Course Description

The Nervous System II (NSII) block is designed to provide instruction in the basic science and clinical foundation required for examination and treatment of disorders of the central nervous system. This block will provide a comprehensive overview of the nervous system, including topics such as neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, neurochemistry, neuroimmunology and infection, neuropathology, neurobiology and neurology. Emphasis will be on neuroanatomy, the mechanisms of disease, differential diagnoses, interpretation of tests and procedures, evaluation of results involving brain pathology, along with application of specific treatment interventions in the management of patients with central nervous system disease. Neuroimaging will also be introduced in this block, and the student will be expected to correlate CT and MRI images with gross and microscopic specimens. Clinical topics focused on in this block include movement disorders, head trauma, stroke, altered mental states (memory loss, dementia, delirium, coma), seizures, headaches and sleep problems. This block will also incorporate the topics and themes of ethics, diagnostics, public health, biomedical informatics and behavioral sciences.

Learning Objectives

Educational Program Objectives are a subset of more broadly defined physician competencies, which represent general domains of performance for which the profession and the public hold physicians accountable.

  • Identify, describe, draw and label the major structures of the brain and explain the functions of a healthy human central nervous system.
  • Correlate neuroanatomical locations on CT and MRI images with gross and microscopic specimens.
  • Explain the pathophysiological mechanisms of disease and describe the fundamental methods of neurological examination in common neurological disorders.
  • Explain the interrelationships between major brain structures and integrate neuroanatomical information with neuropathology, neurohistology, neuropharmacology and neurophysiology to better understand and provide rational treatment of sensory, motor, cognitive, affective and behavioral disorders of the nervous system.
  • Identify the cellular and molecular processes of neuroadaptation, neurodevelopment and neuroembryology resulting in growth and development; learning and memory; and recovery of brain function after injury.
  • Identify laboratory, imaging and diagnostic studies, tests and procedures helpful in confirming the diagnosis of neurological disease and describe associated histological and pathological findings.
  • Explore ethical and social issues in relation to the human person and the brain. 
  • Apply quantitative reasoning and mathematical analysis methodologies to understand and solve problems. Become familiar with core concepts in medical informatics.
  • Explore differential diagnoses of neurological disorders using critical thinking skills through case-based learning. Evaluate a neurologic history and neurological examination, discuss the appropriate indications for ordering laboratory studies and recognize neurological problems that need referral to a neurologist.  
  • Cooperate and collaborate with team members through verbal and non-verbal communication to document, present and discuss information in an organized, accurate, timely and understandable manner.
  • Maintain professional behavior in interacting with faculty, staff and peers.
  • Analyze, explain and discuss medical knowledge as it applies to effective patient care.