Accessory Organs of Digestion
Strictly speaking, the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas are not organs of digestion. However, chemical digestion in the small intestine relies on these organs to cleanse the body of toxins and produce essential hormones and enzymes that aid in digestion. This module considers these organs, emphasizing their role in digestion.
An Introduction to the Language of Medicine
If you have limited medical background, the language of medicine can be intimidating and bewildering. This module introduces you to some of the cornerstones of clinical vocabulary and medical terminology. It acquaints you with reference points clinicians use commonly to describe locations or pinpoint structures and processes within the human body. It also helps you understand how medical terms are derived and constructed, which can help you deduce the meaning of many unfamiliar terms.
Anatomy and Physiology of Pain
This module discusses the processes involved in pain perception and pain transmission. It also explores the concept of chronic pain and the influence of gender and genetics in the pain experience.
Basic Body Chemistry
This module defines homeostasis, explains its relationship to health and disease, and explores the most basic aspects of body chemistry.
Basic Components of the Nervous System
This module first introduces you to the anatomical and functional divisions of the nervous system; then it looks more closely at the fundamental components that comprise the building blocks for nervous system functions. These include nerve cells (neurons), which give rise to nerves, nerve nuclei, and ganglia. This module also discusses the conduction of nerve impulses and the role of various neurotransmitters.
Blood Vessels, Arteries, Veins, and Capillaries
Arteries and veins transport blood to and from the heart. Capillaries are the terminal points at which wastes are exchanged for nutrients. This module acquaints you with each of these vessels, and discusses how their function influences their structure.
This module discusses the physical barriers and chemical defenses our bodies use to protect against invasions by microscopic organisms. It outlines the basic elements of an immune response and defines hypersensitivity.
Tissues consist of organized populations of cells and the material between them. Within two months of conception, the two cells that unite to create a human being multiply and differentiate into the major types of tissue that comprise the human body. This module describes each of the major tissue types: epithelial tissue, connective tissue, and nervous tissue.
Cell Transport Mechanisms and Cell Regulation
This module looks at the makeup of the cytoplasmic membrane relative to the processes involved in transporting materials into and out of cells. An understanding of these transport mechanisms will help you appreciate how drugs are distributed throughout the body, as well as how cells contribute to the fight against disease. The module also introduces you to the concepts of cell regulation and cell signaling and explains their relevance to drug development.
This module acquaints you with the structures that make up cells.
Circulation and the Heart’s Conduction System
Circulation is the repeated movement of blood through vessels in a closed circuit through the body. Its primary purpose is to keep capillaries supplied with sufficient oxygen and other nutrients to meet the ever-changing needs of the body's cells. This module describes blood circulation and the conduction system that regulates the heart’s contractions.
Organs of the Urinary System
This module introduces you to the organs that comprise the upper and lower urinary tracts. It discusses the functions of the urinary system and explores the anatomy and physiology of each of organ—the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.
Skeletal Functions and Structures
This module acquaints you with the adult skeleton. It distinguishes between the axial and appendicular skeleton, differentiates among the major types of bones, and discusses bone formation.
Skeletal Muscle and Surrounding Structures
This module explores the structure of skeletal muscle and the connective tissue sheathing that surrounds and separates the anatomical components of muscles. You will learn how tendons integrate into the structure to attach muscle to bone, and how bursae play a role in some synovial joints.
This module describes four structures that develop from the skin--hair, sebaceous glands, sweat glands, and nails. These structures may be referred to as skin appendages.
Structures that Begin the Digestive Process
This module discusses the components involved in the initial steps of digestion. These include structures within the mouth (oral cavity) and two organs (the pharynx and esophagus), which move food from the mouth to the stomach and intestines.
Systems of the Body
This module provides a general orientation to the systems of the body and their associated organs. For instruction, they are grouped according to the following general areas of function: framework and movement, transportation and immunity, control and communication, digestion and waste elimination, and reproduction of the species. Bear in mind that, while we consider each system independently, the healthy functioning of one system often depends on the healthy functioning of other systems.
The Adrenal Glands
This module describes the adrenal glands, distinguishes among the hormones secreted by the adrenal cortex and adrenal medulla, and explains the mechanisms that control adrenal secretions.
The Articular System
This module introduces you to the structures, besides bone, that comprise the articular system. They include cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and bursae (sing, bursa). You will learn about the various movements that joints allow and the specific types of joints within the articular system.
The Autonomic and Somatic Nervous Systems
This module discusses the autonomic nervous system and how its two divisions, the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, function to support life. It also looks at how the somatic nervous system provides for sensation and enables voluntary and reflexive muscle movement. The diagnostic significance of muscle tone and reflexes is also addressed.
The Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems
This module examines the structure and functions of the central and peripheral nervous systems. It introduces you to the pharmacologic significance of the blood-brain barrier and the role of cerebrospinal fluid in health and diagnostics. It also describes how sensory information travels between the PNS and the CNS and clarifies the significance of various efferent and afferent nerve fibers.
The Female Reproductive System
This module outlines the functions of the female reproductive system and provides an overview of its anatomical structures. It discusses the formation and development of the ovum (egg) and examines the events and hormone interactions that occur during a woman’s menstrual cycle. It also looks at the role of hormones in correlation with distinct age-related stages in a woman’s life.
The Heart and Its Blood Supply
This module describes the location and anatomical structures of the heart—its layers, chambers, and valves. It also explains how the heart receives its own blood supply.
The Male Reproductive System
This module describes the functions and structures of the male reproductive system. It acquaints you with the reproductive organs and the ductile system that transports the sperm and explains the process of spermatogenesis. The module also identifies important hormones related to the male reproductive system and their physiologic effects.
While this module introduces you to both the exocrine and endocrine functions of the pancreas, its main focus is on the pancreas as an endocrine organ. The module discusses the pancreatic hormones and the mechanisms that control their secretions.
The Physiology of Digestion and Absorption
The process of digestion includes all the changes food undergoes in the alimentary canal, enabling the absorption of nutrients. Some of the changes are mechanical, and others are chemical. This module discusses these digestive processes and the mechanisms by which various substances are absorbed.
The Skin: Its Functions and Structure
This module provides an overview of the skin: the body's largest organ. It describes the functions of the skin, its anatomical structure, and its capacity to self-generate. You will also learn about the process of keratinization and the significance of melanin.
The Stomach, Intestines, and Appendix
The processes of digestion and absorption occur mostly in the stomach and small and large intestines. This module explores these organs and their functions. It also addresses the significance of the appendix.
The Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands
This module describes the thyroid and parathyroid glands, including the hormones they secrete and the mechanisms that control their secretions.
Types of Pathology
This module discusses common types of pathology that can lead to ill health. They are often classically categorized as inflammation, injury, infection, neoplasia, and genetic disorders.
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