Addiction and neural ageing
Addiction and neural ageing

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.


Glossary for SD805_2
Browse the glossary using this index

Special | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | ALL

Page: (Previous)   1  2  3  (Next)


Gestalt psychology

A school of psychology which emphasised that our perception of an image is more than the sum of our perception of component features within an image. (‘Gestalt’ is German for ‘pattern or configuration’.) These days, Gestalt is more commonly used to apply to a form of therapy.


Structure from which substances are secreted by the body. Glands can be endorine, secreting hormones into the bloodstrean, or exocrine, secreting (for example) digestive juices into the gut or sweat onto the surface of the skin.

glia (glial cells)

Cells in the nervous system, found in close physical association with neurons. They are not directly involved in transmission of information along neurons, but have a supporting role. Their functions are both metabolic, e.g. regulating the chemical composition of the nervous system, and structural – they are often wrapped tightly around neurons, where their fatty membranes, called myelin, act as electrical insulation.


Hormone produced by alpha cells of the pancreas in response to lowering of blood glucose level. Glucagon stimulates the release of glucose from glycogen and triacylglycerol stores (via glycogenolysis and lipolysis respectively) and also the new synthesis of glucose (gluconeogenesis).


A group of steroid hormones, the most important being cortisol and corticosterone, synthesised by the adrenal gland; they are involved in the regulation of metabolism and resistance to stress conditions.


The new synthesis of glucose from other small molecules (e.g. lactate, pyruvate, glycerol).


A neuron whose activity is particularly sensitive to local glucose level or rate of glucose metabolism.

glucose sparing

Production of ATP by catabolism of fuel molecules other than glucose, e.g. fatty acids.


An amino acid which is not only a constituent of proteins, but also functions as a neurotransmitter; a derivative of glutamine (also an amino acid).

glutathione peroxidase (GPx)

An enzyme that catalyses the oxidation of two molecules of glutathione, a tripeptide made of three amino acids (γ-glutamyl-cysteinyl-glycine) by hydrogen peroxide, to form oxidised glutathione and two molecules of water. This enzyme is very important in protection of haemoglobin from oxidative breakdown.

Page: (Previous)   1  2  3  (Next)

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371