atrophy

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Related to disuse atrophy: hypertrophy

atrophy

(ăt`rəfē), diminution in the size of a cell, tissue, or organ from its fully developed normal size. Temporary atrophy may occur in muscles that are not used, as when a limb is encased in a plaster cast. Interference with cellular nutrition, as through starvation; diseases affecting the nerve supply of tissues, e.g., poliomyelitis and muscular dystrophy; and prolonged disuse may cause a permanent wasting away of tissue. Atrophy may also follow hypertrophyhypertrophy
, enlargement of a tissue or organ of the body resulting from an increase in the size of its cells. Such growth accompanies an increase in the functioning of the tissue. In normal physiology the growth in size of muscles (e.g.
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.

Atrophy

 

the decrease in the size of an organ or tissue of the living organism of animals and man, accompanied by a disorder or cessation of functions. Atrophy is the result of a predominance of dissimilation over the processes of assimilation.

Atrophy can be physiological and pathological, systemic and local. Physiological atrophy is a function of the growth changes of an organism (atrophy of the thymus during puberty, atrophy of the sex glands, skin, and bones in old people, and so on). General pathological atrophy (emaciation, cachexia) appears in cases of insufficient nutrition, chronic infection or intoxication, or disorders of the endocrine glands or of the central nervous system. Local pathological atrophy arises from various causes—from a disorder in the regulation of the trophic nerves (for example, atrophy of the skeletal muscles during poliomyelitis), from insufficient supply of blood (for example, atrophy of the brain cortex during atherosclerosis of the blood vessels of the brain); dysfunctional atrophy (for example, atrophy of the optic nerve after removal of an eye), as a result of pressure (for example, atrophy of the kidney in cases of embolism of the urether and accumulation of urine in the renal pelvis), from lack of use (for example, atrophy of the muscles in the extremities after long immobilization), or from the effects of physiological and chemical factors (for example, atrophy of the lymphoid tissue from the effects of solar energy, atrophy of the thyroid gland upon application of iodine preparations).

When an organ atrophies it diminishes in size but subsequently sometimes appears larger as a result of the expansion of fat tissue which replaces the atrophied cellular elements. Pathological atrophy is, up to a certain stage, a reversible process. Treatment consists of the elimination of the causes producing atrophy.

REFERENCES

Strukov, A. I. Patologicheskaia anatomiia. Moscow, 1967.
Cameron, G. R. Pathology of the Cell. Edinburgh, 1952.

L. D. LIOZNER

atrophy

[′a·trə·fē]
(medicine)
Diminution in the size of a cell, tissue, or organ that was once fully developed and of normal size.

atrophy

a wasting away of an organ or part, or a failure to grow to normal size as the result of disease, faulty nutrition, etc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Loeb, "Effects of muscle immobilization at different lengths on tetrodotoxin-induced disuse atrophy," IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, vol.
Thus, it is possible that the age-associated progressive denervation and the age-associated loss of muscle fibers are due to the disuse atrophy and degeneration of the NMJ and/or the motor neurons.
"If we could discover the genetic and molecular basis for this protection, and for the mechanisms that underlie the reduction in metabolic demand, there is the possibility that we could derive new therapies and medicines to use on humans to prevent osteoporosis, disuse atrophy of muscle, or even to place injured people in a type of suspended or reduced animation until they can be delivered to advanced medical care -- extending the golden hour to a golden day or a golden week."
This could also be attributed to disuse atrophy of skeletal muscles sduring immobilization11.
The parties have suffered disuse atrophy of their skills for not being able to exercise real political work through the past two decades, the era in which the abhorrent totalitarian regime dominated on power.
It's the use and disuse atrophy syndrome, much like the shriveling of muscles when not used--you observe it in patients whose limbs are cast in plaster for two or three months."
It helps to improve circulation and reduce skin breakdown, and it aids in the prevention of disuse atrophy.