Glossary beginning with E

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Edinburgh Centre for Translational Research

Co-funded by the MS Society, the Edinburgh Centre for Translational Research promotes collaboration between scientists and clinicians from many disciplines of MS research. It aims to speed up the process of drug discovery and delivery of potential therapies into clinical trials.

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EDSS

The EDSS (Expanded Disability Status Scale) is used to measure disability in multiple sclerosis and to monitor changes in the level of disability over time. The scale ranges from 0 to 10 - the higher the number the higher the level of disability.

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EEG

An EEG (electroencephalogram), shows the electrical activity in the brain. It is measured by placing electrodes on the scalp. EEGs are very sensitive and can detect when nerve signals have been slowed down by damage to the brain. One form of EEG, the visual evoked potential (VEP) is used to diagnose MS.

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Electroencephalogram

An EEG (electroencephalogram), shows the electrical activity in the brain. It is measured by placing electrodes on the scalp. EEGs are very sensitive and can detect when nerve signals have been slowed down by damage to the brain. One form of EEG, the visual evoked potential (VEP) is used to diagnose MS.

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Embryonic stem cells

Most of the cells in our body have a specific function, like the cells in our skin or bones. These types of cells are called specialised cells. Embryonic stem cells are unique because they are able to make all of the specialised cells in the body, and can also make many copies of themselves. Researchers use embryonic stem cells to investigate how nerve cells are made, how they work, and to test new drugs that might have an effect on myelin damage or repair.

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Employment and Support Allowance

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit paid if your ability to work is limited by ill health or disability. It replaces Incapacity Benefit or incapacity-related Income Support.

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Enduring Powers of Attorney

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a legal document that allows someone you have chosen to make decisions on your behalf. They can cover property and financial affairs and/or health and welfare. In England and Wales, EPAs have been replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs). However, an EPA can still be used if it was made and signed before October 2007.

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Enzyme

Enzymes are protein molecules that speed up chemical reactions. An example of enzymes in the body are the ones in your gut that helps you digest or breakdown food.

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Epidemiology

Epidemiology is the study of when, where and how a disease or condition spreads through a population and how diseases can be controlled.

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Epstein Barr virus

Epstein Barr Virus (also known as EBV) is a common virus that can sometimes cause glandular fever. It is carried by around 95 per cent of the population in the UK, but most have no symptoms. Research has shown there may be a link between EBV and MS, but more research needs to be done to confirm if EBV has any role in causing or contributing to MS.

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Equality Act

The Equality Act (which has replaced the Disability Discrimination Act in England, Scotland and Wales) aims to protect disabled people and prevent disability discrimination. It provides legal rights for disabled people in the areas of employment, education, access to goods, services and facilities, and buying and renting land or property.

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ESA

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit paid if your ability to work is limited by ill health or disability. It replaces Incapacity Benefit or incapacity-related Income Support.

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Esperanza Neuropeptide

Esperanza Homeopathic NeuroPeptide is a product, the active ingredient of which is extracted from cobra venom. The manufacturers say that it can help symptoms relating to MS, and that the product allows messages to be conducted along nerves, despite the loss of protective myelin, which is a feature of MS. There is no evidence to show that this is the case.

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Estrogen (sex hormones)

It is well established that females are more susceptible to relapsing remitting MS than males. In addition, the frequency of relapses reduces by up to 70 per cent during pregnancy, particularly late stages of pregnancy. These observations have led researchers to investigate the role of the gender-specific hormones estriol (a pregnancy hormone) and testosterone (a male hormone) in reducing relapses in MS. Current studies are being done to investigate the effects of these hormones on relapses in MS.

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Evoked potential

An evoked potential is one of the tests used to diagnose MS. It measures how quickly messages travel between the brain, eyes, ears and skin. Small electrodes attached to the head monitor how brain waves respond to what the person has seen or heard. Messages are slower if myelin damage has occurred.

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Expanded Disability Status Scale

The Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) is used by health professionals to measure disability in multiple sclerosis and to monitor changes in the level of disability over time. The scale ranges from 0 to 10 - the higher the number the higher the level of disability.

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Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is an animal model of MS, usually studied in mice. It is brought on by artificially triggering the immune system to attack myelin. EAE is not exactly the same as MS, but studies of the various forms of EAE are thought to provide some insight into the nature of MS and potential treatments.

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Expert patient courses

The Expert Patients Programme is an NHS initiative in England and Wales that provides opportunities for people to develop new skills to manage long-term conditions on a day-to-day basis.

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