SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMB223578
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

Good honours degree in a relevant discipline

Summary of Content

The course will extend the students' previous knowledge of normal physiology and pathophysiology and will provide an in-depth knowledge and understanding of selected disease processes, the scientific basis of modern methods of diagnosis and the pharmacological basis of disease management.


Cardiovascular system Myocardial infarction (MI). Review MI, and haemostatic mechanisms. Clinical characteristics of MI and antiplatelet/fibrinolytic therapy. Role of neutrophils in MI Role of reperfusion injury in MI. Mechanisms of reperfusion injury, adhesion molecules, complement. New approaches the management of MI. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Introduction to dilated cardiomyopathy. Outline of the structural changes associated with the myocardium in DCM that contribute to a reduced contractility (including fibrosis and changes to the myocyte sarcomere structure). Review the renin angiotensin system (RAS) and its role in regulating blood pressure. Effect of chronic activation of RAS. Effect of AII in animals (volume oveload/remodeling). Clinical consequences of volume overload. Discuss the effects of ACE inhibitor therapy compared with vasodilators and diuretics and conclude that ACE inhibition improves prognosis. Discuss the possible role of the cytokines (tumor necrosis factor, TNF? and cardiotrophin-1, CT-1) in mediating structural changes and changes in contractility and the benefits of ACE inhibitors. Role of local RAS in the heart-changes following MI e.g. role in cardiac fibrosis . Discuss the role of ACE as a kininase and the beneficial effects of bradykinin following MI. Should be able to discuss the experimental evidence for the beneficial effects of bradykinin. Role of ANP and its interaction with RAS . Drug treatment 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, and in detail, the molecular and cellular basis of diseases affecting various body systems.2. demonstrate extensive, detailed and critical knowledge and understanding of the aetiology of these diseases3. analyse and evaluate in depth the scientific basis of pharmacological strategies with regard to these systems.4. apply their knowledge and understanding to the interpretation, critical analysis and presentation of observed data.5. critically evaluate current literature and analyse published data.6. where appropriate, demonstrate the critical application of the scientific basis of pharmacology 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 an essay and a data analysis exam to further develop information retrieval, interpretation and critical analysis skills.

Indicative Reading

Various journal and review articles as directed in individual lectures. 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

Transferrable Skills

The student's personal transferable skills will be extended in the following areas: - Written and oral communication - Review and critical analysis of published data - Information retrieval from library and electronic sources - Use of computers for word processing and search internet websites - Independent study skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 6.00
SCL 20.00
Tutorials (FT) 6.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 94.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Dept) 01 n/a 10.00 45% Data Analysis
Exam 01 3.00 65.00 45% Unseen written exam.
Course Work 01 n/a 25.00 45% Extended Essay