Neuroscience, Endocrinology and Reproduction

Description

This module provides a basic understanding of central nervous system function and how body systems are controlled through neuronal and hormonal mechanisms. Disease states that relate to these systems are considered. 

This neuroscience component builds upon information given in Foundations of Neuroscience in Year 1. The module progresses from a detailed description of the properties and functioning of individual neurones and synapses through to a discussion of the mechanisms underpinning functional control of CNS systems and their roles in behaviour. The impact of brain pathologies on normal function is also given substantial focus.

The topics covered include:

  • Cell and molecular biology of neurones and synapses; 
  • Cellular basis of learning and memory; 
  • Pain transmission in the CNS; 
  • CNS control of motor function (especially, motor cortex, basal ganglia and cerebellum) 
  • Manifestations and cellular/molecular basis of neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases; 
  • Mechanisms underlying disorders of cortical functioning such as Anxiety, Depression and Schizophrenia;
  • Therapies for many neurological/psychiatric conditions; Cellular and molecular mechanisms of drugs of abuse; Cellular and molecular aspects of the responses to trauma in the CNS.

The Endocrinology and Reproduction component will provide a basic understanding of endocrine and reproductive physiology. Information is delivered on the mechanisms of hormone biosynthesis, transport, interaction with receptors, action and control. Physiology will be put into context by describing diseases related to endocrine and reproductive function. Early lectures will outline general features of endocrine physiology and these will be followed by more detailed lectures in which the function of each of the major glands will be dealt with in turn. 

As part of the reproduction lectures, Sex differentiation and control of developmental processes occurring during puberty will be discussed. This will be further developed by studying the function of the reproductive organs. With particular emphasis on the endocrine control of germ cell production and the processes associated with fertilisation, placental development, hormonal regulation of pregnancy, parturition and lactation. Further aspects related to current contraception and infertility treatment will also be covered in detail.

Delivery

Lectures, tutorials, project supervision and lab placement/experience

Assessment

  • Examination 75% (Semester 2)
  • Course work 25% (Semester 2)