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Unit information: Neuroendocrinology in 2015/16

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Unit name Neuroendocrinology
Unit code MEDIM7004
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. O'Carroll
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

The students are given a background in Neuroendocrinology with emphasis on: Interconnections of the endocrine and nervous systems; Hypothalamus; Anterior pituitary hormones; Stress.

The Aims and Objectives of this Unit are to provide an introduction to the neuroendocrine systems of the body. In addition, there will be a consideration of the neuroendocrine and immune systems and their relevance to disease. While basic research will be presented, this will be done within a framework of the clinical relevance of these systems.

This Unit will specifically describe:

  1. The regulatory interactions between brain and periphery;
  2. Anatomy of the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal;
  3. Hypothalamic releasing factors;
  4. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and stress;
  5. Neurohypophysial hormones (vasopressin and oxytocin);
  6. Neuroendocrine disorders and tumours;
  7. The brain and the immune system;
  8. Anterior pituitary hormones;
  9. The hypothalamo-pituitary-thyroid axis;
  10. The hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis and sex steroid hormones.

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit the student:

(i) Will have a good understanding of the basics of the different neuroendocrine systems.

(ii) Will be able to discuss the methods used to investigate neuroendocrinological problems and be able to design controlled experiments.

Teaching Information

This unit is taught through lectures and tutorials.

Assessment Information

This unit is assessed through a combination of a two hour multiple choice examination (70%; on the basics of the different neuroendocrine systems) and a 3,000 word essay (30%).

Reading and References

Selected relevant review papers from the literature.