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Unit information: Neurodegeneration: Symptoms, molecular mechanisms and therapies in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Neurodegeneration: Symptoms, molecular mechanisms and therapies
Unit code MEDIM0014
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Scott Miners
Open unit status Not open
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School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Unit Information

The students are given a background to the pathogenesis of common neurodegenerative diseases, will explore the underlying molecular mechanisms, and discuss therapeutic interventions in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. The unit will provide an up-to-date research-led perspective of therapeutic approaches used to tackle some of these debilitating diseases.

The aims of this Unit are to:

  1. To explain the neuropathology of of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
  2. To provide an insight into how the pathology and underlying disease mechanisms of these diseases relate to the clinical symptoms.
  3. Using the above information, to explain how drugs and other therapies may be applied in neurodegenerative diseases.
  4. To develop an understanding of how research methodologies can be applied to further our understanding of disease pathogenesis and therapeutic intervention in models of neurodegenerative diseases.
  5. To provide formative basic training in writing a research grant

Your learning on this unit

At the end of the unit the student should be able to:

A. describe the neuropathology and explain the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for the pathogenesis of major neurodegenerative conditions

B. discuss how neuropathology and underlying disease processes underpin the clinical symptoms of these neurodegenerative diseases.

C. describe research methodologies and advances in the field and discuss established and potential new therapeutic interventions for each disease and discuss established and potential new therapeutic interventions for each disease.

D. explain the process and importance of research grant applications.

How you will learn

This Unit is taught via a blended approach combining in-person taught sessions, structured on-line learning sessions supplemented with asynchronous learning materials, and self-directed study. The unit will include lectures, tutorials, workshops, online materials and self-directed study.

How you will be assessed

The Unit is assessed through a summative timed open-book assessment (100%).

The summative assessment will assess the ability of the student to describe and discuss the key basic pathological and clinical features of common neurodegenerative diseases and integrate and apply an understanding of molecular mechanisms and disease pathogenesis to inform therapeutic intervention.

Formative coursework will reinforce the intended learning outcomes and will aid the writing of the summative assessment.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. MEDIM0014).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.