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I am interested in atherogenesis which is the initiating process for atherosclerosis which in turn, can lead to ischaemic/ischemic stroke.

Is there a recognised process/algorithm - ideally using a software application - to identify synonyms?

I require the synonyms to enable a reverse lookup on a large corpus, to identify papers which refer - however minimally or obliquely to stroke.

I have conducted an informal, unstructured trawl of the journal 'Medical Hypotheses' and identified:
- stroke - cerebrovascular - CVA - arterial - vascular - vein - venous - hardening - accident - occlusion - disease - pathology - disfunction - plaque - lesion - induration) - venous - lesions - 'unstable' angine - 'vulnerable' plaque - ischaemia - ischemia - ischaemic - ischemic - angina - prinzmetal’s - pectoris - vasospastic - athero - sclerosis - sclerotic - atherosclerotic - atherosclerosis - atherogenesis - atherogenic - atherogenicity - atheroma - plaque - vascular disease - vascular diseases - pathogenesis - pathogenic - pathology - pathologic - pathological - disfunction - disfunctional - genesis - genic - atheroprotective - atheroprotection - hypothesis - hypotheses - hypothetical - possible - possibility - probable - probability - potential - potentiality

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  • The problem of synonymy sounds to me like ontology construction, as used in general linguistics (e.g., WordNet), semantic web, and this precise problem in various branches of biology (bioontology.org/community/learning-about-ontologies). It is possible that an ontology already exists that covers your specific interest, or that reviewing the methods used to create these structures will be useful to you. As an aside, it seems like your search tools will have to be smart if you’re going to include very broad terms like ‘possible’; but that’s a machine learning issue, I guess. – Jeremy Needle Feb 29 '16 at 11:47
  • An ontology of medical language does exist however its usage cannot be relied upon. Wordnet has no alternative for atherogenesis yet papers include: atherosclerotic pathogenesis, atherogenic pathology and the range of word combinations and sequences suggested by the above list. I am not interested in an argument for standardised language, rather I am looking for a tool which may identi – David Green Feb 29 '16 at 13:37
  • My point was that a specific ontology may exist for this topic, or that you could see if the ontology-building techniques are relevant to your needs. But, I’m sorry if neither of those are true. – Jeremy Needle Feb 29 '16 at 13:44
  • What I meant to say was . . General medical, together with a range of speciality specific ontologies exist however their usage cannot be relied upon over time, translation, and author idiosyncrasy. Wordnet has no alternative for atherogenesis yet papers include: atherosclerotic pathogenesis, atherogenic pathology and the range of word combinations and sequences suggested by the above list. I am not interested in an argument for standardised language, rather, I am looking for a tool which may identify de facto synonyms within a huge corpus spanning decades of linguistic evolution. – David Green Feb 29 '16 at 14:00

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