Narcotic: Narcotics are used therapeutically to treat pain, suppress cough, alleviate diarrhea, and induce
anesthesia. Narcotics are administered in a variety of ways. Some are taken orally, by skin patch or injected. They
are also available in suppositories. Aside from their medical use, narcotics produce a general sense of
well-being by reducing tension, anxiety, and aggression. These effects are helpful in a therapeutic setting but con
tribute to their abuse.
Narrative: A written report that summarizes a patient’s course of treatment. This is often used to convey
information to other providers or insurance companies. The narrative report includes the health history,
description of chief complaint(s), examination findings, diagnosis, treatment plan, and prognosis.
Nerve: Nerves are found only in the peripheral nervous system. Nerves carry messages back and forth between
the brain and all body parts. Nerves are divided into two categories afferent and efferent.
Nerve Block: A nerve block is typically an injection that is used to relieve pain in organs or regions of the body.
The nerves are blocked using an anesthetic or anti-inflammatory medicine to eliminate the pain signal coming
from a certain area of the body or to reduce inflammation in that area.
Nerve Root: The peripheral nervous system begins at the nerve roots. Each segment of the spinal cord gives
rise to a ventral or anterior motor and a dorsal or posterior sensory nerve root. The spinal nerve roots very well
protected in the spinal column, but are especially vulnerable in the intervertebral foramina, where the ventral and
dorsal spinal roots join to form the spinal nerves that go out to the rest of the body.
Neural Canal: A dorsal tubular structure in the embryo that ultimately differentiates into the brain and spinal cord.
Neurological: Having to do with the nerves or the nervous system.
Neurologist: Medical doctor whose practice specializes in treating and restoring nervous system function.
Neuropeptide Y: Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a 36 amino acid protein which acts as a transmitter in the nervous
system. NPY is involved in regulation of circadian rhythms, sexual functioning, anxiety and stress response,
peripheral vascular resistance and contractility of the heart. Certain data indicate that neuropeptide Y is also
involved in the regulation of feeding behavior including food intake and carbohydrate preference as well as
metabolic and lipogenic rates. Therefore, NPY may be involved in regulation of body fat and development of
Neurosurgeon: A medical physician that specializes in brain, nerve and spinal cord surgery.
Neurotransmitter: Neurotransmitters are the chemicals which allow the transmission of signals from one
neuron to the next. These chemicals are released from nerve cells and then promote successful transmission of
impulses from one nerve cell to another and then repeat this process over and over again. Without these neural
transmission components function and ability would cease.
No fault: This is a form of insurance coverage where an individual’s expenses incurred as result of an
automobile accident are covered by their own insurance policy. This protective coverage covers medical
expenses whether the at fault party has insurance coverage or not.
Nucleus Pulposus: The center portion of each intervertebral disc is a filled with a gel-like elastic substance
called the nucleus pulposus. Together with the annulus, the nucleus pulposus transmits stress and weight from
vertebra to vertebra. Like the annulus, the nucleus pulposus consists of water, collagen and proteoglycans.
However, the proportion of these substances in the nucleus pulposus is different. The nucleus contains more
water than the annulus.
Nutrition: Nutrition or diet is the sum of food and nutritional value consumed by a person. Dietary and nutritional
habits are the decisions an individual makes when choosing what foods to eat. With the word nutrition, it is often
implied that a specific dietary intake is developed to ensure proper bodily function ultimately leading to ideal body