Pathophysiology is a science that arises from the convergence between pathology and physiology. The first is part of medicine and aims the description of the conditions that can be observed in a state of disease , while physiology is the branch of biology that studies the processes and mechanisms operating within an organism. Thus, pathophysiology intends to explain the action of physiological mechanisms so that the condition of an organism improves or worsens.
On the other hand, pathophysiology serves to define the functional changes associated with or produced by a disease or injury.
In any case, it is important to note that this science is not directly related to disease therapy, but only to explain the processes that determine its signs and symptoms.
History of pathophysiology
The origins of pathophysiology go back to the fifth century BC. C, when Hippocrates, father of medicine, begins to spread his work.
In this first period, the works of the Roman physician Galen (already in the second century AD), who is considered the founder of experimental physiology, are also important. Likewise, it is worth highlighting some indigenous texts from Ayurveda or Charaka Samhita, which include among their pages profuse descriptions of human anatomy .
Later, during the Middle Ages, Muslims were responsible for developing this science.
Above all, there are the works of Avicenna, between the tenth and eleventh centuries, to give impetus to the introduction of physiology into the general canon of medicine. Furthermore, Muslim doctors were also careful to discredit old theories of erroneous content, but with great effect for the time.
It is from there that there is a clear increase in physiological research in the West, giving rise to the modern birth of what we know today as anatomy and physiology thanks to Renaissance artists such as Andrea Vesalio, whose works greatly influenced the work of scientists Herman Borhaave and Leiden .
Finally, with the advances that brought the Industrial Revolution , physiological knowledge increased exponentially during the nineteenth century, notably highlighting the cell theory developed by Theodor Schwann and Matthias Schleiden, which completely changed the concept of medicine.
During the 20th century, the study of the organs of human beings gained importance among biologists, allowing certain branches such as evolutionary physiology to acquire such importance and come to be considered a different specialty.