Pathophysiology is convergence of pathology with physiology – is the study of the disordered physiological processes that cause, result from, or are otherwise associated with a disease or injury. Pathology is the medical discipline that describes conditions typically observed during a disease state, whereas physiology is the biological discipline that describes processes or mechanisms operating within an organism. Pathology describes the abnormal or undesired condition, whereas pathophysiology seeks to explain the functional changes that are occurring within an individual due to a disease or pathologic state.
Pathophysiology is a required area of study for nearly all healthcare professional school programs (medical, dental, physician assistant, occupational therapy, physical therapy, nurse practitioner, pharmacy, nursing, radiologic science and paramedic programs) in the United States, Canada and other countries.
Pathophysiology differs slightly from pathology, which studies all aspects of disease, not just organic function. Nursing pathophysiology can help nurses perform treatments that are more effective for their patients and better connect with people who don't understand why certain things are happening to their bodies.
- The pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease is death of dopaminergic neurons as a result of changes in biological activity in the brain with respect to Parkinson's disease (PD). Five proposed major mechanisms for neuronal death in Parkinson's Disease include protein aggregation in Lewy bodies, disruption of autophagy, changes in cell metabolism or mitochondrial function, neuroinflammation, and blood-brain barrier breakdown resulting in vascular leakiness.
- The pathophysiology of heart failure is a reduction in the efficiency of the heart muscle, through damage or overloading. As such, it can be caused by a wide number of conditions, including myocardial infarction (in which the heart muscle is starved of oxygen and dies), hypertension (which increases the force of contraction needed to pump blood) and amyloidosis (in which misfolded proteins are deposited in the heart muscle, causing it to stiffen). Over time these increases in workload will produce changes to the heart itself.
- The pathophysiology of HIV/AIDS involves, upon acquisition of the virus, that the virus replicates inside and kills T helper cells, which are required for almost all adaptive immune responses. There is an initial period of influenza-like illness, and then a latent, asymptomatic phase. When the CD4 lymphocyte count falls below 200 cells/ml of blood, the HIV host has progressed to AIDS, a condition characterized by deficiency in cell-mediated immunity and the resulting increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections and certain forms of cancer.
Journal of Infectious Diseases and Diagnosis
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