Glossary - N

Narcolepsy
A common disorder of sleep associated with excessive daytime sleepiness, involuntary daytime sleep episodes, and disturbed nocturnal sleep.
Narcotic
Produces drowsiness, insensibility or stupor, and a sense of well-being; applied especially to the opioids. The word is often used pejoratively, and narcotics have often been defined simply as being certain materials that are listed in legislation as illegal (irrespective of their properties).
Naturopathy (natureopathy)
A term first used at the turn of the century, and variously defined, for examples:
1. A system of treatment of diseases emphasizing assistance to nature and sometimes including the use of medicinal substances (such as herbs) and physical means (as manipulation).
2. A distinct system of healing - a philosophy, science, art and practice that seeks to promote health by stimulating and supporting the body's inherent power to regain harmony and balance.
3. A drugless system of therapy based on the use of physical forces such as heat, water, light, air and massage. Naturopathy is often interpreted relatively comprehensively. The emphasis is usually on the use of "natural" forms of health care treatment, for example "naturally occurring substances" or "natural medicines," and may include nutritional supplements, counselling, and education. Sometimes the scope of practice for naturopathy includes such alternative modalities as acupuncture, biofeedback, homeopathy, hypnotherapy or massage. Obviously most if not all of the activities listed above are practised in conventional medicine. In some jurisdictions of the world, naturopaths are permitted to perform complex medical activities, such as minor surgery, while in other jurisdictions naturopathy is illegal.
Necrosis
Death, usually localized, of tissues.
Nephritic
A medicine adapted to relieve or cure diseases of the kidney.
Nephritis
Kidney inflammation or infection.
Nephrolithiasis
The presence of calculi (stones) in the kidney or urinary collecting system. The stones are usually 2-12 mm in diameter, and composed of calcium, phosphate or uric acid.
Nephrosis
A degeneration of the kidneys, principally affecting the renal tubules.
Nervine
Acts upon the nerves, calming nervous excitement, relieving anxiety, and preventing over-anxiety.
Neuralgia
Pain that extends along the course of one or more nerves. Varieties of neuralgia are distinguished according to the part affected (for example, facial) or cause (for example, anemic, diabetic, gouty, malarial).
Neurasthenia
A condition of nervous debility thought to result from impairment of the spinal cord.
Neuritis
Inflammation or degeneration of nerves, usually with pain.
Neuroleptic
A tranquillizer or ataractic.
Nutritive
Nourishing, nutritious.
Nyctalopia
Night blindness or difficulty in seeing at night; may result from deficiency of vitamin A.