Neuroscience Graduate Group

Neurobiology of Disease Overview Course - INSC 587 - 2007

Course Summary

Dysfunction of the human brain can produce a wide variety of neurological and psychiatric illnesses. Over the past decades, neuroscientists have begun to unravel the basic underlying mechanisms of a number of important diseases of the nervous system, at the cellular, molecular and genetic levels. None of these disorders are completely understood, and, perhaps more importantly, none are yet susceptible to either total prevention or cure, so these conditions remain among the most important health problems of our society. This course is designed to familiarize neuroscientists with basic information about a number of important neurological and psychiatric diseases, focusing on a relatively brief clinical description of the condition and a more in depth discussion of what is currently understood about the basic pathobiology of the disorder.

TEXTBOOK: Please check the electronic blackboard for readings: readings often will be assigned for the various topics. There is no one text suitable for the course. Many of the chapters in "The Molecular and Genetic Basis of Neurological Disease" edited by Roger Rosenberg, Stanley Pruisiner, Salvatore DiMauro, and Robert Barchi, Edition 2 or 3, are a good initial source. Copies are available on reserve in the medical library and in the Neuroscience library.

TYPES OF ACTIVITIES FOR WHICH STUDENTS WILL PREPARE IN ADVANCE OF CLASS: For the following types of student-led activities the class will be divided into two teams. The teams will stay the same throughout the semester. For each activity, two (or perhaps more) members of each team will sign up to take primary responsibility for their team's presentation. The other members of each team will be responsible for assisting their team members and for answering questions during the discussion.

Clinical Trials Presentations: Students will read a paper(s) describing the results of a clinical trial(s) for a given disease. After the designated students from each team present their trial, other team members will compare and contrast their team's trial with that of the other team.

Debates on alternative mechanisms: Students will read papers giving evidence in support of a particular mechanism as central to the etiology of a given disorder. The two designated students from each team will present the best evidence in support of "their" mechanism. After the initial arguments are made, students may debate the points presented by the opposing team.

Presentations of various hypotheses: These will be similar to the "debates" but students will not be responsible for contrasting "their" hypothesis or mechanism with the others that are presented by the other students.

Website Review: Students will review a website (for a disease or a foundation) and write a 1 page, single-spaced summary about the site. Details on how the focus the review are included on the syllabus.

GRADING: Grades will be based on quality of presentations, written assignments, and ability to answer questions and participate in the discussions during class. At the end of the term, students will write a ~3 page 'mini grant proposal" on one of the diseases discussed in class. More information will be provided towards the end of the semester.

SYLLABUS: Just click HERE.

Viewing the Lectures

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Lectures - Fall 2007

Lecture Title Lecturer Date Real
video
Slides
only
Mechanisms of brain dysfunction Marc A. Dichter, MD, PhD Sept 11, 2007 link to video link to slides
How Cells Die Robert W. Neumar, MD, PhD Sept 11, 2007 link to video link to slides
Stroke Marc A. Dichter, MD, PhD Sept 18, 2007 link to video link to slides
Regulation of NMDA receptor function and excitoxicity David R. Lynch, MD, PhD Sept 20, 2007 link to video link to slides
Alzheimer's Disease Marc A. Dichter, MD, PhD Sept 25, 2007 link to video link to slides
Clinical Trials: Trials and Tools of the Trade
Please note that there are many more (useful) slides than were presented during the lecture
Laura Balcer, MD, MSCE Sept 27, 2007 link to video link to slides
ALS Marc A. Dichter, MD, PhD Oct 2, 2007 link to video link to slides
Clinical Trials Presentations (by students)
Stroke and ALS trials
  Oct 4, 2007    
Huntington's Disease and other triplet repeat disorders David R. Lynch, MD, PhD Oct 9, 2007 link to video link to slides
Animal Models of Psychiatric Disorders and role of endophenotypes Maya Bucan, PhD Oct 11, 2007 link to video link to slides
Schizophrenia Marc A. Dichter, MD, PhD Oct 16, 2007 link to video link to slides
Using simple biological models for neurodegenerative disorders Aaron Gitler, PhD Oct 18, 2007 link to video link to slides
Parkinson's Disease David R. Lynch, MD, PhD Oct 23, 2007 link to video link to slides
Mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegenerative disease Robert Wilson, PhD Oct 25, 2007 link to video link to slides
Epilespy-seizure mechanisms Marc A. Dichter, MD, PhD Oct 30, 2007 link to video link to slides
Mechanisms of epileptogenesis Douglas Coulter, PhD Nov 1, 2007 link to video link to slides
NO CLASS - Society for Neuroscience Meeting   Nov 6, 2007    
Autism and other spectrum disorders Edward (Ted) S. Brodkin, MD Nov 8, 2007 link to video link to slides
Interactions between the Immune and Nervous systems Katalin Kariko, PhD Nov 13, 2007 link to video link to slides
Multiple Sclerosis Marc A. Dichter, MD, PhD Nov 15, 2007 link to video link to slides
Diseases of Peripheral Nerve Steve S. Scherer, MD, PhD Nov 20, 2007 link to video link to slides
NO CLASS - Thanksgiving   Nov 22, 2007    
Disorders of Brain Development Peter B. Crino, MD, PhD Nov 27, 2007 link to video link to slides
Macular Degeneration Joshua Dunaief Dec 6, 2007 link to video link to slides
Class Discussion led by students: How do mutations in widely expressed proteins lead to degeneration or dysfunction of small subsets of neurons? J. Paul Taylor, MD, PhD, Moderator Dec 11, 2007    
Depression and Affective Disorders Marc Dichter, MD, PhD Dec 13, 2007 Not avail Not avail