contains zero to
many left censored (less-than) values.
Selection bias: Error due to systematic difference
in characteristics between those who are selected for study and those
who are not.
Sham exposure: A control
group used to simulate the same environmental conditions of exposed samples,
but in absence of radiation.
Statistical significance: Statistical methods
allow an estimate to be made of the probability of the observed or
greater degree of association between factors. From this estimate,
in a sample of given size, the statistical "significance" of
a result can be stated.
A number that expresses the probability that the result of a given experiment
or study could not have occurred purely by chance.
Subjective outcomes: Outcomes or symptoms that are
difficult to quantify objectively (e.g., pain, headaches, sleep disturbances).
Synapse: The functional membrane-to-membrane
contact of the nerve cell with another nerve cell.
Synergize: two or more agents or forces interacting
so that their combined effect is greater
than the sum of their individual effects. Antagonize: two
or more agents or forces interacting
so that one agent counteracts the effect of another agent. Potentiate: one
agent promotes or
strengthens a biochemical or physiological action or effect of another
: Are reproducible and tend to bias
a result in one direction. Their causes can be assigned, at least in
principle, and they can have constant and variable components.
Temporal lobe: The part of the brain near
the temporal bone, in the lateral region of the head.
Temporal relationship: In epidemiology, the
timing of the relationship between a factor and an outcome. It is one
of the criteria used to assign causality to a relationship.
Teratology: The division of embryology and
pathology that deals with abnormal development and congenital anomalies.
Trophoblasts: Cells forming the outer layer of a
blastocyst, which provide nutrients to the embryo and develop into
a large part of the placenta. They are formed during the first stage
of pregnancy and are the first cells to differentiate from the fertilized
Tinnitus: Ringing of the ears.
(thyroid-stimulating hormone): A hormone secreted by the anterior
pituitary gland that promotes the growth of, sustains, and stimulates
the hormonal secretion of the thyroid gland.
Tumourigenic: Capable of causing tumours.
Can refer either
to a carcinogenic substance or agent such as radiation that affects cells or
Tumor laterality: The preference in location of
tumor in one portion of the body over other locations in the body.
Uveal melanoma: Cancer of the eye.
of the ear: The cavity of the inner ear.
Vestibular system (balance
sensory system that provides the dominant input about movement and
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary
Mosby's Medical, Nursing, and Allied Health Dictionary (1994). Mosby-Year
Book Inc., St Louis, Missouri.
Last JM (1988). A dictionary of epidemiology. Oxford University Press
Inc., New York.
Illustrated Medical Dictionary (1994, 2003). WB Saunders Coy., Philadelphia.