Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_43


Pathophysiology (consisting of the Greek origin words “pathos” = suffering; “physis” = nature, origin; and “logos” = “the study of”) refers to the study of abnormal changes in body functions that are the causes, consequences, or concomitants of disease processes. Studies of pathophysiology are concerned with the investigation of biological processes that are directly related to disease processes of physical, mental, or psychophysiological conditions and disorders (e.g., alterations in the endocrine system, in certain neurotransmitters, or inflammatory parameters related to the activity of the immune system). Thus, pathophysiological research aims at identifying biological markers and mechanisms for predicting and explaining disease processes in terms of etiology and pathogenesis. Pathophysiology is formally considered as a subdiscipline within physiology.


The fundamental aim of the domain of pathophysiology is to unravel the altered biological (i.e., physical and...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychologisches Institut Abteilung Klinische Psychologie und PsychotherapieJohannes Gutenberg Universität MainzMainzGermany