ptomato-, ptomat-, pto-, -ptosia, -ptosis, -ptoma, -ptot-

(Greek: fall, a falling down of an organ; drooping, sagging; corpse)

apoptosis (s) (noun), apoptoses (pl)
1. Disintegration of cells into membrane-bound particles that are then eliminated by phagocytosis or by shedding.
2. A form of cell death necessary to make way for new cells and to remove cells whose DNA has been damaged to the point at which cancerous change is liable to occur.
3. The process by which cells naturally self-destruct in the body, also known as "programmed cell death".
4. Etymology: formed from the Greek prefix apo-, “off, from, away; at an extreme”; and is linked to the Greek ptosis, “a falling in" or "falling upon (something)”; which appears as a word by itself in medical language for a prolapse and in a few other rather rare compounds, including Samuel Becket’s panpygoptosis for "Duck’s disease".

More about apoptosis

Apoptosis is a form of cell death in which a programmed sequence of events leads to the elimination of cells without releasing harmful substances into the surrounding area.

It plays a crucial role in developing and maintaining health by eliminating old cells, unnecessary cells, and unhealthy cells. The human body replaces perhaps a million cells a second. Too little or too much apoptosis plays a role in a great many diseases.

When programmed cell death does not work properly, cells that should be eliminated may hang around and become immortal; for example, in cancer and leukemia. When apoptosis works overly well, it kills too many cells and inflicts grave tissue damage. This is the case in strokes and neurodegenerative disorders; such as, Alzheimer, Huntington, and Parkinson diseases.

Apoptosis is also called "programmed cell death" or "cell suicide". Strictly speaking, the term apoptosis refers only to the structural changes cells go through, and programmed cell death refers to the complete underlying process, but the terms are often used interchangeably.

—Compiled from information located at
asymptomatic (adjective) (not comparable)
Pertaining to a medical exam that shows no evidence of any disease: "Roy's doctor told him that his blood test had asymptomatic results which means that he was in good health."
asymptote (s) (noun), asymptotes (pl)
1. A straight line that a curve continually approaches, but never meets, even if the curve is extended to infinity: In a classic picture illustrating perspective, the parallel rails of a railroad are asymptote in that they never intersect.
2. Etymology: from Greek asymptotos, "not falling together", from a-, "not" + syn "with" + ptotos, "fallen"; from piptein, "to fall".
asymptotic (adjective), more asymptotic, most asymptotic
1. Referring to something that is not falling together.
2. With reference to a formula, becoming increasingly exact as a variable approaches a limit, usually infinity: That which is coming into consideration as a variable approaches a limit, usually infinity; such as, asymptotic property; asymptotic behavior.
1. The drooping of the upper eyelid resulting from paralysis.
2. Drooping of an upper eyelid because of paralysis.

Causes include aging, diabetes, stroke, Horner's syndrome (nerve condition which involves a dropping eyelid), myasthenia gravis (fatigue of certain voluntary muscle groups), brain tumor or cancer.

The downward displacement of the heart.
A condition resulting from paralysis of the extensor muscles of the hand and fingers; or paralysis of the extensor muscles of the wrist and fingers causing the hand to hang down at the wrist.
1. An abnormally downward position of the intestines in the abdominal cavity.
2. The abnormal descent of the intestines in the abdominal cavity, usually associated with the downward displacement of other viscera.
Downward displacement of the stomach; a term based on the outmoded concept that variation in position of abdominal organs is pathologic.
1. A downward displacement or retraction of the tongue towards the pharynx.
2. A dropping of the tongue downward out of its normal position.
1. A condition in which the larynx is found to have shifted to an unusually low level in the neck and may be abnormally mobile. It is regarded by some as an occasional feature of old age.
2. An abnormally low position of the larynx, which may be congenital or acquired; does not impair the health of the neonate. Some degree of laryngoptosis occurs with aging.
Ptosis, sagging, or pendulous condition of the mammary glands or breasts.