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Term Definition
Gastroesophageal reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a more serious form of gastroesophageal reflux (GER), which is common. GER occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens spontaneously, for varying periods of time, or does not close properly and stomach contents rise up into the esophagus. GER is also called acid reflux or acid regurgitation, because digestive juices—called acids—rise up with the food. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. The LES is a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a valve between the esophagus and stomach. When acid reflux occurs, food or fluid can be tasted in the back of the mouth. When refluxed stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus it may cause a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn or acid indigestion. Occasional GER is common and does not necessarily mean one has GERD. Persistent reflux that occurs more than twice a week is considered GERD, and it can eventually lead to more serious health problems. People of all ages can have GERD.


A discrete amount of information encoded on a portion of DNA. The genetic information is encoded in its own language. The genetic information on genes is first transcribed from DNA to RNA. The RNA is then used to make cellular proteins. There are multiple genes on each chromosome. Each human has 23 pairs of chromosomes. If the analogy is building a tower with legos, each lego (of different lengths) is a gene, when you stack the legos on top of each other, you are linking the genes and the stack of legos equals a chromosome. Each chromosome has a matching chromosome and forms a pair.

General Practitioner

Primary Care Physician


Pertaining to inheritance – the study of heredity and its variation.

Genetic testing

A type of medical test that identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins. Most of the time, testing is used to find changes that are associated with inherited disorders. The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person’s chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder


One who specializes in genetics.


A group of disorders leading to progressive damage to the optic nerve, and is characterized by loss of nerve tissue resulting in loss of vision.

Growth hormone

Hormone which is liberated by the anterior pituitary and important in regulating growth.