Mechanism of Disease - How to come from risk factors to basic concepts?
A disease is an abnormal physiological condition that affects part or all of an organism. It means that something has gone wrong with the normal body functions and/or processes. Diseases are linked with ‘symptoms’ and ‘signs’ – where a symptom is a manifestation of disease apparent to the patient himself, while a sign is a manifestation of disease that the physician perceives. The sign is objective evidence of disease; a symptom, subjective.
To determine the use of medicines for the treatment of diseases (pharmacotherapy), four concepts are important:
- Mechanism described at a physiological and a molecular level
- Target responsible for the medicine’s action (in this context: organ, part, tissue that is to be affected by the medicine).
These are described in more detail in the book below.
Health and Disease
This lesson will introduce briefly the process of medicines discovery and development, including in special populations.