Discussion: BIO 526 Organization and Control of Neural Functions

Discussion: BIO 526 Organization and Control of Neural Functions

Discussion: BIO 526 Organization and Control of Neural Functions

A 47-year-old overweight male with a history of atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus type 2, and coronary artery disease (CAD) is found by a neighbor unconscious and not breathing in his front lawn where he appears to have been mowing his lawn. He is rushed to a local emergency room where it is determined that he has suffered a massive inferior myocardial infarction. He is sent to the intensive care unit in critical condition where he is placed on advanced life support equipment, and several days later it is determined that he has minimal brain activity.

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Discussion Guidelines
Initial Post
In your initial post, answer the following questions:

After hearing her husband’s condition, his tearful wife asks you how it is possible her husband’s brain might not function if it was his heart that stopped beating. How would you answer?
As the next of kin, his wife has the right to make husband’s medical decisions when he is unable to. Because the length of time that this patient was in cardiac arrest appears to have been substantial, the patient’s recovery is highly unlikely. The medical staff gently informs the wife that she has to make a decision regarding his health care: she can withdraw care now or choose to do everything to keep him alive, even though he will most likely die. She asks you what you think she should do. With your knowledge of neurophysiology, how would you answer her?
Response Post(s)
Reply to at least two classmates’ initial posts by Sunday.

Post your initial and follow up responses and review full grading criteria on the Discussion 6.1: Organization and Control of Neural Functions page.
Week 6: Nervous System Organization
Welcome to Week 6. From this point forward, the course will take a systems-level approach to pathophysiology. We will start with the nervous system, which will take us two weeks to cover. This week we will examine the nervous system organization, with content presented on the nervous system cells and physiology and on the nervous system higher and lower order organization and function. So, you will be responsible for learning the normal nervous system physiology from cellular to system level. The presented material is not linearly taken from the textbook—a theme that will become common with many of the systems covered from now to the end of the class.

This week, you will become familiar with the cells of the nervous system, the function of neurons, the excitable nature of neuronal cells, the classification scheme of neuronal fibers, electrical and chemical synapses, neurotransmitter classification, and neurotransmitters’ function as excitatory or inhibitory agents. You should pay attention to how neurotransmitter function is altered by other agents.

Lesson 1: Nervous System Cells and Physiology

The first presentation covers the cells of the nervous system and examines neuronal physiology, including describing the movement of the electrical signal, presenting the classification scheme of neurons, detailing the role of synapses in transferring the electrical signal, and describing neurotransmitters in detail.


Learning Outcomes
At the end of this lesson, you will be able to:

Nervous System CellsDistinguish between the functions of the neurons and neuroglial cells of the nervous system
Describe the structure and function of the three parts of a neuron
Describe the metabolic requirements of nervous tissue
Describe the three phases of an action potential and relate the functional importance of ion channels to the different phases
Characterize the role of excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) as they relate to spatial and temporal summation of membrane potentials
Neuronal Synapses and NeurotransmittersDescribe a neural synapse, and be able to distinguish between axoaxonic, axosomatic, and axodendritic synapses
Describe how neurotransmitters are synthesized, stored, released, and inactivated
Before attempting to complete your learning activities for this week, review the following learning materials:

Learning Materials
Read the following in your Porth’s Pathophysiology: Concepts of Altered Health States textbook:

Chapter 13, “Organization and Control of Neural Function”

The instructional materials do not follow linearly from that presented in Porth’s Pathophysiology. Having said that, this chapter in the textbook covers much of the material.

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