Degeneration (from Latin de- 'ent-' ; genus 'type' , 'gender'), also degeneracy , is a generic term used in medical science for formal, structural, etc. functional deviations from the norm . The term is usually used in the sense of a functional restriction due to wear and tear (e.g. degenerative changes in the tendon or degenerative joint diseases).
- degradation or loss of function due to the constitution or due to chronic damaging factors ("degenerative diseases") or insufficient use (see also atrophy and dystrophy ),
- a regression of body parts that are no longer used in the course of evolution or aging or individual maturation (more precisely referred to as involution ).
Definition of terms
If there is a relapse into “more primitive” behavior patterns, the term regression is used, a term tinged with psychoanalysis . The opposite of biological-pathological degeneration is differentiation or tissue maturation. A mutation can cause degeneration, but simply means “change” without any judgment.
- Leo Hermele, Manfred Spitzer : From degeneration to anticipation - thoughts on the non-Mendelian inheritance of neuropsychiatric diseases from a historical and current perspective. In: Gerhardt Nissen , Frank Badura (ed.): Series of publications of the German Society for the History of Neurology. Volume 2. Würzburg 1996, pp. 111-127.
- Degeneratio. In: Roche Medical Lexicon. Retrieved February 14, 2017 .