Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Atrophy'
- a decrease in size of an organ caused by disease or disuse [syn: wasting, wasting away]
- any weakening or degeneration (especially through lack of use) [syn: withering] v : undergo atrophy; "Muscles that are not used will atrophy" [also: atrophied]
- Atrophy \At"ro*phy\, n. [L. atrophia, Gr. ?; 'a priv. + ? to
nourish: cf. F. atrophie.]
A wasting away from want of nourishment; diminution in bulk
or slow emaciation of the body or of any part. --Milton.
- Atrophy \At"ro*phy\, v. t. [p. p. Atrophied.]
To cause to waste away or become abortive; to starve or
- Atrophy \At"ro*phy\, v. i.
To waste away; to dwindle.
Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Atrophy'
Atrophy is the partial or complete wasting away of a part of the body. Causes of atrophy include mutations (which can destroy the gene to build up the organ), poor nourishment, poor circulation, loss of hormonal support, loss of nerve supply to the target organ, disuse or lack of exercise or disease intrinsic to the tissue itself. Hormonal and nerve inputs that maintain an organ or body part are referred to as trophic in medical practice. Trophic describes the trophic condition of tissue. A diminished muscular trophic is designated as atrophy.
Atrophy is the general physiological process of reabsorption and breakdown of tissues, involving apoptosis on a cellular level. When it occurs as a result of disease or loss of trophic support due to other disease, it is termed pathological atrophy, although it can be a part of normal body development and homeostasis as well.[See more about Atrophy at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]
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