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Inflammation of an entire digit (a finger or toe), which can sometimes be painful. Dactylitis can occur in psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS)

A type of surgical therapy for Parkinson's disease and essential tremor. DBS involves placing a metal wire into a specific site in the brain and stimulating the site with electrical impulses.


A medical condition that causes a persistent feeling of sadness, loss of interest, and hopelessness.


A dermatologist is a medical doctor specializing in the skin, the diseases of the skin, and the relationship of skin lesions to overall disease.


If a person has diabetes, their body is not able to properly use the sugar that is released from the food they eat. These sugars build up in the body and can make them feel nauseous, very hungry, very thirsty or very sick, with frequent urination.

Diagnostic mammography

Diagnostic mammography is used to x-ray the breast in women who have signs or symptoms of disease, such as pain, a lump or nipple discharge. Doctors may use diagnostic mammography to look for tumours or other abnormalities.


A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that works by reducing substances in the body that cause pain and inflammation. Diclofenac can be used to treat mild to moderate pain, or signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD)

A category of otherwise unrelated drugs defined to slow down disease progression. The term is often used in contrast to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (which refers to agents that treat the inflammation but not the underlying cause) and steroids (which blunt the immune response but are insufficient to slow down the progression of the disease).


A neurotransmitter that regulates movement and emotions.

Dopamine agonists

Medications that work in a similar way to dopamine.

Double-blind trial

A clinical trial design in which neither the trial patients nor the study staff know which patients are receiving the experimental drug and which are receiving a placebo (or another therapy).

Double-blind trials are thought to produce objective results, since the expectations of the doctor and the patient in regards to the drug do not affect the outcome.



Any tube, canal, pipe or conduit by which a fluid, air or other substance is conducted or conveyed.


Ductography is an x-ray of the breast ducts (tubes that carry milk from the lobules to the nipple).


Duodopa is the commercial name for a levodopa/carbidopa combination that comes in gel form. It is delivered inside the upper intestine via a small tube inserted directly into the first part of the small bowel, or duodenum. This unique delivery system – called intraduodenal infusion – uses a programmable pump to let the physician and patient individually tune the delivery of active ingredients, suspended as a stable gel, from a cassette worn outside the body.