SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHB123496
Module Leader Steven Patterson
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • B (January start)
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Fundamental knowledge in human anatomy, physiology and the organisation and functioning of the main body systems, plus an understanding of fundamental concepts in pharmacology. -720

Summary of Content

This module will build on students' previous knowledge of normal physiology and pathophysiology and on any specialist experience to provide an in-depth knowledge and understanding of selected disease processes and on the scientific basis of modern methods of diagnosis and treatment.


Cardiovascular system Myocardial infarction (MI). Review atherosclerotic plaque, haemostatic mechanisms and arterial thrombus, MI. Role of neutrophils, Activated Protein C and reperfusion injury in MI. Current management of MI and putative targets for future management. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Structural changes associated with the myocardium in DCM (remodeling) that contribute to a reduced contractility. Review the renin angiotensin system (RAS) and its role in regulating blood pressure. Effects of chronic activation of RAS and angiotensin II in animals (volume overload/remodeling) - involvement of cytokines and the benefits of ACE inhibitors. ACE as a kininase and the beneficial effects of bradykinin following MI. Role of cardiac RAS and changes following MI. Role of ACE-I, ACE-II, angiotensin 1-8 and angiotensin 1-7. Role of ANP/BNP and its interaction with RAS . Pharmacological management of DCM. Respiratory system Overview of respiratory pathophysiology. Review of mechanisms of obstruction and restriction. Asthma. features of asthma, development of allergic asthma; early phases and late phase of asthma. COPD. Clinical features, pathophysiology, intrinsic & extrinsic restrictive disorder, causes & clinical features. Lung function tests and what they mean. Tests of ventilation. Spirometry and static lung volumes. Tests of forced expiration. Tests of gas exchange. Brief review of gas exchange and gas transport. Measurement of arterial blood gases. Causes of hypoxaemia. Causes of carbon dioxide retention:Acid base balance. Relationship between pH, PCO2 and HCO3- Respiratory acidosis and alkalosis, renal compensation. Metabolic acidosis and alkalosis, respiratory compensation. Diffusing capacity. Case Studies. Analysis of patient data of pulmonary function tests and acid-base balance Therapeutics . Mechanisms of drug actions and clinical usage. Bronchodilators: beta2-adrenoceptor agonists; xanthines, muscarinic antagonists. Anti-inflammatory agents: glucocorticoids; sodium cromoglycate. New drugs: leukotriene receptor antagonists; lipoxygenase inhibitors; monoclonal antibodies. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema (chronic obstructive airway disease). Bronchodilators. Mucolytics. Antibiotics. O2. The gastrointestinal (GI) tract in health and disease Before the start of the course all students should be familiar with the basic physiology and anatomy of the gastrointestinal (GI) system. In particular you should re-familiarise yourself with the structural organisation and main functions of the different regions of the system and the hormonal and neuronal control of GI motility and secretion; role of the enteric nervous system. Peptic Ulcers Factors controlling gastric secretion & mucosal protection and their possible roles in the pathogenesis of peptic ulcers. Mechanisms of action of drugs used to inhibit or neutralise gastric acid secretion: H2-receptor antagonists, proton pump inhibitors, muscarinic-receptor antagonists, antacids. Drugs which protect the mucosa. The enteric nervous system The major nerve networks: myenteric and mucosal plexuses. The different classifications of enteric neurones in terms of a) neurochemical properties b) morphology and c) electrophysiological. Non-adrenergic, non-cholinergic (NANC) neurotransmission. Control of peristalsis. Opioid System. Opioid peptides, odioid receptors and their roles in gut function. Intersitial Cells of Cajal (ICC)

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:1. identify and discuss critically the molecular and cellular basis of diseases affecting various organ systems.2. analyse and evaluate the scientific basis of modern therapeutics with regard to these systems.3. apply their knowledge and understanding to the interpretation, critical analysis and presentation of observed data.4. consult current literature and analyse published data.5. where appropriate, demonstrate a critical application of the scientific basis of therapeutics to their own clinical discipline.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The course is delivered through a series of lectures supported by recommended reading. Each lecture topic will be presented and discussed using an evidence-based approach, to encourage the student's ability to critically analyse the literature and evaluate new concepts in pharmacology. Students will be referred to original research articles to further develop interpretation and critical analysis skills. Participative modes of learning, peer-learning and problem-solving will be encouraged during teaching sessions. Feedback will be provided via a series of in class tests. Coursework will consist of a data analysis exam to further develop data interpretation and critical analysis skills.

Indicative Reading

DRAKE, W.M., BROADHURST, P.A. & DYMOND, D.S. 1997. Cardiology Explained. Chapman & Hall. GALBRAITH, A 1999 Fundamentals of pharmacology: A text for nurses and health professionals. Addison Wesley Longman Ltd. GALLEY, H.F. 2001 Cardiology in Critical Illness. BMJ Books. GIBBS R, AND HEUGH S 2010 Fundamentals of Biomedical Science Series: Biology of Disease HANDLER, C. 2004 Cardiology in Primary Care. Radcliffe Medical. IGNARRO L J 2010 Nitric Oxide: biology and Pathobiology, 2nd Edition Academic Press KAPADIA, C.R. et al 2003 An Atlas of Gastroeneterology. Parhenon Publishing. KANDEL, E.R., SCHWARTZ, J.H. & JESSELL, T.M. 2000. Principles of Neural Science, 4th edn. Prentice-Hall. KUMAR V, ABBAS A K, FAUSTO N, ASTER J 2010 Robbins & Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease, 8th Edition. W B Saunders and Co publishers. LEWIS, J.1994 A pharmacological Approach to Gastrointestinal Disorders,Williams & Wilkins. LINDSAY G M , GAW A. 2004 Coronary Heart Disease Prevention: A handbook for the Health Care Team . 2nd edition. Churchill Livingstone LODISH H; Berk A; Kaiser C A; Krieger M; Scott M P; Bretscher A; Ploegh H; Matsudaira P 2008 Molecular Cell Biology. 6th edition, Freeman publishers. MARSDEN, C.D. & FAHN, S. 1995. Movement Disorders 1 and 2. Butterworth- Heinemann. NOWAK, T.J. & HANDFORD, A.G. 2004. Essentials of Pathophysiology. 3rd Edn. McGraw-Hill. PAGE, C.P., et al., 2002. Integrated Pharmacology. Mosby. 2nd edn.. PORTH, C.M. 2005. Pathophysiology, 7th edn. Lippincott. RANG, H.P., DALE, M.M., RITTER, J.M. & Moore, P.K. 2005. Pharmacology, 5th edn. Churchill Livingstone. RICHMAN DD, WHITLEY RJ, HAYDEN FG 2009. Clinical Virology (3rd edition). ASM Press RUBIN, E. & FARBER, J.L. 2004. Pathology, 5th edn. Lippincott-Raven UNDERWOOD, J.C.E. 2000. General and Systematic Pathology, 3rd edn. Churchill Livingstone. WEST , J.B. (2005) Respiratory Physiology. The Essentials. 7th Edition. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins YELLON, D.M. & OPIE, L.H Cardiology at the limits II 1999 Authors' Publishing House, New York YELLON, D.M. & OPIE, L.H Cardiology at the limits III 1999. Authors' Publishing House, New York Various journal and review articles as directed in lectures .

Transferrable Skills

Develop personal transferrable skills in the use of bibliographic material, information retrieval from library and electronic sources, and analytical skills in data interpretation.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials (FT) 6.00
Independent Learning (FT) 164.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 6.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam 01 3.00 70.00 35% Unseen written exam
Course Work 01 3.00 30.00 35% Data Analysis class test.