Etiopathogenesis is a medical term that refers to the origin of a disease and its mechanisms, that is, the combination of etiology and pathogenesis. In this way, a disease has three aspects: an etiopathogenesis, symptoms and treatment. Obviously, medical symptoms and treatment depend on the origin of the disease, that is, its etiopathogenesis. This means that the cure of diseases has to be approached from their causes, since by not knowing the causes it is not possible to cure their effects. Illustrating this idea with an example, in the case of a common flu process, its etiopathogenesis would be, on the one hand, the virus that causes it and, on the other, the influencing factors, such as the lack of defenses, as well as lung or infectious problems. .
The etiopathogenesis of a disease is the study of its causes, but knowing a pathology also implies knowing what its epidemiology is, that is, knowing how a pathology affects the population and how it is distributed among different human groups.
Originally, epidemiology focused on understanding epidemics and their statistical influence on the population. Subsequently, epidemiology has abandoned epidemics as the sole focus of analysis, dealing with any type of diseases and how they affect individuals (it studies the groups affected or the division of the disease by age).
Ethiopathogenesis of schizophrenia
Neurology specialists affirm that there is no specific factor in this disease, since its appearance is conditioned by genetic and psychological issues and by the type of life. According to genetic studies, alterations have been detected in chromosome 5, as well as a series of biochemical alterations (for example, the appearance of taraxein in some brains of people with schizophrenia).
The etiopathogenesis of schizophrenia also includes a series of psychological disorders (especially in relation to attention and with a certain blockage of thought that affect emotional changes). Finally, stress in daily life and the family environment are at the base of this mental illness.
Ethiopathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis
This inflammatory disease has a partially unknown etiology. Rheumatoid arthritis is known to be caused by the intervention of an antigen (the substance that generates antibodies) and has a genetic basis, but the exact triggering factor is unknown.
Photos: iStock - Dario Lo Presti / Saklakova