Glossary beginning with N

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Natalizumab

Natalizumab is a licensed treatment for highly active relapsing remitting MS. Its brand name is Tysabri and it is administered by monthly infusion.

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National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides national guidance and advice to help improve health and social care. This includes the development of clinical guidelines, quality standards and appraising whether new, licensed treatments should be made available on the NHS in England based on their cost-effectiveness and safety profiles.

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Nerve cells

Nerve cells are cells in the nervous system that process and transmit information. MS affects the ability for nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with one another.

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Nerve fibres

Nerve fibres (or axons) are the long extensions of nerves that make connections with muscles or other nerves. The nerve fibres in the central nervous system are protected by a layer of protein and fatty tissue called myelin.

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Neurological Commissioning Support

Neurological Commissioning Support is a joint initiative of the MND Association, MS Society and Parkinson’s UK. They work with commissioners and health and social care providers to make sure that the needs of people living with long-term neurological conditions are included in the commissioning of services.

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Neurological condition

Neurological conditions are conditions that affect the nervous system (the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves).

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Neurologist

A doctor who specialises in conditions involving the central nervous system (the brain, spinal cord and nerves).

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Neurology

The study of the function of nerves and the treatment of conditions of the nervous system.

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Neuromyelitis optica

Neuromyelitis optica (NMO), sometimes known as 'Devic's disease', is a condition mainly affecting the spinal cord and optic nerve (the nerve connecting the eye to the brain). Like MS, it is a 'demyelinating' condition - it damages the protective myelin sheath around the nerve fibres. And like MS, too, it is an autoimmune condition. The symptoms of NMO can be similar to those of MS, which means they can be easily mistaken. However, test results should show which condition you have. The NHS has good information on NMO on the NHS Choices website http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/neuromyelitis-optica and on the NHS NMO site http://www.nmouk.nhs.uk/.

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Neuron

Neurons are specialised nerve cells that carry messages to and from the brain.

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Neurotransmitter

Neurotransmitters are chemical signals used to transmit information from one nerve to another or from a nerve to a muscle.

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Neutralising antibodies

Sometimes the body's immune system begins to react against a drug by producing antibodies, which might prevent the drug from being effective.

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NICE

NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) provides national guidance and advice to help improve health and social care. This includes the development of clinical guidelines, quality standards and appraising whether new, licensed treatments should be made available on the NHS in England based on their cost-effectiveness and safety profiles.

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NICE guidelines

The NICE guidelines for MS were updated in 2014 and provide evidence-based recommendations for managing MS on the NHS. Decisions on how NICE guidance applies in Wales, Scotland and NI are made by the devolved administrations, who are often involved and consulted with in the development of NICE guidance.

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NMO

NMO (neuromyelitis optica), sometimes known as 'Devic's disease', is a condition mainly affecting the spinal cord and optic nerve (the nerve connecting the eye to the brain). Like MS, it is a 'demyelinating' condition - it damages the protective myelin sheath around the nerve fibres. And like MS, too, it is an autoimmune condition. The symptoms of NMO can be similar to those of MS, which means they can be easily mistaken. However, test results should show which condition you have. The NHS has good information on NMO on the NHS Choices website http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/neuromyelitis-optica and on the NHS NMO site http://www.nmouk.nhs.uk/.

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Nutritionist

A nutritionist can provide general information about food and healthy eating, but they can't provide information about special diets for medical conditions. If MS is affecting what or how you eat, a dietitian can help.

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