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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...
References and Readings
- Ehlert, U., Gaab, J., & Heinrichs, M. (2001). Psychoneuroendocrinological contributions to the etiology of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and stress related bodily disorders: The role of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. Biological Psychology, 57, 141–152.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Müller, M., & Holsboer, F. (2004). Hormones, stress and depression. In C. Kordon, R.-C. Gaillard, & Y. Christen (Eds.), Hormones and the brain. Berlin, NY: Springer.Google Scholar