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Glossary

Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet is an alternative therapy to treat epilepsy. It is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate, low-protein diet that may reduce or eliminate seizures.

LAM

See Lymphangioleiomyomatosis.

Learning Disability

A learning disability is a condition that either prevents or hinders somebody from learning basic skills or information at the same rate as most people of the same age.

Lesion

A lesion is a wound, injury, or destructive change in body tissue. Lesion is sometimes used as another word for tumor or tuber.

Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM)

Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM)
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Lymphangioleiomyomatosis is a degenerative disease of the lungs that involves the proliferation of the LAM cell within the lung. As the name suggests, lymphangioleiomyomatosis is caused by the excessive growth (matosis) of abnormal smooth muscle-like cells (leiomyo), also called LAM cells, around the bronchial tubes, blood vessels (angio), and lymphatic vessels (lymph) of the lung. LAM is a progressive lung disease that affects primarily women and occurs much more frequently in people with TSC than in the general population.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
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Magnetic resonance imaging is a noninvasive procedure that uses radio waves and magnetic fields to produce images of body tissue.

Major Features

Major features are a group of clinical findings used in diagnosis that are seen very frequently in people with TSC and significantly less often in the general population. The eleven major features of TSC include brain abnormalities, such as cortical tubers and subependymal nodules, skin lesions, such as angiofibromas and periungual fibromas, and so on. If a TSC evaluation reveals either two major features or one major and two minor features, the physician considers the TSC diagnosis definite.

Malignant Tumor

A malignant tumor is a growth made up of cancerous cells that can invade surrounding tissue or move to other parts of the body.

Minor Features

Minor features are a group of clinical findings used in diagnosis that are common in TSC, but also common in the general population. The nine minor features of TSC include abnormalities of the gums, teeth, kidneys, skin, and other areas. If a TSC evaluation reveals either two major features or one major and two minor features, the physician considers the TSC diagnosis definite.

Molecular Diagnostic Test

A molecular diagnostic test looks at a person's DNA for the existence of a mutation. Also known as a genetic test or a DNA test.

MRI

See Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Mutation

A mutation is a permanent change in DNA. Mutations can be inherited or can occur spontaneously.

Myoclonic Seizure

A myoclonic seizure is a single, intense muscular contraction that results from abnormal electrical discharge of the brain and usually involves a single powerful jerk of the limbs, trunk, or face. These events may be partial, originating on one side of the brain, or generalized, originating on both sides. Myoclonic seizures may result in what experts generally refer to as drop attacks, in which an individual suddenly collapses or is thrown to the ground.

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This content was last reviewed on March 30, 2006.