Learning Objectives

The course objectives is to introduce the first year medical student to the form, function, and dysfunction of the nervous system with an emphasis upon the major disease processes which a general physician is likely to encounter.  Course content is based in part upon guidelines consistent with the NMBE examination.  Upon completion of the Neuroscience course a student should, therefore:

1.  Have been exposed to the basic terminology of Neuroscience in order to communicate effectively with his/her colleagues about brain structure and function.

2.  Have a working knowledge of the gross anatomy and blood supply of the central nervous system and be able to identify dysfunction based upon vascular lesions.

3.  Be able to follow the major pathways of each sensory modality to its cortical termination, understand how the appropriate motor response is selected, and be able to trace the motor outflow from the cerebrum to the appropriate level in the brain stem and/or spinal cord.

4.  Be familiar with the basic physiology of reflex activity, and the major structures and pathways involved in motor functions in order to effectively evaluate either the presence or absence of reflex activity.

5.  Be familiar with the major neurotransmitters implicated in CNS function and the diseases associated with their imbalance.

6.  Understand why injury at a specific level of the neuraxis may produce changes in a person's reflex pattern, in their ability to discriminate specific sensory stimuli, and in their ability to perform certain motor functions.

7.  Have a working knowledge of the structures and pathways involved in the maintenance of such homoeostatic mechanisms as sleep-wake cycles and arousal systems.

8.  Have an appreciation of the integrative ability of the forebrain which the general physican is likely to encounter not only in the more easily recognised sensory and motor functions, but also in the more subtle aspects of behavior, emotion, and cognitive function.

9.  Be able to recognize basic pathology on CT, MRI, and angiographic studies and to correlate that pathology with likely clinical situations.


Grading Procedures

A student's grade in the course is based upon the results of four integrated examinations and a comprehensive final exam which is the Neuroscience shelf exam.  The first four exams comprise 75% of the final grade in the course, while the final exam is worth 25% of the final grade.  In addition, attendance will be taken at random intervals throughout the course and points assigned which will be added to the final grade.  For the exams, a multiple choice format is used; the tests are computer-graded.  The cutoff point between grades for each exam and for the final grade is as follows:  Honors is set at 89 and High Pass at 82.  The cutoff for Passing is 70.  Any queries as to your grade on a particular exam must be brought to the Course Director attention within one week after the grades for that exam are posted.  Students who fail to pass the course will be required to make up the deficit by taking a summer course in Neuroscience, if one is available, or by taking a re-examination in the summer if a comparable course is unavailable.

It is expected that all students will maintain a high standard of honesty.  During examinations, any verbal or written communication will be with the examination proctors only.  If the proctors feel that your actions suggest cheating, you will receive a preliminary warning and may be moved to a different location.  This will not be an accusation.  However, if your actions persist or you are caught in the flagrant act of cheating, you will be so accused.  In all cases, you will be allowed to finish the examination.


Additional Information

The class schedule indicates the daily session involving the entire class.  Unless otherwise announced, all lectures will be in Lecture Room B of the Medical Education Building and all laboratories in Multi disciplinary Labs 3 and 4 on the fourth floor.  Attendance is required at all lectures and labs.

  Neuroanatomy through Clinical Cases.  Hal Blumenfeld, MD, PhD, 1st Ed, Sinauer Associates.  2002 (ISBN: 0878930604)

Required:  The Human Brain in Photographs and Diagrams.  John Nolte and Jay Angevine.  3rd Ed, Mosby 2007 (ISBN: 9780323045735)

RECOMMENDED - as ancillary study guides:
Ace the Boards, Neuroscience, Castro, Merchut, Neafsey, and Wurster, Mosby 1996

Haines, "Fundamental Neuroscience for Basic and Clinical Applications", 3rd Ed, Churchill Livingston, 2006

Faculty housed in the Medical Education Building include:  Dr. Mize (Course Director), Room 6154, e-mail: rmize@lsuhsc.edu; Dr. Weyand, Room 6228, and Dr. Whitworth, Room 6230.  The phone number for these individuals is 568-4011.