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PATH1000 - Introduction to Pathophysiology
Topic 1 – Understanding Disease
Topic 2 – Cell Injury and Inflammation
Topic 3 – Autonomic Nervous System
Topic 4 – Acute and Chronic Pulmonary Disease
Topic 5 – Diabetes
Topic 6 - GI Disease
Topic 7 - Renal Pathophysiology
Topic 8 – Cardiovascular Disease
Topic 1 – Understanding Disease
Learning Outcomes
Define relevant key terms/concepts to the study of pathophysiology: Signs, Symptoms,
Complication, Risk Factor, Predisposing factor, Acute, Chronic, Prevalence, Incidence, Insidious
disease, Idiopathic disease
Provide a brief outline of diabetes, hypertension, asthma and arthritis
Complications: An unanticipated change in the disease (eg. severity, signs and symptoms, area
affected could become greater or smaller or a secondary disease could develop).
Hyperglycaemia: High blood sugar. Having high blood sugar for an extended period of time can cause
diabetes but also places strain on kidneys – can create perforations in the glomerulus and nephrons,
meaning blood is filtered less efficiently, leading to kidney damage/failure.
Hypoglycaemia: Low blood sugar. This can lead to loss of consciousness, death, fainting, seizure,
blurred/loss of vision, hunger, shaking etc.
Idiopathic Disease: A disease of unknown or uncertain origin, one that exists without connection to
any known cause.
Incidence: The rate of new (or newly diagnosed) cases of a disease across a given time period –
allows us to determine the probability of an individual contracting a disease.
Insidious Disease: A disease without any marked symptoms but ready to become active at any
moment (a silent disease). Develops so slowly/gradually the patient is not aware of it or one that
appears to be less bad than it really is. Symptoms show at the end point of the disease, when most
of the damage has already been done (eg. hypertension, arthritis)
Modifiable Risk Factors: Increase the chance of contracting the disease, but can be controlled and in
some cases the effects reversed. They are mainly to do with unhealthy diet and lifestyles choices (eg.
smoking, alcohol consumption, low BMI, poor nutrition and insufficient exercise).
Polydipsia: Excessive drinking/thirst (common symptom of diabetes)
Polyphagia: Excessive hunger/thirst (common symptom of diabetes)
Polyuria: Excessive urine production (common symptom and sign of diabetes)
Prevalence: A statistical term that refers to how widespread the disease is – how many individuals
have the disease at a particular time – the proportion of individuals in a population having a disease
or characteristic at a given time.
Risk Factors: Something that increases a person’s chance or risk of contracting a disease (eg. being a
smoker and the chance of developing lung cancer).
Signs: Objective indication of a disease or injury that can be measured by a clinician or other
observer (eg. being pale, having a cough, an audible wheeze in someone having an asthma attack).