Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Kidney and Blood Pressure Seminar

Today was a very short day. We only had this one seminar, and that was it. Several people didn't show up. I really think we should have had this seminar tacked on yesterday afternoon, and then we could have had all of today off too.

Technically we are not into the kidneys yet, but we will be as of the beginning of December. This seminar was about the integration of the neural, renal, and cardiovascular systems in scenarios where fluid and salts in the body must be balanced. The reading was about experiments done on dogs here at Case several decades ago. Basically, the researchers used clamps to make the renal arteries narrower and block the flow of blood. This causes the kidneys to "think" that the body is hemorrhaging, and they respond by synthesizing hormones that lead to constriction of the arteries and a rise in blood pressure. Of course, these responses only make things worse. But as another speaker pointed out earlier in the week, our bodies didn't evolve to deal with being elderly and having cardiovascular disease. We would have been a lot likelier to have had to deal with massive losses of blood due to illness or injury.

Ok, I hope you readers have a great Thanksgiving, and I'll be back on Monday. We have class bright and early at 8 AM as usual. But the good news is that we are getting Friday off this week, and we do not have any homework (SAQs or CAPPs) either. :-)

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