Health A to Z

Authoritative, patient-focused summaries of key ailments and diseases

Patient Basics: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? An abdominal aortic aneurysm is an abnormal swelling in the aorta. It can be fatal. The aorta is the...

Patient Basics: Abdominal Adhesions

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Abdominal adhesions are bands of fibrous scar tissue that form on organs in the abdomen, causing the organs...

Patient Basics: Absence Seizures (Petit Mal Seizures)

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? The brain's nerve cells (neurons) communicate by firing tiny electric signals. During a seizure (convulsion), the firing pattern...

Patient Basics: Achalasia

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Achalasia is an uncommon disorder of the esophagus. The disorder makes it difficult for food to pass from...

Patient Basics: ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) Injuries

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Ligaments are tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect two bones. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the...

Patient Basics: Acne

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Acne is a common skin condition. It is caused by inflammation of the hair follicles and oil-producing (sebaceous)...

Patient Basics: Acoustic Neuroma

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? An acoustic neuroma is a type of benign (noncancerous) brain tumor that grows on the vestibular nerve as...

Patient Basics: Sun-Damaged Skin

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Although most people love the warmth and light of the sun, too much sun exposure can significantly damage...

Patient Basics: Acute Pancreatitis

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is the large gland located in the upper...

Patient Basics: Acute Prostatitis

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that sits below the bladder in men. This gland makes fluid that...
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