The MCCA “In Laymans Terms” Glossary

Medical research articles and clinical studies typically contain medical terminology which makes it difficult to understand past the first sentence. In order to help you translate – “In Laymans Terms” the following glossary, lists some words you may run into.





1. Biology. growing or developing from within; originating within.
2. Pathology. (of a disease) resulting from conditions within the organism rather than externally caused


Cell Biology. any of various specific protein molecules in surface membranes of cells and organelles to which complementary molecules, as hormones, neurotransmitters, antigens, or antibodies, may become bound.


being or occurring on the transmitting end of a discharge across a synapse.


a region where nerve impulses are transmitted and received, encompassing the axon terminal of a neuron that releases neurotransmitters in response to an impulse, an extremely small gap across which the neurotransmitters travel, and the adjacent membrane of an axon, dendrite, or muscle or gland cell with the appropriate receptor molecules for picking up the neurotransmitters

synthesized form (a material or abstract entity) by combining parts or elements (opposed to analyze ):
to synthesize a statement.

2.Chemistry. to combine (constituent elements) into a single or unified entity.


being or occurring on the receiving end of a discharge across the synapse.


any of several chemical substances, as epinephrine or acetylcholine, that transmit nerve impulses across a synapse to a postsynaptic element, as another nerve, muscle, or gland.

negative feedback

Biology. a self-regulatory biological system, as in the synthesis of some hormones, in which the output or response affects the input, either positively or negatively.

retrograde signaling

pathway of communication

binding affinity

cell proliferation