A craving for something not normally regarded as nutritive. For example, dirt. Pica is a classic clue to iron deficiency in children. It also occurs in zinc deficiency. Pica is also seen as a symptom in several neurobiological disorders, including autism and Tourette’s syndrome, and is sometimes seen during pregnancy. Pica is a Latin term for magpie, a bird that gleans all sorts of things for its nest.
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A perverted appetite for substances not fit as food or of no nutritional value; e.g., clay, dried paint, starch, ice. [L. p., magpie]
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percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty; Porch Index of Communicative Abilities; posterior inferior cerebellar artery; posterior inferior communicating artery

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pi·ca 'pī-kə n an abnormal craving for and eating of substances (as chalk, ashes, or bones) not normally eaten that occurs in nutritional deficiency states (as aphosphorosis) in humans or animals or in some forms of mental illness compare GEOPHAGY

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the indiscriminate eating of non-nutritious or harmful substances, such as grass, stones, or clothing. It is common in early childhood but may also be found in mentally handicapped and psychotic patients. Although previously thought to be completely nonadaptive, some evidence suggests that some patients showing pica may have particular mineral deficiencies.

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pi·ca (piґkə) [L. “magpie” (because this bird eats or carries away odd objects)] compulsive eating of nonnutritive substances, such as ice (pagophagia), dirt (geophagia), gravel, flaking paint or plaster, clay, hair (trichophagia), or laundry starch (amylophagia). It also occurs in some patients with iron or zinc deficiencies. In children this syndrome, classified with the eating disorders in DSM-IV, is a rare mental disorder with onset typically in the second year of life; it usually remits in childhood but may persist into adolescence.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • pica — pica …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • pica — [ pika ] n. m. • XVIe; mot lat. « pie », par allus. à la voracité de cet oiseau ♦ Méd. Goût morbide pour des substances non comestibles. ● pica nom masculin (latin pica, pie) Tendance à ingérer des substances non comestibles, en particulier chez… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Pica — may refer to: *Pica (unit of measure), in typesetting and document layout *Pica (disorder), abnormal appetite for earth and other non foods *Pica (genus), a genus of magpie *Pica Press, a publishing imprint *Pica, Chile, city in the Tarapacá… …   Wikipedia

  • PICA — bezeichnet: Pica, wissenschaftlicher Name der Vogelgattung Echte Elstern Pica Syndrom, Essstörung, bei der ungenießbare oder widerliche Substanzen gegessen werden Pica (Chile), Kommune in der chilenischen Provinz Iquique OCLC PICA (ehemals Pica) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pica — bezeichnet: Pica (Gattung), wissenschaftlicher Name der Vogelgattung Echte Elstern Pica Syndrom, Essstörung, bei der ungenießbare oder widerliche Substanzen gegessen werden Pica (Chile), Kommune in der chilenischen Provinz Iquique OCLC PICA… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pica — Pi ca, n. [L. pica a pie, magpie; in sense 3 prob. named from some resemblance to the colors of the magpie. Cf. {Pie} magpie.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) The genus that includes the magpies. [1913 Webster] 2. (Med.) A vitiated appetite that craves what is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pica — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda El término pica puede referirse a: Pica, unidad de medida tipográfica, semejante al cícero, equivalente a 12 puntos, utilizada en diversos países americanos. Pica, una localidad y comuna de Chile. El limón de pica… …   Wikipedia Español

  • pica — f. psiquiat. Trastorno del apetito consistente en comer cosas o sustancias no comestibles como hielo, tierra, pelos, etcétera. Medical Dictionary. 2011. pica …   Diccionario médico

  • pica — s. f. 1. Apetite patológico de comer substâncias não alimentares, como carvão, barro, etc. 2.  [Zoologia] Nome científico da pega.   ‣ Etimologia: latim pica, ae, pega pica s. f. 1.  [Antigo] Tipo de lança. = PIQUE 2.  [Náutica] Cada uma das… …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • PICA — may refer to:*Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Western Australia *Portland Institute for Contemporary Art *Posterior inferior cerebellar artery: a major blood supply to the Cerebellum *Pre integrated COF APM: system responsibility part for… …   Wikipedia

  • pica — sustantivo femenino 1. Arma parecida a una lanza, formada por un asta con una punta aguda de metal, utilizada antiguamente por los soldados de infantería. 2. Área: tauromáquia Vara larga con una punta aguda de metal para picar los toros desde el… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

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