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Information for module ANATG029

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Module code:ANATG029(Add to my personalised list)
Title:Neurobiology of Neurodegenerative Diseases (extended)
Credit value:30
Division:Division of Biosciences
Module organiser:Prof. Stephen Davies
Organiser's location:Anatomy Building
Available for students in Year(s):
Module prerequisites: ANAT2010 or MBBS Neuroscience or ANAT3025 or permission of course organiser.  
Module outline: The last few years have seen a remarkable increase in our understanding of the basic biological mechanisms underlying human neurodegenerative diseases. Identification of the mutations in tau, underlying many familial forms of dementia and of the mutations in a-synuclein and parkin, found in familial cases of Parkinson's disease, has provided a molecular basis for these two classes of disease. Similarly the discovery of neuronal intranuclear inclusions containing proteins with expanded poly-glutamine sequences again provides a unifying pathogenic mechanism for 10 triplet-repeat expansion diseases (best illustrated by Huntington's disease). It therefore seems that a common feature of all these diseases is the intracellular accumulation of fibrous protein aggregates within neurons (and/or glial cells?) which leads to neurodegeneration. This course will discuss this novel hypothesis in the light of contemporary research and provide a foundation for our current understanding of neurodegenerative diseases. The 0.5 CU version of the module (ANATG028) consists of the lecture series and is examined by one three-hour exam, whereas this 1.0 CU version (ANATG029) comprises the same lectures and exam, but also the writing of a 6,000 word essay on a relevant topic of the student's choice (to be approved by the module organizer). It is recommended that students start thinking about their coursework essay in Term 1, even though the lectures are in Term 2.  
Module aims: I. To provide a detailed description of the clinical symptoms, natural history and pathological basis of several named neurodegenerative diseases. II. To discuss recent advances in our understanding of the novel mechanisms underlying the genetic basis for neurological disease. III. To discuss the mechanisms of protein aggregation within neurons. IV. To discuss the mechanisms of cell death V. To actively debate and discuss the relevance of the mechanisms outlined in II-V to the diseases presented in I.  
Module objectives:This course will focus on the genetics, and cellular and molecular biology of Alzheimer's, Huntington's, Parkinson's and Motor Neurone disease, with the main emphasis on the mechanisms leading to cell death. A combination of lectures and video presentations will cover topics including: * The polyglutamine repeat expansion diseases, e.g. Huntington's disease * Parkinson's disease, Multiple System Atrophy, Lewy Body Dementia and a-synuclein * Alzheimer's Disease, the processing of beta-amyloid, Tauopathies and Tau protein * Diseases of Motor Neurons, amyotophic lateral sclerosis (ALS/MND) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA I-III) * Prions; Creutzfeld Jacob Disease (CJD) and new variant CJD, Bovine Spongioform Encephalopathy (BSE) and Kuru, what's the connection? * The pathways to neuronal cell death; mechanisms of apoptosis, autophagy, excitotoxicity and oxidative stress * Protein aggregation and neurodegeneration; protein misfolding, ubiquitination, the proteasome. 
Key skills provided by module: 
Module timetable: 
Module assessment:One essay 50.00%.
Unseen three-hour written examination 50.00%. 
Notes:Runs Term 2, Block E. 
Taking this module as an option?: 
Link to virtual learning environment(registered students only) 
Last updated:2011-09-14 12:17:57 by