Biochemical, Pharmaceutical, And Diagnostic Chemical Reactions

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The difference between biochemical, pharmaceutical, and diagnostic chemical reactions in healthcare is that biochemical reactions are essentially chemical reactions that use enzymes and ions of minerals and vitamins to act as catalysts in the more advanced chemical reactions. The biochemical reactions are initiated by the body and are not directly tissue related. Biochemical reactions are also best described to be neurochemical responses to environmental stimuli that evoked a neurotransmitter to synapse to axon reaction and response. The body turning glycogen into glucose for energy is a biochemical reaction. A pharmaceutical chemical reaction is an outside agent reaction in the body where the pharmaceutical chemical is the catalyst to the neurochemical response of the body. Therefore, the difference between the pharmaceutical chemical reaction and the biochemical reaction is the catalyst which is the agent or chemical responsible for the reaction which often triggers a necessary chain reaction to cause the desired change in the body, whether psychological or physical.

The diagnostic chemical reaction is essentially the chemicals used in diagnostic work on the human body as they react to the tissue and the body response to the diagnostic chemical to the tissue. Diagnostic chemicals most often do refer to radiation that is used in CAT scans and similar diagnostic procedures. The difference between the diagnostic chemicals and the pharmaceutical and the biochemical reaction is that diagnostic chemicals are essentially neutral in terms of their intended effect however their actual affect is often either neutral or negative.

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A specific example of a biochemical reaction is when the body digests food in the mouth with enzymes such at amylase. A specific example of a pharmaceutical chemical reaction is the intake of a psych medication that causes an increase in the secretion and uptake of serotonin levels in the blood. A specific example of a diagnostic chemical reaction is when undergoing a biopsy to determine if cancer is present in any tissue to which the radiation that is shot into the tissue for diagnostic purposes causes a chemical reaction with the tissue that spots cancerous tissue. Each are important to the healthcare field because each reaction has a specific catalyst which renders a specific reason behind the chemical reaction.

Biochemical (Hydrolysis of ATP): ATP + H20 = ADP + P1 + H+
Pharmaceutical (Antacid Reacting with Stomach Acid): CaCO3 + HCl  CaCl2 + Co2
Diagnostic (Radium transmutation reaction): 226RA

The two important types of catalysts are heterogeneous and homogeneous, which are also inorganic and biological catalysts. The difference between the two is simply a boundary layer. An example of a catalyst in the human body is amylase, which is important to breaking down complex carbohydrates in the mouth using the amylase contained in human saliva. The amylase works as the substance is an enzyme which reacts with the carbohydrate molecule to break down the starch into simple sugars for easier digestion.

The chemical reaction which occurs when a biological catalyst combines with a reactant to form an unstable intermediate may be as simple as a sour or dissatisfying taste of drinking alcohol either for the first time or simply every time as the amylase in the saliva reacts to the alcohol in the drink with the unstable intermediate the molecules that render the dissatisfaction. A more significant example is when bee venom reacts with various enzymes in the blood to cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. The bee venom is essentially the reactant with the biological catalyst being the enzyme present in the blood reacting to the bee venom with swelling and other adverse reactions as the reactant.

  • Banks, R. (January, 2001) Chemical Reactions. Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry @ Boise State University. Retrieved May 25, 2013, from http://chemistry.boisestate.edu/
  • Nuclear Chemistry Review. (n.d.). Nuclear Chemistry Review. Retrieved May 24, 2013, from shswbschools.sharpschool.com
  • Antoshechkin, A. (2005). Adaptogens and Health Care. Bloomington: AuthorHouse.

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