BIOL121 Human Biological Science
Assignment: Written assessment
Jessica is a 40yo marathon runner who has presented to her GP clinic after completing a training run. She runs four to five times per week and does yoga or Pilates on the other days. Jessica has experienced lightheadedness, and significant muscle pain after her last three runs. Whilst talking to the clinic nurse, Jessica admits to feeling lethargic, and like her “heart is racing”.
She has also been a little unsteady on her feet and stumbled climbing the stairs in her home the previous evening. She reveals that, and although she is still eating well and drinking adequate fluids, her caloric intake has been less than usual. She has lost 2kg in the last month and her last period was 5 months ago. Blood and urine tests ruled out pregnancy as a cause of amenorrhea.
Jessica applied Nurofen Gel, a topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), to her quadriceps and calves immediately after this morning’s run, hoping to relieve some of her muscle soreness.
A medical history was taken, and urinalysis conducted, identifying the following:
All topics and their key points listed below must be discussed in your essay
Topic 1: Reproduction (10 marks total)
Endometrial tissue contains glandular structures relevant to Jessica’s reproductive function. Explain the role of this glandular tissue in reproductive function, including any likely changes from normal in the secretion and resultant effects for Jessica. (4 marks)
Considering Jessica and her current circumstances, describe the role of oestrogen and explain whether you expect her oestrogen levels to be varied from normal. Your discussion should include the homeostatic regulation of female reproductive physiology and the relevant glands and hormones in your response. (6 marks)
Topic 2: Renal (5 marks total)
Evaluate Jessica’s urinalysis. Using your knowledge of normal kidney function and urine formation, explain any abnormal values, and the possible underlying mechanisms. (5 marks)
Topic 3: Digestion/metabolism (10 marks total)
Jessica supplements her diet with a daily protein shake after exercise.
Discuss why maintenance of adequate protein intake is important for Jessica’s for bone health. (2 marks)
Discuss the mechanical and chemical events required to absorb the ingested protein in Jessica’s shake. (4.5 marks)
State the hormone that is MOST active in maintaining Jessica’s blood glucose levels during a marathon. Explain your answer. (3.5 marks)
Topic 4: Pharmacology (7 marks total)
Jessica has used Nurofen Gel to ease her aching muscles.
Discuss the benefits of this route of administration over an oral capsule in providing a higher bioavailability of the drug. (4 marks)
Discuss the importance of the half-life of a drug. What is the estimated half-life of ibuprofen (the active ingredient in Nurofen gel)? Using this estimate, calculate the amount of time it would take to achieve steady-state concentration and explain the importance of achieving steady state. (3 marks)