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Unit information: Neuroendocrinology in 2016/17

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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 students will have gained a good understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the major components of the neuroendocrine systems and will be able to integrate this knowledge in a coherent manner.

Teaching Information

This unit is taught through lectures and tutorials.

Assessment Information

This unit is assessed through a combination of a multiple choice examination (65%; on the basics of the different neuroendocrine systems) and a 3,000 word essay (35%).

Reading and References

Selected relevant review papers from the literature.