The human body is truly remarkable and is designed tofunction effectively. Organs are important structures composed ofdifferent tissues that facilitate specific functions within thebody. Organs function as part of an integrated group of structuresknown as organ systems. These organ systems form the organizationalunits that are responsible for crucial processes necessary forsustaining life.

Examples of organ systems include but are not limitedto the cardiovascular system, the digestive system, themusculoskeletal system, the nervous system, the excretory system,the endocrine system and the respiratory system. Even organ systemsdo not function alone. These systems work together, interactingwith other organs in a functional network that keeps the body inbalance. (Look up the term homeostasis in your text.) When homeostasis orthe normal functioning of organ systems is disrupted, disease maydevelop causing injury to the body, or even death. In thisassignment, you will explore organ systems, as well as associateddiseases or malfunctions.

Assignment details:

Take a look at the following casestudies that detail an outcome associated with a disease/organmalfunction. Select onestudy to investigate further for yourassignment.

Critically evaluate the information provided andcorrelate it with the organ systems that are affected in thescenario. Use the information that you have gathered to answer theassignment questions that follow the case study. For assistancewith your assignment, please use your text, the AIU Library, Webresources, and course materials.

Case Study 1:

Atherosclerosis isnarrowing of arteries caused by the accumulation of fatty depositson the arterial walls.

On June 22, 2002 the St. Louis Cardinals werepreparing for their upcoming baseball game against the Chicagocubs. Concern arose when their prized pitcher, 33-year old DarrylKile did not show up for practice. Soon after, he was found stillin his hotel room where he had suddenly died in his sleep (New YorkTimes, 2002). It was discovered that the cause of death was relatedto three of his coronary arteries being 80-90% blocked as a resultof atherosclerosis (New York Times, 2002), which ultimately causedhim to undergo a heart attack.

Answer the following assignmentquestions:

  1. Why would atherosclerosis result in a heart attack?Provide a brief explanation based on how the heart functions.
  2. How are arteries different from veins andcapillaries? Describe the functions of both arteries andveins.
  3. Vertebrates and some invertebrates have a closedcirculatory system. Explain the advantage of having a closedcirculatory system over an open circulatory system?
  4. Briefly explain how the lymphatic system isassociated with the circulatory system?
  5. Describe one disease that affects the lymphaticvessels similarly to the way that atherosclerosis affects thearteries?

Case Study 2:

Cigarette smoking remainsthe leading preventable cause of death in the United States,causing an estimated 438,000 deaths - or about 1 out of every 5 -each year (National Cancer Institute, 2008).

Mr. Amos is now 57 years old and has been smoking forthe past 30 years of his life. A recent doctor's visit reveals thatMr. Amos has stage 3 lung cancer, characterized by his symptoms ofnagging chest pain, fatigue, coughing up blood, substantial weightloss, and increased carbon dioxide levels in his blood. The doctorinformed Mr. Amos that had he quit his smoking habit several yearsago, he would have reduced his risk for developing lung cancerlater in life. Mr. Amos immediately begins treatment for the lungcancer that has metastasized to his lymph nodes.

Answer the following assignmentquestions:

  1. What main components in cigarettes affect therespiratory system? Explain their effects on specific organs, cellsand/or processes in the respiratory system.
  2. There are alternate mechanisms of transportingcarbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2 ) in the blood. Explain howsmoking might lead to increased levels of carbon dioxide in theblood.
  3. Can smoking affect other organ systems of the body?Give specific examples and briefly explain your answer.
  4. How can you correlate cellular respiration with therespiratory system?
  5. Does smokeless tobacco present a reduced risk forlung cancer and other smoking associated diseases? Provide evidencefor your answer.

Case Study 3:

Gigantism is abnormallylarge growth during childhood caused by excess growth hormonesecreted by the anterior pituitary gland.

Robert Wadlow, born on February 22, 1918, weighed anormal eight pounds, six ounces. However, by the time Robertreached the age of six months old, he weighed 30 pounds (Hamilton,1993). Within only a year, his weight rose to 62 pounds, more thandouble the normal weight of a baby at 18 months. Aside from hisweight, Robert continued to grow at an astounding rate, reachingsix feet, two inches and 195 pounds by the time he was eight yearsold. Robert's unique size was attributed to an over activepituitary gland, which produced much higher than normal levels ofgrowth hormone. At the time of his death in July 1940 at the age of22, Robert had reached a height of 8 feet 11.1 inches and weighed485 pounds (Hamilton, 1993).

Answer the following assignmentquestions:

  1. How does growth hormone regulate various bodyfunctions in adults, and what could cause the excess secretion ofgrowth hormone?
  2. Discuss the relationship between growth hormone andinsulin, and are there complications associated with theirinteraction?
  3. Why is gigantism usually more difficult to treatthan dwarfism?
  4. Give examples of two other hormones secreted by thepituitary, and briefly describe how they specifically affect otherorgan systems of the body?
  5. Some athletes have resorted to the illegal use ofanabolic steroids to increase strength and muscle size. How areanabolic steroids different from growth hormone? Briefly explainyour answer.


Hamilton, S. (1993). Looking backand up: At Robert Pershing Wadlow, the gentle giant. Alton,IL: Alton Museum of History and Art.

National Cancer Institute. (2008). Tobacco statistics snapshot. Retrieved fromhttp://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/tobacco/statisticssnapshot#0_references

The New York Times. (2002, July 17). Baseball: Coroner verifies the cause of Kile's death asnatural. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/17/sports/baseball-coroner-verifies-the-cause-of-kile-s-death-as-natural.html?ref=darryl_kile

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Deanna Hettinger
Deanna HettingerLv2
28 Sep 2019

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