Talk:Progressive disease

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Degenerative versus progressive[edit]

Still not clear on the distinction. -Craig Pemberton 16:35, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

For many conditions both terms are applicable. Progressive refers to gradual worsening over time without regard to cause and continues to be used widely in medical contexts. Degenerative is an older term used to apply to slowly progressive conditions with more of an implication of "wearing out" as opposed to resulting from external causes of disease. The term was used more in the first half of the 20th century and is not commonly used by doctors now unless they are looking for an imprecise lay term that encompasses many of the physical ills of aging. Although it originally had causal implications, it is now considered too imprecise to denote any specific pathologic process analogous to "inflammatory disease" or "microvascular disease" or "neoplastic disease" or "infectious disease". Lay people are more likely to know connotative than denotative meanings for both terms, but doctors don't find "degenerative disease" to have a very meaningful denotative meaning any more. Is that more helpful? alteripse (talk) 12:39, 6 February 2010 (UTC)