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An A to Z glossary of disabilities

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Glossaries

Term Main definition
narcolepsy
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

A rare brain disorder which affects sleeping patterns.

The condition doesn’t cause any long-term health complications but can lead to symptoms such as falling asleep or feeling extremely tired in the daytime, cataplexy – temporary loss of muscle control triggered by emotions such as laughter and anger, falling asleep without any warning, sleep paralysis – temporary unable to speak or walk when falling asleep or waking up and excessive dreaming when you just fall asleep or about to wake up.

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necrotising fasciitis
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

A rare infection which attacks the skin tissue caused by various types of bacteria. If the disease isn’t caught fast enough it can be life-threatening.

The disease is usually caused by the infection A Streptococcus, also referred to as “flesh-eating bacteria”. This particular infection is fast growing.

It’s unusual for healthy people to contract the illness, although anybody can be at risk, even if they have a tiny cut on the skin.

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neospara
Glossaries - Disabilities
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An A to Z glossary of disabilities

A single cell parasite which is found in livestock and companion animals such as dogs discovered in 1984 which causes paralysis.

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Nervous Breakdown
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

Doctors will never use the term ‘Nervous Breakdown’ – opting for the more medical descriptions such as having a ‘mental health crisis’ or ‘reaching crisis point’. A ‘breakdown’ can be caused by a number of symptoms such as, anxiety, depression, extreme tiredness and feeling overwhelmed. A more descriptive form of describing a ‘Nervous Breakdown’ is when somebody feels they can’t cope anymore and feel their life is out of control.

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neuroblastoma
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

A rare form of cancer which affects young children and babies which develops in the womb.

The cancer, which affects around 100 youngsters in the UK every year can spread to other organs around the body and in most common in children under the age of five.

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neurofibromatosis
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

A genetic condition which causes tumours to grow on the nerve tissue and anywhere on the nervous system, including the spinal cord, nerves and brain.

The tumours are usually non-cancerous although they can trigger a range of symptoms including problems with the eyes, bones and nervous system.

Neurofibromatosis type 1 occurs if the NF1 gene is faulty leading to uncontrolled growths developing in the nervous system and can be passed on to the patient’s children.

Neurofibromatosis type 2 occurs if the NF2 gene is faulty and is passed on from a parent to their child.

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neurofibromatosis type 1
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

A genetic condition which causes tumours to develop along the nerves which, in most cases, are non-cancerous.

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Neuromuscular
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

A broad term which relates to diseases and illnesses which affect the functioning of muscles either directly or indirectly.

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neuromyelitis optica
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

Also known as Devic’s disease NMO usually affects the spinal cord which can lead to optic neuritis which can affect the eyesight and transverse myelitis (inflammation of the spinal cord).

In most cases people with NMO carry the aquaporin-4 antibody which is attacked by the immune system damaging the protective layer surrounding the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord called the myelin sheath.

Symptoms of NMO include bladder, bowel and sexual problems, nerve pain, impaired vision, muscle weakness and increased muscle tone.

NMO is a rare condition. One in 100,000 are diagnosed with the condition and there are less than a thousand cases which have been detected in the UK.

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neuropathy
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

The network of nerves outside the central nervous system is called the peripheral nervous system which controls sensory, autonomic and motor nerves.

When the peripheral nervous system is damaged this is called peripheral neuropathy which can cause numbness in the feet or hands, loss of co-ordination, burning or stabbing sensation and weakness to the muscles – especially in the feet.

The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes.

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Neurosarcoidosis
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

Inflammation of the brain, spinal cord and other parts of the nervous system as a result of a long-term disorder called Sarcoidosis.

The condition can trigger sudden weaknesses in the face and affect senses such as hearing, taste and sight. Neurosarcoidosis can also disrupt sleeping patterns, bladder control, body temperature and co-ordination.

People with the illness can suffer fatigue, excessive thirst and changes to menstrual periods.

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Niemann Pick
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

A rare disease which affects the body’s ability to process cholesterol and lipids in the cells causing malfunction over time.

There are three types of Niemann-Pick…A, B and C.

Niemann-Pick A is usually diagnosed within the first few months. Niemann-Pick B may not be diagnosed until late childhood and those with Niemann-Pick C may not show signs until they reach adulthood.

The damaged cells can affect the liver, spleen, brain, bone marrow and in some cases the lungs.

The condition is an inherited disease which usually affects children, there’s no cure and in some cases it can be fatal.

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nystagmus
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

A condition which causes uncontrollable eye movements because of the way the eye relays messages back to the brain or how parts of the brain interpret information sent from the eye.

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Nystagmus
Glossaries - Disabilities
Glossaries Description -

An A to Z glossary of disabilities

A condition which causes constant movement of the eyes because the messages sent to the brain which controls the sight can’t be interpreted correctly.

Nystagmus usually starts at a young age.

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