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Unit information: Peripheral Neuropathy and Spine in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Peripheral Neuropathy and Spine
Unit code CSSBM1014
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Wong
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

The aim of this unit is to introduce the range of spinal and peripheral nerve disorders, discuss the range of pathogenetic processes occurring in these disorders and review regenerative therapies for these diseases. Specifically the course will emphasise the potential role for stem cell therapies and highlight differences between the peripheral (PNS) and central nervous system (CNS). Content will cover basic science, such as the endogenous response to PNS/spinal injury and the production of neural cell types specific to PNS disorders through to pre-clinical and clinical applications.

This unit will describe: 1) The pathology of peripheral nerve disorders and spinal disorders including multiple sclerosis and spinal/nerve trauma. 2) Stem cells in the peripheral nervous system. 3) Basic research in models of these diseases. 4) Current clinical status of therapies for these conditions. 5) Streamed video of in vitro models of nerve growth and in vitro/in vivo histological techniques to assess models of these disorders.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students successfully completing this module will:

  • Be aware of the mechanisms of peripheral nerve and spinal disorders and how these might be targeted by future therapies.
  • Be up to date with current stem cell and regenerative therapies being developed in animal models and in clinical use.
  • Be able to describe the techniques required to assess in vitro or in vivo models of these disorders, for example histological analyses on spinal cord and peripheral nerve sections and cells in culture.
  • Understand the difficulties and potential pitfalls of stem cell therapies, including ethical considerations

Teaching Information

  • Web-based Audio Lectures and Seminars.
  • Web-based tutorials/practicals
  • Self-directed study
  • On-line discussion forums

Assessment Information

Summative Assessment:

  • Coursework (contributing a total of 60% to the module).
  • 5 sets of multiple choice questions (MCQ) of a simple format (e.g. select an answer from a short number of options, true/false) each contributing 5% to module giving a total of 25%.
  • 1x essay contributing 20% to module
  • 3x short answer question sets or extended MCQs each contributing 5% to module giving a total of 15%

Please note that students will be given formative feedback on coursework assessment where appropriate.

  • Written Exams (contributing a total of 40% to the module and taken in Bristol)
  • Essay paper - contributing 27%
  • MCQ paper – contributing 13%

Contribution reflects time spent in each exam (2hrs essay, 1hr MCQ).

The pass-mark for the module will be 50%. However students will be required to reach a minimum standard in both their coursework and their written exam. As such only 5% compensation between the total coursework element and the total exam element will be allowed

Reading and References

For each lecture, seminar, tutorial students will be given a reading list composed of journal and review articles, websites and book chapters. Due to the novelty of this field and the postgraduate nature of this programme we do not feel there are suitable textbooks to recommend for this module.